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How a shift in care delivery changed one health system's mission, vision and values

May 19th, 2016

by Barry Ronan

It is interesting to see how our mission, vision and core values at Western Maryland Health System have been applied over the last few years as we transitioned to our value-based care delivery model. As we transitioned from volume to value, we felt that it was essential to re-examine our mission statement, our vision statement and our values.

As we embraced the Triple Aim of healthcare reform, our board decided to bring our mission statement more in line with our new commitment to value-based care delivery. It was changed from “superior care for all we serve” to “we are dedicated to providing patient-centered care and improving the health and well-being of people in the communities we serve.” The board felt that our previous mission statement focused more on care delivery within the hospital while the new mission statement introduced a much-needed community health perspective.

=> Read more!

Post-discharge patient safety lessons from the field

May 19th, 2016

by Andrea J. Simon

Ensuring the safety of patients after they’ve been discharged from the hospital is a huge concern for healthcare providers. While everyone agrees that the best place for patients to heal is in their homes, not every patient has the support team and ability to manage their post-hospital care satisfactorily.

Depending on the diagnosis, between 17 percent and 23 percent of Medicare patients have to be readmitted within 30 days post-discharge, according to research from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Of course, sometimes readmission is necessary. But in many cases, say the experts, the problems could have been prevented.

So what is being done to help patients stay safe and get well at home?

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Medical errors: 5 system-wide changes that can prevent patient harm

May 19th, 2016

by Ilene MacDonald

Despite controversy over the definition of medical errors used in a new study that finds these mistakes lead to 10 percent of deaths in the United States each year, it's clear that the industry has to do something to catch and prevent these errors.

As many as 250,000 deaths occur each year due to a medical mistake, according to The BMJ study, confirming previous research from 2013. That's roughly 685 people a day.

I can't imagine that we'd turn a blind eye to these statistics if that many people died each day in plane crashes.

But it looks like the industry and the media are finally paying attention.

>>Read the full commentary at FierceHealthcare

An uber for healthcare: Seems logical, but not so simple

May 12th, 2016

by Kent Bottles

It sounds so easy and logical. Uber disrupted the inefficient and poorly run taxi system. The Uber model should be able to successfully disrupt the inefficient and dysfunctional American healthcare system.

In a blog post titled “An Uber for healthcare is closer than you think,” Davis Liu, M.D. predicts the creation of software that “would allow anyone to access the expertise of the best doctors for diabetes, bladder infections or cancer care. ... Once this class of software is widely available to the public, then the Uber for healthcare will have arrived. People will discover healthcare can [be] super convenient, quick and easy, and inexpensive. Just like Uber.”

Investors have bought into this goal in a big way. Funding for on-demand healthcare has increased with a total of $692 million in funding since 2011, according to Rock Health. An Uber co-founder raised $14 million for the startup Pager, which makes physician appointments instantly and charges a flat fee for urgent care visits, physical exams, and phone consultations, notes a Forbes contributed post.

=> Read more!

End physician burnout by allowing doctors to be doctors again

May 12th, 2016

by Jonathan H. Burroughs

The physician is both a clinical and executive professional with significant post-doctorate education that prepared him/her to assume a major leadership role in healthcare from both a clinical and business perspective. Most physicians in the recent past ran small- to medium-sized businesses, managed an office and staff with its own revenue cycle operations and became adept at balancing clinical and business operations at a high level.

Over the past several decades, with the regulatory fall in physician reimbursement, private practice (first with primary and now with specialists) has been failing by design as physicians, unable to keep up with climbing overhead costs in the face of declining revenues seek employment and partnership with larger organizations and systems. Unfortunately, many organizations, locked into a traditional “human resources” culture, treat physicians as subordinate, ”full-time equivalents” and not as equal business partners and executive co-leaders--and the results have been tragic.

=> Read more!

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