"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Our Greatest Challenge

Health Leaders magazine did a survey throughout the health care industry recently.  When focusing on clinical quality improvement, one of the components of Health Care Reform's Triple Aim along with reducing the cost of care and focusing on population health, 30% of hospital and health system CEO's responded that care coordination along the continuum of care is their greatest challenge.  Interestingly enough, 25% of all groups surveyed also responded that care coordination was their number one challenge with improving the patient experience as a close second with 21%.  CEOs also had the patient experience as second at 17%.

At WMHS, we are pulling out all stops to better coordinate the care of the patient.  We have reorganized our Care Management department to better address overall care coordination of our inpatients.  We have strengthened patient education and discharge planning.  We have a care team lead by our Chief Medical Officer rounding on patients with a length of stay greater than 5 days to ensure that all that can be done for the patient is being done while they are an inpatient.  We are working to enhance the communication process between our Hospitalists and physicians and other caregivers.  We also have nurses rounding on patients with physicians and shift report taking place at the patient's bedside.  At WMHS, we continue to make progress in all of these areas and I was pleasantly surprised to see that care coordination has become such an industry priority.

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