"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.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Redesigning Care Delivery

This morning, I read a quote on the redesign of care delivery offered by James Skogsbergh, CEO of Advocate Health Care, the largest health care system in Illinois. He said "It takes more time to build new infrastructures than any of us think.  Whatever amount of time you thought it would take, double it."

He's right.  At WMHS, it took us well over two years to redesign our care delivery model from one of volume based to value based.  We thought that it would take a good year to year and a half.  We finally saw progress during the last half of FY'13, which ended June 30, 2013, two and one half years later.  There was a great deal of education involved with stakeholders, the Board, the medical staff, our employees, our patients and the community.  We had a number of starts and stops with the many initiatives that we had to put in place.  We were constantly re-evaluating the many aspects of care delivery, from patients going home with their medications to developing care plans for patients post discharge.  We added new staff to Care Coordination, Pharmacy, and RN Transitionists for the nursing home patients, Care Link Coordinators and the list goes on.  We reinvented the delivery of care and it took longer than anticipated, but we are all better because of it.  We reduced the cost of care; our patients are better cared for in a multitude of settings from acute care to clinics to home; the health of our population hasn't worsened and we have seen some improvement in a variety of health status areas such as obesity, tobacco use, access to care to name a few; and we have once again become profitable so we can reinvest in continuing to seek new ways to better care for our patients under this redesign of care delivery. 

The staff at WMHS have a lot to be proud of with what has been accomplished over the last several years.

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