"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.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Chicago

What better place to spend your St. Patrick's Day birthday but in Chicago.  And yes, the river is Green!  I am here for the American College of Healthcare Executives Annual Congress.  As a Fellow, I need ongoing continuing education in order to maintain my board certification.  

So far, many aspects of the Congress haven't been as fulfilling, with a great deal of presentations and conversations related to the "upcoming" shift to value-based care.  At WMHS, we are looking for the next wave beyond value-based care since we have been doing it for the last four plus years.  When I tell colleagues what we have been doing in Cumberland for the last four years related to care delivery, they are amazed.  And well they should be.  What our staff have accomplished in just four short years is amazing.  The level of care that is now being provided to our patients with multiple co-morbidities, such as diabetes, COPD, congestive heart failure and hypertension, is truly making a difference in the health and wellbeing of so many people.  

As we move into that next wave of value-based care, we are looking at much more care being provided in the home setting and through tele-health.  We are looking to issue iPads / tablets to those patients who frequently have issues but may not require a trip to the ED or a hospital admission.  Quite honestly, a tablet is a lot less expensive than an ED visit, provided we do a good job teaching and training patients and their family members on the use of the tablet.  I asked our ED physician group, MEP, to consider their role in such a venture as we would need a call center for these patients to contact.  Having the ability to Skype or use FaceTime to assess a patient in real time in their home can be of great advantage for everyone concerned.  

These are really exciting times for health care and medicine, but I still marvel at those who choose not to embrace the change.

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