Recently, I, along with WMHS Board leadership, had the opportunity to see and hear former Secretary of State, Condelezza Rice, at a conference. She provided her audience with an awe-inspiring talk about her life and the most current issues facing the United States. What stuck with all of us is her lifelong motto, "make the impossible, the inevitable," something that she has truly accomplished throughout her life.
Ms. Rice's motto is something that we are trying to achieve at WMHS by transforming health care delivery. We are now focusing on providing the most appropriate care in the most appropriate setting. For example, we are looking to expand primary and urgent care throughout the region in an effort to treat people in a less costly setting so they don't have to visit the Emergency Department for minor illnesses. The care provided in the Emergency Department can be over four times more expensive than an urgent care setting. Obviously, the ED is a much more costly alternative.
Health care reform on a national level and payment reform in Maryland are driving change in how we care for our patients—it will be in a different way that was once thought to be impossible to achieve, but now has fast become the inevitable.