"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, August 1, 2013

Returning to Old Fashioned Health Care, Well Kinda

When you take a step back and look at all that we are doing to address population and community health, it is amazing as to how much we are returning to the past.  I remember as a child, my pediatrician coming to the house to provide care to me when I was sick.  We haven't gone that far, but we are getting closer.  We are now sending a lot more people into the home either in person or through technology as we transition patients from the hospital.  Our goal is to keep them as healthy as possible so they do not have to return.  We are focused on being there if patients need us, but also having alternatives available to visits to the ED or an inpatient stay.  We have a series of clinics and medical homes, new primary care practices as well as individuals reaching out to patients  post discharge to make sure that they are keeping their appointments, weighing themselves, checking their blood pressure, their glucose levels, making sure that they have their medications and the list goes on.  Soon, we will have technology that will support these same patients in their homes with the preceding information being transmitted electronically.  In the near future, we may also have nurse practitioners and possibly, physicians going into the home to improve the health status of our most vulnerable patients.  There are lots of examples in other communities of practitioners going into the home beyond Home Care to better serve those in need.  We continue to monitor these practices for their application in Western Maryland.

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