"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, December 28, 2015

Thinking Out of the Box

On December 24th, Fierce Healthcare published a blog that they asked me to write related to the impact WMHS is having on our community.  The blog was limited in the number of words so my examples were limited in demonstrating how we are impacting the community through our out-of-the-box thinking related to meeting the community's needs through our unique care delivery model.  

In my blog, I used examples related to Bridges to Opportunity, the Imagination Library and our community garden.  However, there are so many more examples of how we have applied that out-of-the-box thinking in addressing the social as well as health needs of our community. These include 

  • providing 30 days of free medications to patients as they are discharged
  • embedding care coordinators and navigators in clinics and practices,
  • providing free care through our Center for Clinical Resources to the sickest of the sick who are suffering from diabetes, CHF, COPD and/or hypertension
  • placing doctors and nurse practitioners to care for patients in skilled nursing homes
  • expanding primary care throughout the region
  • using Community Health Workers to visit patients in their homes to ensure that they are living in a safe environment and that their needs are being met
  • performing tele-monitoring for select patients in their homes to check their blood glucose levels, their BP, their weight, etc.
  • partnering with agencies such as Allegany Health Right on dental services
  • providing a Transition Clinic to newly discharged patients who may not be able to get a follow-up appointment to see their physician within the first week after being discharged
  • working with a host of agencies on ensuring that the transportation needs of patients getting to and from their appointments are being met
  • and the list goes on.  

This year we also fed the hungry, clothed those who have a need and partnered with others in ensuring that the homeless have a place to sleep.  As I have indicated in the blog, we have gone far beyond what the traditional hospital is expected to do for its community, but truly recognize that it is now both our responsibility and our mission.

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