Lancaster General Health: Innovating Community-focused Care Delivery
THOMAS E. BEEMAN, PhD, FACHE, COO, Regional Operations, UPHS, says the healthcare system's primary objective is simple: Improve the community's overall health.
"The ultimate value proposition is making a community healthier because of your institution's presence," Beeman says. "If the community isn't healthier, then either you shouldn't be there or you should change the way you do business."
Institution of the MyLGHealth electronic health record (EHR) encourages active patient participation by allowing access to personalized health records and health education. More than 75,000 patients are enrolled users of the EHR. The EHR also unites physicians throughout the LG Health systemwith access to critical patient histories, preventing costly duplication of services.
Redesigning Health Care
LG Health pursued lower costs and increased quality through Care Connections, an interdisciplinary model providing temporary, high-intensity transitional primary care to patients with complex medical and psychosocial concerns.
Such patients, known as "superutilizers," repeatedly rely on emergency department and inpatient care. Half of LG Health's costs are attributable to 3-5 percent of its patients, Beeman notes. With state and local support, Care Connections aims to reduce costs by 15 percent.
In another move to improve healthcare quality, research and recognized best practices, LG Health has joined forces with seven other systems in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to form AllSpire Health Partners. Using the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Triple Aim Initiative - which centers on improving patient experience, improving population health and reducing healthcare costs - as its mantra, AllSpire Health Partners intends to overhaul traditional fee-for-service healthcare models into more value-based methodologies.
"It's a busy time in health care, but it's really kind of glorious," Beeman notes. "For the past 40 years, we've been trying to operate within the context of the Medicare system, but it's a whole new system. The dialogue has changed from an ill ness orientation to improving the community's health."
Grooming Tomorrow's Leaders
To ensure LG Health maintains its position on the leading edge of healthcare delivery, LG Health invests in growing and developing its leaders. In 2013, this opened the opportunity for 21 physicians and administrative leaders to enter into an MBA program through St. Joseph's University's Haub School of Business. This program dovetails with a 5-year-old Physician Leadership Academy established by LG Health in conjunction with the Wharton School of Business. As providers and administrators progress through these programs, Beeman says, the difference is evident throughout LGHealth.
"The synergy of these leaders, and particularly the providers in the system, has been incredibly exciting," he explains. "Hearing them talk about corporate finance and understanding how that fits into the bigger picture is a game changer when coupled with their clinical expertise. These are the future leaders of this organization."
For more information about LG Health's progressive community health strategy or to refer patients, please visit www.LGHealth.org, or call 1-888-LGH-INFO.
Ferguson, Michael. Lancaster General Health: Innovating Community-focused Care Delivery. Central Pennsylvania MD News. Spring 2014. 12.