Infographic 

The Hospital-Physician Integration Challenge

Successful hospital-physician integration is considered a core element of any effective response to mounting demands for higher-quality and lower-cost patient care. This infographic illustrates dozens of strategies being pursued by hospitals and physicians—from gainsharing to employment—as they experiment with various degrees of integration.

Risk Assessment Tool 

Care Transitions Risk Assessment

To identify patients at high risk of readmission, nurses at OSF HealthCare use an assessment tool to evaluate eight factors that can cause patients to return to the hospital. OSF has reduced readmissions from skilled nursing facilities to 11 percent in 2013 (from 27 percent in 2012) using a combination of strategies. Visits to the ED also have been cut by more than half. 

Leader Profile

Reinvention: HealthPartners-Style

Minnesota-based HealthPartners has set a very high bar: achieving the best health outcomes locally and nationally as well as the lowest healthcare costs in the region, says Mary Brainerd, CEO of the integrated system, which insures 1.4 million members nationwide and includes five hospitals and a 1,700 member multispecialty group practice. 

One of the strategies that HealthPartners is using to attain this vision is virtuwell™, a 24/7 online and mobile medical clinic. Without ever stepping inside a clinic, patients can now get a diagnosis (aided by cell phone photos, if necessary) and treatment for simple conditions like pinkeye, bladder infections, and rashes. It costs no more than $40 per diagnosis, depending on the patient’s insurance, and comes with a money-back satisfaction guarantee. 

Quality Improvement

CEO-Led Quality Meetings Boost Patient Outcomes

By Dan Collard 

Keith Granger, president and CEO of Trinity Medical Center, Birmingham, Ala., regularly leads meetings with hospital quality managers and administrators to tackle quality and cost challenges. Granger uses seven strategies to identify and solve problems during the meetings, including sending performance results to participants before the meeting and drilling down to reveal root causes of problems.   

Publication Date: Monday, December 09, 2013