Featured Article

Telemedicine ICU Nets Maryland Hospital $300K in Annual Savings

By Laura Ramos Hegwer

In 2006, Atlantic General Hospital and Health System, Berlin, Md., was struggling to maintain appropriate evening and weekend physician coverage in its intensive care unit (ICU). That spurred the hospital to join a group of independent hospitals to develop a collaborative model for delivering ICU services using telemedicine technology. In just one quarter, the health system exceeded its expectations on two key quality metrics―reducing sepsis deaths and the number of ICU patients on ventilators.

To ease staff concerns about telemedicine, hospital leaders sought buy-in from the board of trustees and medical staff leadership. Eventually, concerns lessened as staff members learned that telemedicine complemented the care they were already providing.

Tool

Admission Plan Eases Patient Transition and Care Coordination

By Lola Butcher

San Antonio-based Southeast Texas Medical Associates uses this admission plan of care to help patients transition into the hospital setting. The patient-centered medical home realizes that coordinating care from the outset is critical to patient outcomes.

Leader Profile

BCBS Prepares for a Consumer-Focused Future

“Consumers are taking over the driver’s seat,” says Maureen Sullivan, senior vice president of strategic services and chief strategy officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Chicago. She points to the need for transparency that allows consumers to choose among insurance options and the need to reach out to consumers in new ways. For example, through a partnership with a tax software/filing company, BCBS companies educated members about the new benefits and costs of healthcare reform, and offered tax preparation discounts.

Community Initiatives

University Hospitals Uses ‘Local’ Strategy to Improve its Community

By Betty Hintch

University Hospitals’ five-year strategic growth plan presented the Cleveland-based health system with an opportunity to not only improve the health of the community but also to have a positive impact on the economic conditions in the surrounding neighborhoods. By using a buy-local strategy, the health system brought 5,200 construction jobs to northeast Ohio. Plus it contributed to the economic growth of its community by purchasing approximately 92 percent of the construction project's goods, services, and materials from local suppliers.

Related Sidebar: Tapping the Underemployed Leads to a Loyal Workforce

Leadership Skills

Determining the Value of a Capital Expense

By Michael Nowicki

Healthcare leaders can make a convincing argument for investing in new equipment if they can express to the finance team and the C-suite the benefit of the capital expenditure in terms of financial viability over the life of the equipment. For example, to determine the long-term ROI of a $10,000 ventilator, one CFO helped clinical leaders by calculating two useful metrics: net present value and internal rate of return. Both of these calculations can tell decision makers how much income the capital expenditure will earn over its useful life.

Publication Date: Wednesday, July 30, 2014