A patient’s healthcare experience is usually made up of many individual, isolated encounters with different providers. While there may be some effort to share data among providers, it is still mostly passive; the data is simply incorporated into the electronic health record (EHR), where it may or may not be reviewed or considered.
At the St. Louis-based Ascension Health, operational leaders have dramatically reduced readmission rates for chronic conditions with a centralized approach and help from the Plano, Texas-based Vivify Health. Ascension Health, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, operates 165 hospitals in 29 states.
What Ascension leaders have learned is that simply sharing data isn’t enough to change the quality of care and put the patient at the center. This is why a simple process was implemented: patients call a single phone number for all their health requirements, whether it’s finding a physician that fits their needs, scheduling appointments, coordinating patient admissions, obtaining transfers and provider referrals, or even determining whether a current health issue requires a visit to the emergency department (ED), or an urgent care clinic, or if the heath issue can wait until the primary care physician’s office is open in the morning. And now, rather than patient care being split across multiple, independent providers and locations, it is fully coordinated across all of a person’s providers. In fact, there is no way to enter or exit the Ascension Health system in Texas except through the Good Health Solutions Center.
This has led to the following results: a patient adoption rate of 84 percent; a dramatic lowering of the readmissions rate for the enrolled patients, from 28 percent to 2 percent; and a total enrollment to date of 5,500 patients.
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