The Future of Healthcare

19 June 2013 Categories: Latest News

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Clint Christianson, the President/CEO of Mercy Medical Center – Centerville, and ask what healthcare will look like in the future. The following is a summary of my conversation with Clint.
We (Mercy Medical Center – Centerville) are experiencing the biggest transformation in healthcare in the history of the country and in the history of our hospital. Over the past year we have formed new partnerships within our own walls and among our staff that helps position us for the coming transformation.
Although we don’t know exactly what healthcare will look like, we do know this- the goal of healthcare reform is what is called the TRIPLE AIM – three areas that all hospitals will be working towards.
Better care for Individuals – We will be accountable for Improving the Quality of Care. This involves measuring the patient’s experience, how well we coordinate their care, how well we keep them safe, how well we keep them healthy, how well we work with at risk populations and the elderly. Once this is measured, we will be paid for care based on our success, not the volume of care we provide.
Better Health for Populations – We will be expected to measure and change the health of population groups, whether it is by geographic location, gender, medical condition, and the list goes on. We will need to impact the larger health issues affecting our community’s health.
Lower total costs of care – Through health reform initiatives, we will be expected to lower the costs of care while at the same time demonstrating improvement in clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.
With these challenges facing us, it’s important that we all understand what lies ahead. Right now, we have positioned ourselves as a very strong organization – our financial indicators have never looked better. The decisions we’ve made over the past few years have made a positive impact on our future. We will continue to stay ahead of where we need to be so that Mercy-Centerville remains the viable rural hospital in our region.
But we will look different than we do today. We will see less people being admitted to the hospital, more people receiving home care. We will see health coaches working with physicians and their patients to manage chronic health problems but to prevent those conditions from occurring in the first place. We will see better coordination between physicians, nurses, hospitals, nursing homes anyone who provides care to patients to make sure people are receiving the right care in the right setting.
And we will be judged – compared with our peers for who has the highest quality, the most satisfied patients, the safest environment and the most economical pricing. Our patients will be better informed and able to make healthcare decisions for themselves rather than rely on only what the doctors or nurses tell them to do.
-Kris Laurson
Appanoose Community
Care Services