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13 hospital and health system executives on successful partnerships

Hospitals and health systems are constantly forming partnerships and aligning with other organizations to optimize care and reduce costs. 

Here, 13 hospital and health system executives discuss some of their most successful partnerships.

Lee Domanico. CEO of Marin General Hospital (Greenbrae, Calif.): "A little over a year ago, we set out to transform the Marin community patient experience by expanding local access to lifesaving medical care. To do this, we needed a partner that matched our enthusiasm for driving digital health innovation. Working with Philips to help manage health IT implementation costs and complexities, we are now equipped with the resources to deploy pioneering medical technologies for imaging, patient monitoring, telehealth and clinical informatics. Today, we are already beginning to see the impact of this partnership on the Marin community with the opening of a state-of-the-art Breast Health Center, which provides the women of Marin with the most advanced breast imaging technologies. This partnership is only just getting started and we are excited to be at the forefront of the healthcare industry's transformation alongside a technology leader like Philips."

Curtis Dudley. Vice President of Performance Solution at Mercy Technology Services (St. Louis): "At Mercy, we're constantly innovating to bring better care to our patients. Sometimes that means partnering with other innovators that bring to light new possibilities. SAP Healthcare has been a partner that brings us new ways of doing things, works side-by-side with us to put pieces in place and then sees to it that we're getting the right results."

Matt Gerlach. COO of Children's Hospital of Orange (Calif.) County: "Innovation is a big part of our values here in the organization. Therefore, we were immediately attracted to becoming a partner with The Innovation Institute, especially because of their unique business model. They have a Lab where they can incubate ideas generated by our staff. They also have service companies we can tap into to save money such as biomed services, which have saved us millions of dollars. We're both a customer and an owner partner that capitalizes on revenues we can use to fund our innovation activities."

Luisa Gutman. COO of Holy Cross Hospital (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.): "Our relationship with the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center has been very successful as we collaborate on new ways to provide leading-edge oncology care to our mutual patients. This unique arrangement provides additional access to advanced care for cancer patients living in south Florida, including access to new clinical treatments and a network of nationally and internationally recognized specialists, as well as a continuity of care for Mass. Gen. patients as they travel to our community."

John Finan Jr. President and CEO of Franciscan Ministries of Our Lady Health System (Baton Rouge): "Improving performance and transforming care are foundational strategies of our healthcare organization and we know that most often the best ideas are generated by our physicians and team members. Therefore, we partnered with The Innovation Institute as a commitment to maximize the potential of those ideas and ultimately share them more broadly with our Institute partners and others. Experience tells us the more we learn and share, the greater our positive impact on the patients and communities we serve."

Richard Katz, MD. CMO at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital (Baltimore): "We are an affiliate of University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Medicine. This puts us in a fantastic position, as their co-ownership provides us with effective patient collaboration, additional medical expertise, consistent administrative support and much more. Obviously, Johns Hopkins is a world-renowned institution with top clinicians and constant research efforts. Additionally, we are very fortunate to be one of the 13 system hospitals of UMMS, connecting us to a wealth of information and resources across the state."

Stephen Klasko, MD. President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health (Philadelphia): "We're committed to learning how to re-envision America's unequal and costly healthcare system through a milestone partnership with GE Healthcare, their biggest, and one of the largest ever partnerships in terms of longevity and risk sharing, to save $500 million to $1 billion. GE Healthcare teams will be embedded at Jefferson for eight years. It has been a partnership of shared values, and one value in particular — the passion for change."

Peggy Sanborn. Vice President of Strategic Growth, Mergers and Acquisitions for Dignity Health System (San Francisco): "We turned to Emerus, the nation's first and largest operator of microhospitals, when we decided to open four neighborhood hospitals in the Las Vegas area. These neighborhood hospitals are designed specifically to increase access to high-quality emergency care in underserved metropolitan areas.

Emerus' highly efficient model that provides inpatient bed capacity, if needed, for convenient care and health system integration — allowing for care coordination, consultation and seamless transition across the care continuum — addresses important needs in our market. They are a nationally recognized innovator in the delivery of efficient medical care, and their model also creates shorter wait times in their fully functioning emergency departments, while decompressing the burden of current ERs. Their turnkey operations have positioned us for success, and we look forward to continuing the collaborative partnership that will greatly benefit our patients in the Las Vegas region."

Fred Slunecka. COO of Avera Health System (Sioux Falls, S.D.): "We believed that if innovation at Avera was to take off like it should, we needed a drastically different model to facilitate it. So, with The Innovation Institute, we now have an enhanced process to better nurture innovation and provide procedures for vetting, patenting, prototyping and selling innovative medical devices and healthcare-related discoveries invented by Avera employees and physicians. The idea is to create the most innovative, efficient and optimal solutions for specific, real-world challenges faced by healthcare providers and patients. The Innovation Institute gives our employees and physicians the expertise they need to develop bright ideas into real market products."

Richard Statuto. President and CEO of Bon Secours Health System (Marriottsville, Md.): "The Innovation Institute is an exciting venture that we are pleased to be a part of. When we reviewed the business model, it became clear that our health system could benefit immensely from the valuable resources The Institute offers. As a member owner partner, our healthcare system and our patients benefit from shared research and development of new products and services."

Scott Steiner. CEO of DMC Detroit Receiving, DMC Harper University and DMC Hutzel Women's Hospital: In 2016, two Detroit Medical Center (DMC) Hospitals, DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital and DMC Harper-Hutzel Hospital, part of Dallas-based Tenet Health System, entered into a co-management agreement with more than 50 physicians. The sole purpose of this agreement is to improve care delivery and quality outcomes for patients.

"The rationale for this agreement was to create and standardize best practices, processes and procedures with an intense focus on patient care. To date, this approach is yielding favorable results. We have accomplished a 30 percent improvement in our quality outcomes and a 4 percent increase in patient happiness scores. This collaborative focus on clinical outcomes is vital for the hospital, physicians and most importantly, our patients."

Richard Towbin, MD. Division Chief of Pediatric Radiology at Phoenix Children's: "About 10 years ago, Phoenix Children's Hospital entered into a long-term relationship with Philips Healthcare that expanded in early 2017 to become a true strategic partnership. This 15-year agreement is a first-of-its-kind partnership for Philips with a stand-alone children's hospital system. Through the partnership, Phoenix Children's has early access to Philips' advanced medical technologies in diagnostic imaging and beyond, including CT, MRI, angiography, patient monitoring, clinical informatics and a comprehensive range of clinical and business consulting services.

This partnership gives a competitive edge to Phoenix Children's, especially as a newer children's hospital, and allows us to be the best we possibly can, supporting us in our ability to provide the highest quality patient care, and to be leaders on the cutting edge of pediatric medicine. Together, Phoenix Children's and Philips have the ability to create integrated solutions tailored to the pediatric patient population, including research and technologies such as dose reduction using iterative CT reconstructions, spectral multienergy CT, and pediatric CT and MRI protocols that are now factory standards worldwide."

Andrew Watson, MD. Medical Director of UPMC Telemedicine: "Hospitals must reinvent their care delivery platforms in this new era of consumer wearables, telehealth and other digital health technologies. In short, the hospital must be present wherever the healthcare consumer is.
That's why UPMC — the second largest healthcare provider/payer in the country — has invested in and is partnering with Vivify Health. In essence, our partnership with Vivify is one of our strategic entries into this new era of care.

Vivify's remote patient monitoring technology is toppling the very walls of the hospital itself, or at least bringing it ever closer to the point where it will be used primarily for emergency purposes. Even seniors 90 years and older with chronic and advanced illnesses successfully participate in our remote monitoring program and stay out of the hospital."

Erin Denholm. President and CEO of Trinity Health At Home (Livonia, Mich.): "Trinity Health At Home partnered with Vivify to create HomeCare Connect, a virtual care program that uses advanced and intuitive technologies to help patients connect with their physicians' offices from the comfort of their homes. We are still early in the program's rollout, but results from two of our largest home care agencies are very promising. If we can attribute the reductions in ER visits and readmissions to the partnership, we can declare that the partnership has been profoundly impactful for the people we serve."

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