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Working with Partners to Transform Health Care

Young attendees at Sweet Kids Day Camp practice giving shots to a brave nurse. St. Luke’s Humphreys Diabetes Center hosts the camp to provide a safe and fun environment for children with type 1 diabetes to learn skills for life. Humphreys is a collaborator with the DEaM work.
By Dr. David C. Pate, News and Community
June 19, 2013

One of St. Luke's strengths is in recognizing the value of partnerships and being able to work collaboratively to solve very challenging problems in health care. We recognize the importance of working with aligned physicians and other providers, whether employed or independent. We know that we are not in a position to manage the total care of a population in a way that we can be accountable for when it comes to outcomes and costs. 

The delivery system necessary to provide this population health management will include St. Luke's, but includes many independent physicians and facilities, all working together around the state. The delivery system for our area of the state that St. Luke's belongs to is SELECT Medical Network, and the state-wide delivery system of which SELECT Medical Network is a part is BrightPath. 

I have asked Chereen Langrill, communications coordinator for the SELECT Medical Network and BrightPath, to be my guest blogger today and explain more about this critical piece of the bigger picture of our healthcare delivery serving the people of Idaho and neighboring states. Her report follows:

This is an exciting time of transformation at St. Luke’s, as the organization works to form new relationships in our communities, and strengthen existing ones, all toward the Triple Aim: better health, better care, and lower cost.

Managing the health of a population in a sustainable way means creating a delivery system with the scope and depth necessary to accomplish the St. Luke’s mission of improving the health of people in the region.

The thinking and focus are expanding out from the idea of a hospital system and associated providers, toward the idea of a delivery system that can do more than deliver high quality “sick care,” and create an integrated process that can effectively manage the health of a population.

St.Luke’s was a founder in the formation of SELECT Medical Network of Idaho, Inc. (SELECT) in 2002, along with nine independent primary care clinics and their physician leaders.

SELECT is reorganizing and reapplying its efforts to develop new and innovative clinical programs to serve the population as it moves toward clinical integration. As we build programs and services, you will hear more about our successes and their impact in our communities.

Here’s how St. Luke’s affiliation works with SELECT and BrightPath, and how the relationship furthers the mission.

What is SELECT Medical Network?

SELECT is a network of healthcare providers in Southwest Idaho, including those employed by St. Luke’s Health System and even more independent providers, that is transitioning to a model of clinical integration. Clinical integration is a process that aligns providers around care transformation and then supports that new way of delivering care with a business model that makes long-term sense.

Participating providers in SELECT are developing an integrated, coordinated model of care delivery that is focused on providing enhanced quality and better value to individuals, employers, and insurers. St. Luke’s recognizes the value of working with SELECT and its independent providers. It will take a team effort to transform care across the continuum.

As SELECT evolves, it is expanding beyond Ada and Canyon counties to include Twin Falls, McCall, and the Wood River Valley. The goal is to cover the geographic area that represents where most health care occurs for people in our region.

The expansion will also include contracting with additional healthcare providers, such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, durable medical equipment suppliers, skilled nursing facilities, and others.

How will these relationships benefit everyone?

We are moving from a traditional model of caring for sick people and embracing an innovative, modern approach to helping a population manage its health.

Simply cutting costs isn’t enough to make health care more accessible or affordable. We must also find ways to empower and engage people to improve their health. At the same time, we’ll make sure that those people who are patients receive the right care at the right time in the right setting. We call this accountable care.  

This new concept of being accountable for the health of people in our region includes involvement from patients, providers, and other stakeholders, and extends beyond St. Luke’s. The results of these efforts are just beginning to surface.

Some of these accountable care programs include:

The Clinical Integration Scorecard

This new technology gives physicians and other care providers easy, near real-time access to patient-specific information. When scaled to the network level, it allows participating providers to better understand how an individual provider or clinic performs or manages patients with certain conditions.

Being able to see this type of information in a meaningful and actionable format is unique and offers a great opportunity for physicians to learn best practices from each other and from other clinics. The scorecard is a foundational element that organizers of several clinical integration initiatives use to relay information to providers.

DEaM

The Diabetes Education and Management (DEaM) initiative has its roots in a number of process improvement efforts across various providers, hospitals, clinics, and other community resources. DEaM aims to improve diabetes education and care for patients with diabetes across providers within SELECT. By working together in a cooperative way, the goal is to reach further across our community and engage patients and their families in managing diabetes in ways that meet their needs.

The Patient-Centeredness Survey

Patient centeredness is a novel concept in health care, and it’s a bit different from what we think of as patient satisfaction. Patient-centeredness has to do with how a patient’s needs are met, and involves shared decision-making, robust patient education, and a view of health care from the patient’s perspective, rather than the provider’s perspective. 

How does SELECT fit into the St. Luke’s structure?

St.Luke’s facilities and caregivers, along with other providers and caregivers, are participants within the SELECT Medical Network. These providers have aligned around common philosophies focusing on reinventing how our population is cared for, tools that can be cooperatively developed, such as common data and standards, and how a sustainable model for a sustainable future can be organized.

What is the connection between St. Luke’s, SELECT, and BrightPath?

BrightPath was founded in May 2005 and is a statewide network that aligns the three general regions of Idaho (north, southwest, and east) around common goals like the concepts represented by the Triple Aim. 

BrightPath supports local care efforts in these regions, and helps organize, develop, and implement shared ideas where it’s appropriate. Those ideas may include best practices, common data and reporting systems, and other ideas that could help all Idahoans. SELECT is the Southwest Idaho representative in the larger BrightPath organization.

St. Luke’s work with BrightPath is another way to connect in the communities St. Luke’s serves. More than 35,000 BrightPath members are served throughout Idaho, and the network includes more than 5,600 providers and healthcare professionals and 75 hospitals and service providers statewide.

With participation in these larger networks, St. Luke’s also is able to augment its ability to care for individuals across all care settings.

And St. Luke’s can learn a lot from its partners as the care transformation continues. St. Luke’s relationship with SELECT in our region, BrightPath throughout the state, and like-minded providers is intended to take the health of our population to a new level.


About The Author

David C. Pate, M.D., J.D., is president and CEO of St. Luke's Health System, based in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Pate joined the System in 2009. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.