YATES: We put our innovation efforts under the moniker of transformation of care, primary care redesign, chronic care coordination and learning to be accountable. I’m optimistic about some of these innovations, especially primary care redesign, including the patient-centered medical home. It really can move care forward. We need to think about the specialists and how they will fit into the medical home model. We need to be looking at physicians who aren’t employed by the system. How do we engage those independent physicians? We are beginning to look at connectivity and bringing everyone together. And rather than just doing it as a system, we’re working with other health systems in our marketplace to try to develop a community wide approach.
MODERATOR: What’s your advice to the field in terms of moving forward on patient-centered care, based on your experience?
PAULSON: We try to find those things that we can break down into predictable outcomes, predictable transactions and make those things as effi cient as possible. We then redeploy our resources into the patient communication environment. That’s what has to be done. We’ve gotten so good at certain things. We need to continue to find ways to reallocate resources to help patients through the billing process, among other things. So that’s my advice. Try to get those things you can down to the simplest, most repeatable level, but then redeploy those resources in the areas that are untouched.
GLASER: Twenty-five years ago, I was a new chief information officer at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. And the CEO at the time always advised me to do what’s best for the patient. He was absolutely right. We need to have that foremost in our minds. As we go through all kinds of complicated decisions, technical and otherwise, there won’t always be an easy answer. But if we do what’s right for the patient, we’re on the right path.
GAFFNEY: Every decision that we make has to be about the patient. And part of my responsibility at Winthrop is the patient experience program. The program is built on the tenet that every single thing we do has to be about the patient. To get there, we also had to make sure that our staff are happy and able to provide the care that they want to provide. We focus on mutual respect in the workplace, as well as creating a healing environment. We feel that without those two pieces within our organization, we will not be able to truly influence change across some of the more complex environments, such as workflows, process and clinical excellence. We’re going to build a better patient experience, in part, by identifying the barriers that clinicians experience in their work.
MISTRETTA: Every meeting that we have basically starts with: What’s in this for the patient? That’s what it’s about. That wasn’t necessarily true five years ago.
DAHL: Banner’s mission is: We make a difference in peoples’ lives through excellent patient care. It’s not unlike what the rest of you have said. I would add that leadership from the board and the CEO is crucial. And that means, among other things, holding people accountable for their work. If a physician or employee is disruptive, that’s not acceptable. If they don’t change their behavior, they are not the right fit for the organization. That’s just one way that we keep the focus on clinical quality. I appreciate Banner’s focus on the leadership aspect to make that patient care happen.
YATES: In a complex environment, it’s important to use simple rules. Putting the patient at the center of care is an excellent rule as we go forward. That means trying to understand where they’re coming from and anticipating their wants and needs. To be successful, we need to build a culture of patient-centeredness. My advice to others: Don’t be afraid to embrace some of the promising new models that are coming along and to think across silos.