Being part of a large, faith-based health care system has many advantages. For one, over 10,000 physicians are affiliated with Bon Secours Health System, as well as 21,000 employees, making the talent pool enormous. What’s more, Bon Secours' financial health and stability mean more tools to assist physicians in providing enhanced patient care while reducing costs.
- Joint Clinical Collaborative
After Bon Secours formed its Joint Clinical Collaborative in 2008, amazing things began to happen — specifically, improvements in patient care, engagement and financial performance.
The collaborative brings together on a regular basis the health system’s chief medical, nursing and financial officers whose leadership helps drive Clinical Transformation system-wide. Through this initiative, multi-facility teams working in "Learning Communities" are charged with redesigning care from identification to implementation of best practices.
Since its inception, the Clinical Collaborative has commissioned seven Learning Communities with teams focused on hospital-acquired infections and pressure ulcers, and specific diagnosis groups for orthopedics, perinatal care, cardiovascular surgery and ICU care. The newest groups focus on transitions in care and general surgery. In a remarkably short time, measurable changes have been recorded including the following:
- A reduction in hospital-acquired infections from 2.64 infections per 1,000 patient days to 1.46 ;
- A 52 percent reduction in blood product units per total cardiovascular surgery cases;
- A 19 percent drop in readmissions for patients with chronic kidney disease at the local health system in Greenville, South Carolina; and
- Over $40 million in reported savings from Clinical Transformation.
While it started with a hospital focus, Clinical Transformation has quickly grown to encompass services across the continuum of care. Representatives from physician practices, senior services and home health care have been added to several Learning Communities, and there are focused effort on improving transitions and ensuring optimal care across the continuum.
- Electronic Medical Records: ConnectCare
Another advantage for Bon Secours physicians is ConnectCare, an Epic-based advanced electronic health record system allowing immediate access to leading evidence-based order sets, care plans and pathways. The roll-out of ConnectCare in three primary markets — including 100 primary care practices — is making its mark on quality, efficiency and cost-savings. It is garnering favorable reviews from physicians and their office staffs, providers and patients as improved flow of clinical information takes place. Initial findings show the following:
- Eighty percent of all orders are being directly entered in the system by a physician, mid-level provider or approved nursing protocol.
- More than half of all orders entered are selected from order sets built from evidence-based clinical content.
- The nursing staff from the local health system in Greenville, South Carolina, reports more quality time at the bedside: With transportable computers and the immediate availability of lab results, physician notes, medications and other information, nurses are able to answer patients’ questions immediately and intervene on their behalf.
To pave the way for successful system-wide implementation of ConnectCare and the acceleration of Clinical Transformation, clear alignment processes and structures have been developed.
- MyChart Benefits to Physicians and Patients
An important component of ConnectCare is MyChart. Launched in Virginia in May 2010, MyChart makes communications between physicians/office staff and patients as simple as sending an e-mail, but more secure. Through this online service, which is free to Bon Secours patients, patients can securely send and receive messages as well as request appointments and prescription refills. They can also access test results, hospital discharge instructions and health education topics in addition to reviewing medications, immunizations and medical history. All in all, MyChart helps patients become more engaged, active participants in their care. What’s more, being able to access specific components of their health record means no waiting for doctor call-backs, no telephone tag with the staff and no waiting for the letter in the mail.