The Michigan Value Collaborative

Helping Michigan hospitals achieve their best possible patient outcomes at the lowest reasonable cost

Tag: costs (page 1 of 2)

McLaren- Lansing: Using Change as an Opportunity for Optimizing Palliative Care

Kim Hecksel

McLaren- Lansing Palliative Care nurses from left to right: Kim, RN, Paula, CNP and Carol, RN

Although the palliative care program at McLaren- Lansing has been around for about a decade, health care organizations are constantly changing and evolving to meet patient and family needs. The MVC Coordinating Center had the opportunity to speak to the team of case managers and nurses from McLaren- Lansing to hear about the different successes and barriers to palliative care at this facility. One distinct characteristic of this palliative care program is that patients and families are seen by and interact with consistent faces, rather than different clinicians, each time they visit. McLaren uses this consistency as leverage through transitions of care, especially at a time when clinician duties and health organizations are constantly changing.

The palliative care program at McLaren- Lansing also keeps up with the constant changes in health care by utilizing different online resources. One resource available to hospitals interested in palliative care programs is the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC). CAPC offers a platform to help provide different health care organizations across the nation the tools and resources needed to advance palliative care programs in their respective institutions. For example, some CAPC resources help palliative care teams set up and develop a business plan for their respective palliative care programs. CAPC resources are helping guide the McLaren- Lansing team in creating a business model that illustrates the financial impact of a palliative care program on the health system. For more information on CAPC and the resources they can provide, visit www.capc.org.

The palliative care team also looks at the big picture of the care provided to patients and consequently putting together different pieces of information to ultimately develop a course of treatment that best meets the needs of the patients and the family involved. One of the barriers McLaren- Lansing has with their palliative care program is working with patients, family members and other health care providers on understanding the value of palliative care and what it really offers. When met with this resistance, the palliative care team works in different ways on learning about and discussing the care plan and goal setting to find the right format for communication and understanding a diverse patient population. For example, the palliative care team engages with physicians one-on-one and attends presentations on the benefits of palliative care to better understand and work with patients and their families about their diagnosis and individualized care plan. Taking advantage of different resources available, such as CAPC, and instilling a strong support system among the palliative care team and liaising teams are factors that aid in instituting a successful palliative care program.

If you are interested in learning more about the palliative care program at McLaren- Lansing, please feel free to reach out to Deby (debevans@med.umich.edu) or Abeer (abeery@med.umich.edu) for more information and contact.

Using Smartphone Apps for Health Care Transportation

Deby Evans

Deb Evans is the Site Engagement Manager for MVC.

In a recent article, (https://www.statnews.com/2017/04/05/uber-lyft-emergency-room-ride/) a growing number of patients have started to use Uber and Lyft to get to emergency rooms. Patients cited the cost savings and ability to choose where to receive care as reasons to use these apps as alternatives to an ambulance.  One potential risk with patients choosing where to receive care is that the preferred hospital may not be equipped to treat the emergency condition.  As a result, an ambulance is necessary to safely transport the patient to a more appropriate facility and the app is not the more cost-effective alternative.  Despite this limitation, there may be value in using ride share applications including extending the use to care for non-emergent patients.

Costs associated with missed healthcare appointments can be high for healthcare centers and hospitals. During the CHF peer-to-peer workgroups, one root cause for readmissions is lack of transportation.  As discussed in the toolkit, lack of transportation directly affects physician and clinic follow-up visits that could lead to an avoidable emergency room visit or readmission.  One participating hospital developed an initiative involving senior centers within the community to mitigate transportation issues for follow-up appointments.  If a partnering with community center is not an option in your area, utilizing ride share apps may be a less expensive alternative to help patients get to their physician appointments.  In a second article, http://www.wbur.org/bostonomix/2016/09/27/online-tool-hospital-transportation-uber hospitals have begun partnering with at least one of the apps and have found considerable benefits for their patients.

Have you thought about using a ride share app? What does your hospital do to help reduce the number of missed appointments?

 

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