The Michigan Value Collaborative

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

Tag: patient outcomes (page 1 of 5)

Addressing social determinants through integrated care

Deby Evans

Deb Evans is the MVC Site Engagement Manager

Despite being one of the world leaders in medical care and research, the United States (U.S.) spends the most amount of money on healthcare, yet better patient outcomes are subject to debate. Not only do physical ailments and mental health disorders affect the health of the population, but social determinants, such as environmental factors, education and transportation availability, also play a prominent role in determining health outcomes. The U.S. healthcare system has typically focused on providing care for physical conditions and diagnoses, yet many patients may have a secondary behavioral health condition. In addition, all patients have their own specific set of social determinants that should be taken into consideration when providing healthcare. These factors ultimately impact behaviors and health outcomes of individuals.

A white paper published by Deloitte Consulting discusses the implications of social determinants on patient outcomes and healthcare costs. It encourages us to seek out and investigate methods to provide more integrated patient care within hospital systems and the U.S. healthcare system as a whole.

Addressing social determinants is a challenge for healthcare providers but a necessary one to help improve patient outcomes along with the added benefit of reducing costs. Some of the ways hospitals can respond to this challenge is by implementing coordinated care, care management or integrated care programs. However, despite varying existing program models, each type brings its own barriers with accessibility, communication and information management being the most complex. By working through these barriers and integrating care for patients, hospitals have the potential to not only affect patient outcomes but also reap the benefits of controlling costs. Rush University Medical Center, for example, is using a tool in their emergency department that allows them to screen for social and structural determinants of health. When used in conjunction with a recently instituted community health needs assessment and the community health implementation plan, this method helps address healthcare disparities in the local neighborhoods and brings positive changes to their patient outcomes.

For more information on the Deloitte paper: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/life-sciences-and-health-care/articles/social-determinants-and-collaborative-health-care-for-plans-and-states.html

For more information on Rush University Medical Center: http://www.hhnmag.com/articles/8441-rush-university-medical-center-targets-community-health-disparities or https://www.rush.edu/sites/default/files/community-health-implementation-plan.pdf

 

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.

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