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How One Health System Has Improved Perinatal Care

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, January 3, 2012
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To improve a key aspect of its women’s program, Bon Secours Richmond Health System also is launching a perinatal program modeled after Geisinger’s, said Mary Anne Graf, vice president of women’s and children’s services at Bon Secours Virginia Health System. Graf noted that Bon Secours has a comanagement plan to increase revenue and improve patient outcomes. “There [are] margins out there, but in areas we have yet to explore,” Graf said, referring to profitability potential within the service line. Bon Secours is a $6.2 billion not-for-profit Catholic hospital health system, with 18 acute care hospitals, including its 391-staffed- bed St. Mary’s Hospital.

Mateer and Graf were among the speakers at a September 15 HealthLeaders Media Rounds event, “Women’s Health Strategies for Service Line Growth and Quality.”

Geisinger’s Perinatal ProvenCare strategy drives fundamental efficiency improvements through process reliability and elimination of documentation redundancy, according to Mateer. At least 100 “evidence-based elements of care are incorporated, measured, and tracked for compliance,” he said. 

The Perinatal ProvenCare model adopted changes that were initiated in the cardiology program. When the cardiology program revised its structure, all elements of care were examined, Mateer said. “All the heart surgeons know there are certain best practices prior to surgery, during surgery, and after surgery. Our administration asked [the cardiology leadership] to look and see how they were doing, and they were surprised they weren’t doing nearly as well as they thought they were,” Mateer said. Initiating electronic medical records throughout the cardiology system helped improved care, he said. “They felt so good about the system that they came out with what is known as the Geisinger Warranty—they would not charge for patients who were readmitted for complication of heart surgery within three months.”

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