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IHI: Hospitals, Patients Rethink Care; Berwick Blasts Rhetoric

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 8, 2011

Hospital-Centric No More?
Increasingly, hospitals and health system attendees said they are realizing that they need to rethink what kind of care they give and how they give it. And most importantly, where they give it. More often, the conjunction "with" is used, as in we treat disease with patients.

"I think at our system, hospital executives are coming to the conclusion that the hospital will not be the center hub of healthcare much longer," said Patricia Peers, MD, a family practitioner who came to the meeting from Sioux Falls, SD.  "My goal now must be to never have a patient in the hospital."

IHI attendee Keith Poisson, COO of Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson, MD, said, "Hospitals have been hospital-centric." When he returns home, he said he will raise some questions about whether the hospital should also be involved with the local health department, churches, and schools.

"Part of what we're struggling with is how you do the right thing for the community when you're not incented to do so," Poisson added. "How do we transition from a fee-for-service model to one where we take risks for health, instead of focusing on attracting more doctors and bringing in more admissions."

In her keynote address, IHI president and CEO Maureen Bisognano praised Gundersen-Lutheran Health System in La Crosse, WI for spending its own resources to provide healthier food choices in school cafeterias as well as grocery and convenience stores.

In the hallways, attendees said they were starting to get the idea.

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2 comments on "IHI: Hospitals, Patients Rethink Care; Berwick Blasts Rhetoric"


michael.cipolla (12/12/2011 at 4:26 PM)
"Hospitals have become hospital centric..." And physicians have become physician centric and healthcare insurers have become insurer centric and politicians have always been looking out for themselves. We don't need to get along with each other, but we do need to work together for the patient. That may mean the patient won't get all the MRIs or lab tests or concierge services or gourmet meals that make them happy, but don't contribute to getting them healthy or out of the hospital.

david hahn (12/8/2011 at 2:14 PM)
I do not bow to Professor's knowledge. As a health care professional , I don't think he understands that of which he speaks. Rationing is rationing when the money dries up. We must learn to be cost effective and it may not always be plesant