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2 Questions with Bassett Healthcare Network CEO

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   July 29, 2021

Tommy Ibrahim, MD, MHA, CEO of Bassett, shares how the health system utilizes partnerships and innovations to care for its communities and workforce.

It's been more than a year since the COVID-19 pandemic initially rocked the U.S. healthcare system and many hospitals have partnered with outside organizations to innovate and survive.

These partnerships have allowed providers to be nimbler to handle patient surges, keep the workforce safe, vaccinate their respective patient populations, and address social determinants of health.

More than halfway through 2021, hospitals and health systems are continuing to embrace widespread innovations and partnerships to help care for their communities and staff.

Among these is Bassett Health Network, an independent, integrated health system headquartered in Cooperstown, New York, comprised of Bassett Medical Center, the Bassett Heart Care Institute, and the Bassett Cancer Institute, and the Bassett Medical Group.

Tommy Ibrahim, MD, MHA, CEO of Bassett, recently spoke with HealthLeaders about how the health system utilizes partnerships and innovations to care for its communities and workforce.

This transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity.

HealthLeaders: What strategies and collaborations are Bassett healthcare excited to implement this year?

Tommy Ibrahim: We have a long-standing history of serving this region. Our healthcare system has been committed to maintaining an independently governed healthcare system for Cooperstown and the surrounding areas. As a result of the big scheme of major industry trends and significant challenges that healthcare organizations continue to face, we had to think innovatively and creatively about sustaining that independence and sustaining the mission of the organization long term.

We are looking at partnering with local health systems and other players within the healthcare industry to continue to advance key areas consistent with our mission. Without going into too much detail, we have a lot of exciting conversations underway, regionally as well as nationally. We're going to continue to serve the community the way it needs to be served.

In healthcare, quite frankly, it needs to be more about collaboration and how we can bring respective value to our communities through the leveraging of the strengths, expertise, and value that other organizations can bring. You're going to continue to see a lot more partnerships developed in healthcare and that trend is already picking up steam.

HL: Bassett Healthcare recently announced a new security system to curb workplace violence on its employees. How will this initiative work?

Ibrahim: This is just one of many, significant investments that we're going to be making into our workforce and into our people. The incidence of workplace violence is quickly accelerating across healthcare, and particularly that has become exacerbated with the pandemic, accelerating mental health issues, substance abuse issues, and ultimately translating into additional episodes of workplace violence on staff and caregivers.

This technology, which is developed by Strongline, is an innovative and creative tool that enables healthcare workers and caregivers to quickly alarm nearby surroundings, nearby employees, as well as to a centralized monitoring station, any potential issue that might result in an increased risk of them being harmed by a patient, by a family member, or another potential person within the healthcare environment.

The way it works is it's Bluetooth-enabled and through an easy-to-deploy tool on our caregiver badges, they can quickly press a button discreetly. We send an alarm to a central monitoring station to notify others that something might be escalating, or they might be in potential danger.

Related: From Crisis to Opportunity: Partnering to Address SDOH, Health Disparities

Related: Hospital Revenues Up Despite Shift to Regional Partnerships

“You're going to continue to see a lot more partnerships developed in healthcare, and that trend is already picking up steam.”

Melanie Blackman is the strategy editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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