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Innovation in Action Going Forward

Last Updated Friday, August 12, 2011 2:39:31 PM

Looking to the Future graphic

Looking To the Future

Since 1961, we've been working to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of our patients and their families. Now, as we recognize our 50th anniversary, we celebrate the innovative spirit that has transformed our community hospital into a world-class institution. We will strive to bring our patients the latest technologies and treatments, in a warm, healing environment. Because we are committed to doing whatever it takes to deliver the finest care, anywhere.

A View of Innovations in the Works: Helping Discharged Patients Stay that Way

Hospital readmissions account for billions of dollars in health care costs each year and are often preventable. With that in mind, in 2012 Medicare will impose financial penalties on hospitals for readmissions, in an effort to reduce them. To curb readmissions, we have several innovative initiatives in progress. First, we are working with hospitals and other associated providers in our area in a program called ARC--Avoiding Readmissions through Collaboration. Members share relevant information about preadmission, hospital stay, and post-discharge in the hopes of finding patterns. What's more, we are tackling the issue by contacting discharged patients to make sure they understand instructions, followed by telephone calls one week, two weeks, and 30 days after release.

For certain at-risk patients, we are using a new idea with ties to the past--the doctor house call. Dr. David Jones, an internal medicine specialist and founder of Bay Area House Call Physicians, will visit patients at home during the first 30 days, with the first visit 48 hours after discharge. Dr. Jones will bring all necessary equipment to do x-ray testing or blood work in the home.

Patients' Medical Reports Now Available to Physicians Online

The residents of Silicon Valley are highly mobile. In addition to receiving treatment from the hospital, our patients see primary care physicians and specialists throughout the region, and visit labs, clinics, and pharmacies all over the world. Providing care safely, efficiently, and privately requires bringing patient information together and then making it available securely to providers at the point of care.

Our innovative eConnect program is a health information exchange that brings together information from multiple sources and delivers it securely over the Internet to authorized physicians in their offices, in skilled nursing facilities and other hospitals. Today eConnect has over 500 subscribers who receive lab results, radiology reports, and transcriptions. In the next year, the number of subscribers will double and more information from more sources will be added.

Visitors from Abroad

The new El Camino Hospital, with its modern design and advanced technology is attracting visitors from all over the world who want to learn more about the hospital's innovative business and clinical delivery models. Groups have come from Taiwan, Thailand, Norway, Denmark, China, Japan and Singapore, among others.

In addition to touring the facility, visitors meet with hospital leaders to share information about their countries' health care systems and to ask about how American health care is structured and managed.

In the future, the hospital hopes to further develop these tours into an international envoy program, with a goal of fostering positive cultural and business relationships with "sister hospitals" in Asia and around the world.