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Hospital for Special Care, like all healthcare institutions, is preparing for a potentially tumultuous year of change. At our hospital, it’s our nature to study something and say, “OK, this is what we have to do, so let’s do it.”
The problem this year is that we really don’t know how the healthcare environment will look after the Supreme Court decision, the upcoming elections and the rather volatile economic outlook. So what do we do? Sitting back and doing nothing is not an option.
HSC will focus on three initiatives that we believe will position us to thrive in whatever healthcare world emerges in the coming years. HSC has always faced healthcare challenges head-on. We are a healthcare partner, and a resource, with a unique model of care. We are known as the Hospital whose on-going mission is to seek solutions, and overcome challenges. We don’t view problems as obstacles, but rather as opportunities for growth. We welcome this new frontier.
First, HSC is building on its long-standing mission of responding to community needs by creating a culture that embraces change and builds accountability at all levels of the organization. These will be important values and attitudes as we identify how we can best meet the needs of individuals with complex and chronic conditions.
For example, for years, long inpatient stays were the only options for many people. We may now serve people with the same needs with shorter stays than support them through outpatient, or community-based services when they return home. We see the beginning of this trend in our Neuromuscular and Autism Centers.
Second, as we look to the future, we cannot and will not forget about the people who depend on us in the present. I like to describe our operating approach as having a triple focus: To improve the patient experience, improve outcomes and improve cost effectiveness. These are the standards that healthcare leaders now apply to all decisions, and this will be how we judge ourselves in each of our programs and services. Not coincidentally, these initiatives will also form the basis for any new programs or services that we develop.
Third, we recognize that the healthcare world we are entering will be one where all members of the system will find it necessary to work closely together to achieve common goals such as our three aims. This means that we will continue to build strategic partnerships with other providers, payers, advocates, and government agencies. HSC always has served a broad base of stakeholders, and we believe that this will continue in the new world of healthcare.
As we look into the future, we can only get a glimpse of what may be ahead, but we believe the path we have embarked upon will prepare us for what we will encounter. So in the coming year, as discussions go on about concepts such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), medical homes, integrated care, shared risk, health neighborhoods, or any of the other “new” healthcare organizations, HSC will be well positioned to decide the role we will play.
As I speak with people, or just watch them go about their lives and jobs at HSC each day, I am struck by the dedication and concern they have for patients, families and their fellow workers. We are confident that the path we are taking will provide our staff with the environment and resources they need to fulfill our mission of offering hope and rebuilding lives.
Finally, David Crandall, my close friend and colleague for over the last 22 years, has been instrumental in helping build HSC’s leadership position in our field, and the support that our hospital enjoys among our communities. Dave’s many friends and ties to this community have been an important catalyst to our growth and overall success. I speak for the entire leadership team at HSC in wishing David the very best in his retirement.