Ontario, Calif., June 28, 2012 - ModernHealthcare.com published a featured story last week on the positive impact of health systems on patient care and financial performance. Prime Healthcare Services was highlighted in the article as an example of health system quality and success.
From the article (Click HERE to read the full article):
Hospitals that are part of systems not only provide more cost-efficient care, but they also deliver a higher quality of care, according to the Truven analysis, which used data from its 100 Top Hospitals and 15 Top Health Systems studies. Its research found that hospitals that were part of larger chains outperformed their independent peers on safety, quality and cost-effectiveness measures. In addition, hospitals that were part of systems were about three times more likely to appear on the 100 Top Hospitals list.
Prime Healthcare Services, Ontario, Calif., has been an active acquirer of underperforming hospitals, closing on one deal June 1 with two more in the pipeline. The hospitals on its radar were "struggling financially, operationally – pretty much everything," says Luis Leon, chief operating officer, who notes that it typically takes about a year to get them up to its standards. "It's a complete overhaul; it's overall from A to Z."
Some of the resources Prime provides to the new hospitals in its system include running training programs for medical staff, building a case management team, establishing a hospitalist program, and installing a medical director to focus on patient care and quality of care. The system has also strengthened the corporate position of performance improvement director.
"We tend to put emphasis on all those clinical areas that are probably the vehicle to quality and good patient care," Leon says. "We start from the clinical point of view" and financial benefits follow.
One strategy the system employs is identifying successful practices at one hospital and trying to replicate them across the organization – whether it's a facility that has a particularly efficient linen department or Desert Valley Hospital, Victorville, Calif., becoming the first Prime hospital to win a 100 Top Hospitals award seven years ago.
After Desert Valley won its place on the list, Leon, who was then its administrator, recalls that an effort was made to use the award criteria to reproduce the results across the system.
It's that sort of exchange that helped a facility such as 369-bed Centinela Hospital Medical Center in the underserved community of Inglewood, Calif., earn its spot on the 100 Top Hospitals list, Leon notes. Prime itself, which owns 17 hospitals, has twice been named a 15 Top Health System.
"We are a hands-on system," Leon says, adding that hospitals are compared against each other and held to task to raise standards. CEOs also meet regularly to discuss what's going well and what's not going well. "For us, the motivation is to be the best."