University of Iowa Health Care joins national effort to improve care

Source: Healthcare IT News

University of Iowa Health Care leaders announced today that the state's only comprehensive academic medical center has joined the High Value Healthcare Collaborative ( HVHC ), a national effort by leading health care systems to improve care, lower costs and move best practices out to the national provider community.

UI Health Care joins forces with other major health systems, including the group's founding members of the Cleveland Clinic, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Mayo Clinic, Intermountain Healthcare and Denver Health.

"We strongly believe in the goals of the collaborative. The efforts we have already implemented to increase patient safety, improve outcomes and contain costs align perfectly with the aims of this important group," said Jean Robillard, M.D., vice president for medical affairs, UI Health Care.

Currently, the collaborative members are working together in nine increasingly prevalent condition/disease-specific areas that have been shown to have wide variation in rates, costs and outcomes nationally. Those areas include: total knee replacement; diabetes; asthma; hip surgery; heart failure; perinatal care; depression; spine surgery and weight loss surgery.

"We share the commitment of the collaborative to addressing these very important issues," Robillard added. "By sharing information about care pathways, costs and outcomes data we can adopt best practices and improve our standards of care."

He further stated, "Joining the collaborative will help accelerate efforts to make patient care safer, more efficient and effective, and tailored to each patient's needs, which will actually decrease costs."

Other new members of the collaborative include: Baylor Health Care System, Beaumont Hospitals, MaineHealth, Scott & White Health Care, Sutter Health System, UCLA Health System, and Virginia Mason Medical Center.

The new members were selected by the founding collaborative group based on a nomination and review process. Criteria included having strong research and quality improvement processes, a robust health information technology ( HIT ) infrastructure, a commitment of personnel, operational, and financial resources, and demonstrated experience in collaboration across institutions.

UI Health Care has also joined an initiative recently launched by the federal government called Partnership for Patients: Better Care, Lower Costs, a new public-private partnership that will help improve the quality, safety and affordability of health care for all Americans. The Partnership for Patients brings together leaders of major hospitals, employers, physicians, nurses and patient advocates along with state and federal governments in a shared effort to make hospital care safer, more reliable and less costly.

Robillard commented, "We are honored to be part of both of these leading-edge efforts. Our involvement in this work recognizes the strong reputation of UI Health Care and our leadership in these important areas."

The two goals of the Partnership for Patients are to keep patients from getting injured or sicker, and to help patients heal without complications. Achieving these goals will save lives and prevent injuries to millions of Americans, and has the potential to save up to $35 billion dollars across the health care system, including up to $10 billion in Medicare savings, over the next three years. Over the next ten years, it could reduce costs to Medicare by about $50 billion and result in billions more in Medicaid savings.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Care Marketing and Communications, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room W319 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009