Let’s be honest: Nobody looks forward to a hospital stay or even a doctor visit.
Of course, when you need help, you want to see the best specialists at the nicest facilities as quickly and as inexpensively as possible.
But the most successful health providers of tomorrow will do more than provide outstanding care to the ill and injured. They will innovate new ways to make their communities healthier. That’s the secret sauce to driving down health care costs; it’s a concept called “population health.”
That’s precisely what we’re focused on at Hoag – providing the best care to those who need it and making Orange County healthier. And that’s exactly why we partnered with St. Joseph Health.
Through the affiliation, our reach expands beyond Newport Beach and Irvine to cover every corner of Orange County.
The partnership offers seven of the region’s best hospitals, its best clinics and ambulatory care facilities (for example breast imaging and ambulatory surgical centers), providers, equipment and overall knowledge and medical talent. The result: we can provide more comprehensive care across an entire continuum of needs (wellness, primary, specialty, long-term, palliative).
A great example of how it works: diabetes management. Hoag has some of the nation's leading quality protocols in this area, and now St. Joseph Health is implementing these protocols across all its hospitals, resulting in improved diabetes care for all of Orange County. Another example is the availability of sophisticated equipment such as the Gamma Knife, used in the treatment of brain disorders, across the expanded system.
Our combined best practices are resulting in an elevated quality of service. A larger pool of health care experts is now more accessible – and they are committed to sharing information and best practices.
There’s also a significant cost-saving component that benefits patients. Better-shared information and services within the network are reducing duplication and unnecessary tests. Sharing services, such as purchasing, also affords us cost savings that get passed along to patients.
Perhaps the most exciting area of our partnership is our combined efforts to create new preventative health services and wellness programs. The programs seek to identify high-risk individuals, provide tools to change unhealthy behaviors and support employees along the way, which will help them improve their overall health, as well as their employer’s bottom line.
Hoag’s mission has always been to deliver the highest quality healthcare to the community we serve. Our partnership with St. Joseph Health makes all of Orange County our community and provides the basis to develop a model of care that aims to make Orange County healthier.
A healthier Orange County should translate to fewer doctor visits and shorter hospital stays. And that’s something everybody can look forward to.
- Dr. Jack L. Cox is the chief quality officer for Hoag Hospital.
To view the original Orange County Register article, click here.