You may have heard that ThedaCare recently affiliated with Community Health Network, based in Berlin, and Wild Rose Community Memorial Hospital. In a time when many people are confused by the myriad changes occurring across the health care landscape, we at ThedaCare thought it might be helpful to share our perspective on why these new affiliations benefit patients and payers, and how we’re working to make health care less confusing and more aligned.
Let’s begin with quality. Many people in our region, throughout the state and internationally look to ThedaCare for quality. Business leaders routinely talk with us about our quality standards and how we’re meeting them. If you’re not in that group, we invite your questions! No matter where your employees live, we believe they deserve consistent, quality health care. The people in northeastern Wisconsin should have confidence their care meets the same high standards, whether they get it in a small town or a big city.
Many smaller health systems desire to improve their quality, but lack the capabilities and resources to make significant change. In a healthcare world that’s facing enormous performance and financial pressures, and is increasingly focused on value and integration, we providers need to be good stewards of our assets. When Wild Rose and CHN expressed interest in accessing our data, processes and approach to quality, we got excited. Today, as a result of our new relationships, we are replicating in Berlin and Wild Rose the systems, models and data transparency that drive our best-in-state performance in clinical care (check it out at www.wchq.org).
It’s important to note we believe in shared wisdom. So, even as we seek to steward resources at all our medical centers and clinics, whether they’ve been in the ThedaCare family a long or short time, we listen and learn. We gain from each other. If you know us, you’re not surprised this is our practice. More than ten years ago, we took to heart what we learned from the business community, specifically from local manufacturer Ariens Company, and created a better way to use healthcare resources, advance quality care, and focus on what patients experience as effective and productive. That’s still how we operate.
This kind of stewardship allows patients to access the most helpful and healing care, while we pursue innovative ways of achieving more value. For example, we believe most health care should be accessible close to home – and that’s what local hospitals and clinics afford. We also know there are areas of care best delivered elsewhere, to avoid duplication, keep a handle on costs and maintain highly effective care. High-tech ORs, specialized radiology units and trauma care, for example, are shared within our system. Now, they are easily accessible to the residents of Wautoma and Waushara counties.
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of the new affiliations is ThedaCare’s electronic medical record. Small-town doctors connected to one electronic medical record system are more connected than ever to their patients as they share notes with specialists, review clinical benchmarks and research best practices. That’s a huge step we’ve recently completed with our friends in Wild Rose, and at CHN.
We’re excited to welcome CHN and Wild Rose to ThedaCare, and we look forward to continuing the process of fully incorporating them into our system of care. If your employees are patients at any of ThedaCare’s facilities in our now seven-hospital system – and even if they’re not – we’re happy to talk further. Remember, we aim to reduce the confusion.
By Brian Burmeister, senior vice president of ThedaCare’s hospitals. To send your thoughts to Burmeister, email firstname.lastname@example.org.