As health care continues to evolve, essential hospitals lead the way with innovations that transform care for patients. Several presentations on innovation and adaptation at VITAL2018, our annual meeting, highlighted key insights from hospital leaders.

1. Engage providers and front-line staff to improve operational effectiveness and provide quality care.

Leaders from Premier Healthcare Alliance and Vidant Health discussed insights from the Premier Physician Enterprise Collaborative, a new performance improvement collaborative to help health systems navigate the integration and alignment of employed and affiliated medical groups while optimizing overall practice performance. They highlighted the importance of operational effectiveness for enabling physicians to experience the restorative effects of a caring relationship with patients.

“We talk about patient-centered and provider-centered. The truth is, patients and providers are all in the center together.”

—Dan Drake, Senior Vice President of Operations, Vidant Medical Group.

Andrew Ziskind, senior vice president of academic health system strategy at Premier, suggested that incentives do not always have to be financially motivated — they can signal organizational priorities.

In a separate session, association member Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) also noted the importance of engaging providers and front-line staff in efforts to innovate. ECMC set a goal to achieve zero harm and transform care at the bedside using front-line engagement to improve key quality and patient safety metrics. To incorporate a “state of collective mindfulness,” leaders started each meeting by reading a patient or family letter to help reflect on the day’s work and focus on patient experience. Using these measures, ECMC increased patient experience measures to the 84th percentile, an 843 percent increase!

2. Empower patients to be the ‘drivers of their life.’

Leaders from Maricopa Integrated Health System presented on their First Episode Center, an innovative treatment and support program serving adolescents and young adults experiencing psychosis. The First Episode Center focuses on person-centered care and uses person-centered language in job titles. The center provides services in a variety of settings depending on the patient’s preference. Over the past year, they received more than 60 referrals and used a team approach to ensure the whole health of the person is considered. Further, Maricopa’s Family Resource Center supports parents and families, offering a monthly family night and a “hearing voices” training.

3. Work together to replicate promising programs.

Leaders at association members Boston Medical Center and NYC Health + Hospitals (NYC H+H) showed how essential hospitals can work together to combat major health care issues, such as the opioid crisis. They collaborated to replicate a program originally started at NYC H+H in response to a 50 percent increase in opioid-overdose deaths in New York City. The multipronged response plan included coordinating with city agencies, engaging leadership, training workforce, and building capacity for data collection.

In a separate session, clinical leaders at Eskenazi Health, in Indianapolis, described the importance of partnerships and patient engagement to improve opioid overdose response. Through Project POINT: Planned Outreach, Intervention, Naloxone, and Treatment, patients who experience an opioid overdose are connected with peer recovery coaches. POINT team members found that most post-overdose patients are interested in engaging in outreach, whether it be naloxone education, HIV/HCV testing, or treatment referral.

Don’t miss valuable insights like these and many others next year, at VITAL2019, June 19-21, in Miami. Our call for presentation and poster proposals opens Oct. 1.