A Year Later, A Look Ahead

by Dr. Mike Cruz - OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center

It’s been nearly a year since I was named president of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. While it would be easy to look back on the accomplishments of the past year, I prefer to look forward to the exciting things that lie ahead.

As I was beginning my time as president, I remarked that the medical center has to create a value-added environment and provide patient-centered care while maintaining and controlling costs. That hasn’t changed. Just as important as ever is the teamwork and collaboration necessary on the part of every employee to make sure that happens.

Across the OSF Ministry, there are pillars that guide us to serve, connect and ultimately transform care to those in need. Three of these pillars focus on the patient and his or her family: service excellence, quality of care (outcomes) and patient safety (eliminating avoidable harm), and our community of caregivers. These tenets form the foundation of our work in healthcare, and we need to excel in these areas before we explore additional work. Our mission partners are fully engaged by having opportunities in scholarly growth, program development and succession planning.

OSF HealthCare continues to lead as a Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO). The ACO model requires providers to deliver more coordinated care for Medicare beneficiaries. OSF HealthCare became a Pioneer ACO in January 2012, and is one of 20 remaining from the original 32. As of September, OSF ranked fifth in overall quality when it comes to better treatment for asthma, hypertension, diabetes and immunizations. In addition, OSF has submitted an application for the next-generation ACO to be launched in January—we keep learning.

In the days to come, you will increasingly be hearing about population health. OSF HealthCare wants you to stay healthy and out of the hospital, and is working with organizations throughout the community to provide care and resources in the most beneficial way. As a healthcare system, we are increasingly being held accountable by payers, insurers, employees, and most importantly, our patients.

As healthcare continues to transform, relationships are more important than ever. As an academic medical center, our connection with the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria through 11 post-graduate residency programs and five fellowship training programs is vital to continue to maintain and grow the high level of physician expertise in the Peoria area. OSF IPMR’s October 1st activation is just one example of a key relationship with a healthcare community partner. We will maintain office locations, insurance network coverage and referral processes while improving operations and access for patients.

On the horizon is the continued expansion of comprehensive cancer care as we work to reach our goal of reducing the incidence of cancer by five percent in five years. It’s a lofty and important goal, to which we are committed as we work to coordinate survivorship, counseling, medical oncology, outpatient chemotherapy, high-dose radiation and complex surgery while keeping a laser focus on the patient experience and outcomes.

From a technology perspective, I look forward to the opening of our latest MRI by year’s end. This Intraoperative MRI allows surgeons to image patients while in the operating room, and it’s particularly important for patients, such as those with brain cancer, because it allows surgeons to “see” if all the cancer has been removed before leaving the OR. In addition, surgical robots allow us to perform extremely complex surgeries in a less invasive, more efficient manner. We’re striving to provide the best healthcare right here in central Illinois.

I continue to take occasional shifts in the Emergency Department, as it keeps me connected to why we are all here: to serve those in need. We are on track to see about 90,000 patients in the ED this year. Our team of nurses, students, techs, housekeeping and pastoral care staff, residents and physicians are the unsung heroes, in my opinion. I am both humbled and honored to work beside them.

As we look forward to 2016 and all the promise it holds, I wish you and your families all the best as we continue to serve with the greatest care and love. iBi

 

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