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SVMHS Readies for Post-Reform: Initiatives Focus on “Triple Aim”

SALINAS, CA, July 30, 2013- Salinas Valley Healthcare System (SVMHS) is putting a number of initiatives in place for success in healthcare’s post-reform era. The goal is to achieve the “triple aim”—improved care, lower costs, and better health for the community.

“The idea behind reform is to improve the entire healthcare delivery system,” said Pete Delgado, president/CEO of SVMHS.  “There are a number of initiatives currently in place to achieve that. As we proceed through the establishment of insurance exchanges, restructured government reimbursement, and more sophisticated information technology systems, our community will benefit from improved care at a lower cost.” 

Some of those initiatives underway at SVMHS include:

· Creation of a Clinically Integrated Network. Salinas Valley Memorial is turning to Clinical Integration (CI) to collaborate with Monterey County physicians in a comprehensive care management system.  The idea behind CI is higher quality and more efficient care delivered at a lower cost. Clinical Integration is designed to improve health outcomes and increase value for employers as well as governmental and commercial payors.

· Focus on patient satisfaction.  Patient satisfaction and the patient experience at SVMHS has always been a priority and under healthcare reform, it will become even more important.  With government reimbursements linked to patient satisfaction scores, SVMHS has turned greater attention to this area of care with impressive results.  In the past year patient satisfaction scores have improved by 15%.  Specific initiatives that have contributed to the change include the creation of a multi-disciplinary team regularly reviewing ways to increase patient satisfaction, an effort to make the hospital quieter, hourly rounding whereby clinicians check with increased frequency on a patient’s pain level,  general comfort, and other needs.

· Provider collaboration. Healthcare reform increases collaboration between providers for the benefit of population health. SVMHS remains open to working with other local and regional providers while abiding by the anti-trust regulations of the federal government, in order to benefit the central coast population through collaborative efforts.  The SVMHS Board of Directors has authorized the president/CEO to engage in discussions with other local providers to explore the potential of increased collaborative efforts.

· Continued focus on cost reduction.  While SVMHS has made significant progress in this area over the last few years, it remains an organizational priority.  SVMHS’ cost to provide care has been reduced by over 15%. 

· Enhanced Information Technology.  One of the greatest hallmarks of healthcare reform is the increased sophistication level and usage of information technology. Medical records are electronic rather than paper, a patient portal is being developed at SVMHS that will allow patients to access their medical record online; electronic health records provide a comprehensive patient history from a full spectrum of providers for more coordinated care, resulting in better population health management.

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