Transforming Community Care, One Step at a Time
Somehow, we’ve created an environment here in the U.S. that’s more confusing than helpful when it comes to healthcare. It’s now almost close to impossible for the average person to understand what services they need and when, let alone where they should go, who they should see or how they’re going to pay for those services.
It shouldn’t be this difficult.
But that’s what happens when the business of healthcare gets in the way of the practice of healthcare.
We have to make it easier for patients – living, breathing human beings – to get the care and support they need.
That’s why it’s such an exciting time for an independent community health system like South Shore. We have an incredible opportunity to decide what we’re going to do to meet the needs of the people in our own community. And no one – and I mean no one – knows the residents of the South Shore like we do.
Our health system is already taking steps to transform how we provide care for our community. This starts by rethinking how, when and where we care for our patients. We’re asking ourselves fundamental questions around each of these goals. It’s extremely important to us that the people in our community have access to the right resources, at the right times and in the right places.
Our recently announced partnership with Health Express, the local leader in urgent care centers, is just a small part of this transformation. With seven locations from Quincy to Plymouth, Health Express will allow our patients and their families to receive cost-effective treatment for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses, conveniently and close to home. In addition, this partnership provides access to care at a lower cost than an emergency room visit and opens up more space in our ER for patients in need of critical care. Because we’ll operate as one under the health system brand, we’ll also have the ability to share information more quickly and efficiently, leading to greater coordination of care and communication among health providers within our organization.
Another exciting step we’re taking to support our evolution from community hospital to community health system is to provide 911 emergency medical services to the Town of Weymouth. This partnership, which begins on July 1, will enable our health system to continue to grow and deliver integrated care in meaningful ways that meet the growing needs of the communities we serve. It will also strengthen and support our working relationships with Weymouth Police and Weymouth Fire.
I’ve always been a firm believer that quality healthcare is built on trust and relationships. We must constantly grow and nurture those relationships to provide the best possible care for our patients and their families and support the charitable aim of our organization.
That’s why we’re so intent on establishing partnerships that move care out of the hospital setting and into the community. It’s our responsibility as a health system to reimagine healthcare to be accessible and sensible for all involved.
This transformation will take time, of course. It will require our patients, physicians, nurses, staff, administrators, and insurance companies to transform with us. We continue to focus on finding ways to cross this transformation chasm together.
While I don’t have all the answers about where healthcare may be headed, I know that for us to be a true community health system we must meet our patients and families where they need us the most – in the community and close to home. And that’s exactly what we’re doing, one step at a time.