Friday, August 26, 2011

Adding Great Players To Our team

Baseball season is heading toward the playoffs, and the football regular season is almost upon us. What do these sports have in common with healthcare?  All require a group of individuals working together as a team to ensure success.

This week, GBMC HealthCare formally added new members to our team - a multi-provider practice in Perry Hall (Chapel View Family Care) and a solo physician practice in Lutherville (Dr. Joseph Pallan) have signed on as the charter partners for Greater Baltimore Health Alliance (GBHA), a network of employed and community-based clinician partners working collaboratively to provide better health and better care at a lower cost

GBHA was created as part of the organization’s recently-launched strategic plan which includes a vision (To every patient, every time, we will provide the care that we would want for our own loved ones”) for a system where a patient’s needs will be better met. GBHA aims to have 30 primary care and specialist physician practices as partners with our employed doctors in GBMA by 2012.

The backbone that is required to better oversee a patient’s health is a common electronic medical record system (eClinicalWorks) that will facilitate the exchange of health information, and help coordinate care among the practices, the hospital, Gilchrist Hospice Care and other future community partners.  GBHA will be providing practice management assistance to its partner providers, such as helping subsidize some of the costs of implementing the electronic record.

Leaders of Chapel View Family Care, a four-clinician family medicine practice on Bel Air Road that has served Baltimore and Harford counties since 1994 and handles approximately 17,000 patient visits annually, believe aligning with GBHA will enable them to successfully navigate healthcare reform and continue their history of taking care of multiple generations of families in their community. We are all honored that these outstanding clinicians chose to align with us rather than with one of the many other health systems that they could have chosen.

This week I was able to get out of the office and travel to Perry Hall to meet with the Chapel View providers and see firsthand how their use of the eClinicalWorks tool has made it easier for them to do their jobs and provide excellent care for patients. 

Chapel View physician Bradford Ebright, M.D. (seated) demonstrates the electronic medical record to (L-R): Patricia Chambliss, M.D.; Bob Adamczyk, P.A.; John Chessare, M.D. (President / CEO, GBMC); Kristine Salvo, M.D.

Chapel View physicians demonstrated how using these healthcare IT tools will allow for ease and efficiency in tracking data for patients.  For example, via an easily understood chart doctors can see how a patient’s blood pressure has progressed since a certain medication was started; when laboratory tests are ordered the results are automatically routed back to the patient’s electronic medical record; and prescriptions are electronically sent to pharmacies to be filled and available for pick-up when the patient arrives.

Our health care system takes great care of patients every day but we must do even better at coordinating that care, whether via physicians who are employed by GBMC or in private practice, and make things better thru the eyes of the patient.  Our strategy allows for the continued flourishing of the private practice of medicine for physicians who choose to run their own business.

 “We are excited about our relationship with Greater Baltimore Health Alliance because it allows us to partner with a larger medical system and readily exchange data with GBMC doctors to whom we refer our patients,” said Bradford Ebright, M.D., one of the Chapel View physicians.  “In doing this, we can optimize patient care but continue to remain a community based, independent practice that the patients in our community see as a medical home.

Joseph Pallan, M.D., believes aligning with Greater Baltimore Health Alliance will position him well for continuing his York Road solo practice as the changes mandated by healthcare reform unfold.  “This allows me as a physician to balance maintaining my independence while at the same time providing clinical coordination and integration of services,” said Dr. Pallan, a board-certified internal medicine physician who has been practicing for 10 years.

Have a minute?  Here’s a quick video of my visit to Chapel View and a demonstration of eClinicalWorks by Dr. Ebright.

On a final note, I’m proud to report that GBMC's Primary Stroke Center is the latest of our services to earn high marks for the excellent care that physicians, nurses and the rest of the team provide every day to our patients.  The center was recently recognized by the American Heart Association with a Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for sustained clinical performance in stroke care for at least 24 months. Congratulations to our Stroke Team!

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