CEP America Focuses on Clinical Integration across a Health System
Adventist Health - Central Valley Network
|Annual ED Visits
Administrators at California’s Adventist Health – Central Valley Network were looking for something more than just inter-departmental alignment. They believed that if their clinical services were integrated across multiple hospitals, there would be system-wide improvement. They selected CEP America to accomplish this task and in them found a partner that integrated care across all of their facilities, resulting in:
- Reduced transfers out of the system
- Created efficiencies that enhanced throughput and created capacity
- Lowered the average length of stay (LOS) to 2.9 days
- Reduced turnaround time to discharge (TAT-D) by 22 percent
- Improved the case mix index (CMI)
- Encouraged physician accountability
- Increased staff engagement and an openness to change
With this new opportunity to align the acute care continuum for an entire health system, CEP America’s Regional Director, Imamu Tomlinson, MD, MBA, worked with each of the facilities to devise an integrated approach to improve transitions of care. This included expanding ED care to a third Medical Center in Reedley and having CEP America hospitalists staff the inpatient department at all three hospitals. Since system administrators were familiar with CEP America’s expertise in other service lines, they tapped the organization to manage the new Urgent Care Center in nearby Dinuba and a Skilled Nursing Facility in Kingsburg as well.
“What we’ve done locally is focus on building communications,” Dr. Tomlinson describes. “All the medical directors from every site meet monthly and focus on integration, follow-up care, and how to best move patients to the appropriate facilities. Additionally, the hospital administration is invited on a quarterly basis to identify ongoing issues and opportunities and collaborate with their CEP America partners on potential solutions.”
Dr. Tomlinson was able to utilize his background as an ED Medical Director to better inform decisions about improving integration across the sites. By staffing all of the departments with highly motivated providers, he empowered the team to collaborate and elevate their performance and thus raised the quality of all the facilities.
With CEP America providers working throughout the Central Valley, patients have experienced streamlined throughput and higher-quality care across all sites. “Patients now feel that you communicate clearly what’s going to happen to them once they leave the ED. The ED physicians are admitting patients to a fellow CEP America Partner in the inpatient department, so they’re able to anticipate the hospitalist’s concerns, since they are familiar with their Partner’s standardized care plans,” remarks Dr. Tomlinson.
Beyond improving the overall patient experience, the facilities have seen care coordination enhance their overall performance metrics. At Adventist Medical Center – Selma, the average length of stay (LOS) is less than three days, thereby increasing capacity of the inpatient department. Similarly, the Hanford site saw a 25 percent reduction in average LOS, and a four percent decrease in readmissions, paired with four percent increase across patient satisfaction scores, in a matter of months.
“The thing we enjoy the most with CEP is the collaboration,” praises Mr. Fults. “If there are any issues, I can sit down and talk with them. They want to take the information and work together towards a shared result.”