Perspectives on the Acute Care Continuum

The Acute Care Continuum is the integration of urgent, emergent, inpatient and post-discharge care of patients with acute medical conditions.

Latest Posts

Today Perspectives welcomes Dr. Wes Fields to discuss a recent study on emergency department (ED) profitability.

It's common knowledge in the healthcare industry that emergency departments are expensive loss leaders for their hospitals. Their fixed costs are high. Many of their patients are elderly or low-income — and potentially quite sick. They deliver millions of dollars in free care to those in need each year.

But is common knowledge common wisdom in this case? Perhaps not, suggests an analysis of hospital financial reports and patient claims data published in the May 2014 issue of Health Affairs.

6/26/2014 3:40:53 PM | 0 comments

These days, it's hard to find a healthcare organization that isn't scrambling to recruit physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs). These professionals are poised to play a key role in alleviating the physician shortage and caring for millions of newly covered patients. Unfortunately, job-seeking PA/NPs are currently in short supply.

6/23/2014 9:49:41 PM | 1 comments

To help our hospital clients improve patient outcomes and better serve their communities, CEP America has piloted a role called the transitional care director (TCD). The TCD is a physician who works to improve care transitions across the Acute Care Continuum by implementing sustainable, systematic change.

I'm now in my second year as TCD at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif. In this role, I have been privileged to work with our administration, hospitalist groups and community organizations on several improvement initiatives.

Today I'll share our goals for the position, plus of few examples of how greater investment in transitional care has benefited our patients.

6/18/2014 5:08:43 PM | 1 comments

Patient satisfaction, which now accounts for 30 percent of Medicare fee-for-performance payments, is closely tied to patients' interactions with their care team. But of course, we can't be with the patient every minute. So a group us got to thinking: wouldn't it be great if there were a tool that could help us communicate with patients and families — even if we're not in the room?

6/17/2014 6:32:57 PM | 2 comments

A fantastic workplace reputation makes it easier to attract and retain top talent. But how do you create the kind of environment that fosters loyalty and motivates your employees to go that extra mile?

In today's post, Mike Harrington, CEO of MedAmerica, and Jennifer Munkner, vice president of talent management, share tips for nurturing a standout workplace culture. MedAmerica was recently recognized among Becker's Healthcare's 150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare. It's also been honored nine years in a row among the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area.

Perspectives: Mike, Jennifer, welcome. In your opinion, what are the biggest barriers healthcare organizations face when it comes to cultivating great workplaces?

Jennifer Munkner: I think the first barrier is often recognizing the importance of a positive culture as a driver of organizational performance. The impact of culture is usually intangible, and there's a human tendency to focus on what we can observe and measure. So companies often don't grasp culture's importance or make the connection between seemingly small cracks in the system, such as declining productivity or dips in client satisfaction. It's not until companies are losing people or seeing frequent turnover in their leadership that the impact of culture is recognized.

6/12/2014 8:40:09 PM | 1 comments
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