By Joan K. Richards, President & CEO
Healthcare starts outside the hospital. It starts in the community. It starts in homes, schools and workplaces. Ultimately, healthcare, and healthy living, starts with the individual.
As a result, at Crozer-Keystone Health System we recognize that providing the best possible healthcare requires us to reach out to our patient population where they live, learn and work. This inaugural post for Healthbeat represents another step in connecting our physicians and experts to those of you in, and outside of, our community.
I believe that, as healthcare begins with each of us, we should try to be as informed and educated as possible about our own health needs and risks. This is the fundamental mission of Healthbeat – to provide you with a resource for learning about the best ways to stay healthy, identify health concerns and be aware of the latest healthcare changes that impact you or your families.
Healthbeat serves as a platform for physicians and experts from Crozer-Keystone to share important healthcare information and news with you. While the topics may range from prevention and treatment of a medical condition to the changing state of the healthcare industry, our common goal will always be to provide information that is relevant, timely and, above all, helpful to our community.
I’d like to use this first post to discuss a new development in the local healthcare community and a rising trend for the healthcare industry nation-wide.
The Philadelphia Healthcare Alliance
In November, Crozer-Keystone joined a health alliance with three other local health systems: Abington Health, Aria Health and Einstein Healthcare Network. This initiative does not represent a merger or acquisition, but rather will allow our four independent health systems to work together to meet the challenges of healthcare reform.
Through this alliance, we will work to build a robust population health infrastructure that will include a large group of people, starting with our own employees and their dependents and then members of the community. The alliance will be able to provide resources and services to larger groups of people than we might be able to serve individually and do it in the most highly coordinated, cost-efficient manner possible.
Our work on this alliance reflects a rising trend in healthcare organizations across the country. Since the Abington, Aria and Einstein first formed this alliance in July, several other partnerships of this type have been announced – in Georgia, Maryland and one spanning New Jersey and Northern Pennsylvania.
The long-term goal of our alliance, and similar initiatives, is to improve the delivery of care for individuals and families. Together through the initiative, we plan to explore a wide range of options, including efforts to improve the coordination of care, give patients more ways to access services and better manage chronic diseases, to name a few examples.
This alliance, like Healthbeat itself, represents the changing course of healthcare today by providing increased access to hospital resources and placing a focus on proactive care. From government reform to evolving technologies, this is an exciting time for healthcare. I hope that you will join Crozer-Keystone, whether through this blog, our social media outlets or our events throughout the community, as we explore all of the opportunities these changes present and work to advance the quality of care provided in our community.