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MBGH & Methodist: Innovation Has Been the Key

Thinking back over the MBGH-Methodist Healthcare relationship, the first word that comes to mind is “innovation”. In many ways, Methodist has been a “Mikey” for MBGH. You remember “Mikey”, that little boy at the breakfast table in commercials that is willing to try anything for breakfast. Some highlights from the list of “Mikey-like” innovations with MBGH include:
  • The first worker’s compensation PPO network for self-insured employers in the region.
  • The first CAHPS survey in the nation which captured employer’s experience with the MBGH/Methodist worker’s compensation PPO network.
  • The first health system to implement internal quality improvement processes in reaction to MBGH’s 1998 Hospital Report Card on cardiac care.
  • The first roll-out of The Leapfrog Hospital Rewards program in the nation. Cigna ended up implementing a bonus pool for Methodist based on their performance on key Leapfrog safety and quality measures for their entire book of business which gained national recognition and became a model of other pay-for-performance programs nationally.
  • The first, and still only, health system in Memphis to post their detailed results from the Leapfrog Hospital Survey and Hospital Safety Score on their website. 

MBGH and Methodist have also collaborated on the University Medical Center Alliance (Memphis’ own version of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement), launching of the Healthy Memphis Common Table, and implementing the CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program for their employees. About seven years ago, Methodist provided input into how to help them and other employers create a culture of health at the worksite, which is now a key component of MBGH’s CEO Culture of Health initiative.

Over the past six years, MBGH has recognized the important role Methodist hospitals play in providing safe, high quality, cost efficient care in the greater-Memphis area, including:
  • Best odds of survival for abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, pancreatic resection, esophageal resection, and heart angioplasty
  • Cost of care for heart angioplasty
  • Reducing the number of babies delivered before they reach full-term
  • Improvements in ventilator-associated pneumonia
  • Receiving “Straight A’s” on the Hospital Safety Score (Methodist University Hospital and Methodist LeBonheur Germantown Hospital)
  • High risk deliveries
  • Creating and sustaining a culture of health that supports the health of their employees.

As is always the case, these innovations and recognitions don’t just happen. It takes the commitment of a strong leadership team to see the need and then act upon it. Cristie Upshaw Travis, MBGH CEO, remembers what happened after MBGH released the first hospital report card in 1998, “I will never forget the afternoon I picked up the phone and Maurice Elliott, CEO and President of Methodist, was on the line wanting to talk about the report card MBGH had just issued on cardiac care in Memphis. I expected the usual “your data are wrong” and high level marketing points, but instead we spent two-hours going through every data point. The bottom line was that Methodist had been comparing their performance to other Memphis-area hospitals, not to national best practices and was surprised at the results. All of the Memphis health systems had similar if not bigger opportunities for improvement, but Methodist was the one that wanted the details so they could jump on improvement.”

From the early days of working with Maurice to our work with Gary Shorb, Donna Abney, Bill Breen, Ed Rafalski, Mitch Graves, Donna Winfrey, Jane Van Deren and others there has been a common commitment to innovation focused on improving quality and affordability of care for patients first and employer purchasers second.

MBGH thanks Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare for being a special sponsor for our 30th Anniversary and we look forward to working together as we start our next 30 years.
Posted by Cristie Travis at 9:50 AM

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