HCMC receives national award for population health

RIGHT: William B. Walker, MD, secretary of America's Essential Hospitals (formerly NAPH) and director and health officer, Contra Costa Health Services; Dr. Paul Johnson, HCMC; Jerod Loeb, PhD, outside director of the Essential Hospitals Institute (formerly NPHHI) and executive vice president, division of healthcare quality evaluation, The Joint Commission

LEFT to right:  Jerod Loeb, PhD, outside director of the Essential Hospitals Institute (formerly NPHHI) and executive vice president, division of healthcare quality evaluation, The Joint Commission; Dr. Paul Johnson, HCMC; William B. Walker, MD, secretary of America’s Essential Hospitals (formerly NAPH) and director and health officer, Contra Costa Health Services

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) has received the National Association of Public Hospitals’ 2013 Gage Award for Improving Population Health for its Coordinated Care Center – a program that has significantly reduced emergency department visits and inpatient stays.

HCMC was honored with the award during the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH) 2013 Annual Conference, June 19 to 21, in Hollywood, Fla.

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The NAPH Gage Awards Program—named after NAPH founder and safety net advocate Larry S. Gage—honors and shares the outstanding work of member hospitals and health systems. The Improving Quality category recognizes activities that have improved the quality of care delivered or reduced or eliminated harmful events to individual patients or groups of patients.

“We’re delighted to be recognized for the work we’ve done to improve outcomes for our patients,” explains Dr. Paul Johnson, Medical Director of the Coordinated Care Center, who accepted the award on behalf of HCMC. “Our clinic staff are dedicated to providing the intensive, focused care our patients need to help them avoid hospitalization and emergency care. It’s a team effort all around – and every patient is a part of the team.”

By carefully studying utilization patterns, HCMC found that 3 percent of its patient population represented 50 percent of the cost of care. To improve patients’ overall health, decrease the total cost of care and avoid preventable readmissions, Hennepin created the Coordinated Care Center to provide multidisciplinary, team-based care and complex care coordination. The center’s efforts reduced the rate of emergency department (ED) visits by 37 percent and inpatient care stays by 25 percent after one year.

“We’re extremely pleased to honor Hennepin County Medical Center with a Gage Award,” NAPH President & CEO Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, said. “Their work to improve care coordination is an excellent example of the population-based care our hospitals use to reduce unnecessary ED visits and improve health.”

The Coordinated Care Center is HCMC’s  “Ambulatory Intensive Care Unit.” This innovative Primary Care clinic is designed for patients with complex health problems that result in frequent hospitalization. The clinic provides patient-centered, multidisciplinary, team based care in an effort to reduce the impact of chronic illness on the lives of its clients. Clinic interventions include walk-in access for new issues, close medical follow-up after hospitalization, regular oversight by clinic pharmacists, and intensive attention to behavioral and social determinants of health. Clinic based Nurse Care Coordinators and Social Workers team to organize and facilitate care within the health system as well as the community.

Hennepin County Medical Center is a nationally recognized Level I Adult Trauma Center and Level I Pediatric Trauma Center with the largest emergency department in Minnesota. The comprehensive academic medical center and public teaching hospital includes a 462-bed acute care hospital and primary care and specialty clinics located in downtown Minneapolis and St. Anthony, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, and Richfield; and in Minneapolis in the Whittier Neighborhood and on East Lake Street. HCMC also has a retail clinic in Bloomington, an employee clinic in the Hennepin County Government Center, and a Neurology and Specialty Clinic in the 212 Medical Center in Chaska.

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