Illinois hospitals and medical schools enjoy national renown for patient safety and innovation.
At Advocate Lutheran General, doctors are taking it to the people.
“One of our cardiac fellows who is now on staff started the South Asian Cardiovascular Center to reduce the risk of heart disease in this population, which is epidemic,” says Dr. Leo Kelly, vice president of medical management at the highly ranked teaching hospital in Park Ridge. “We’re taking measures to reduce risk, give access to the latest care and technology, and also reaching out into the community to do education and behavior modification. The program is only a year old, but has been a wonderful success.”
The South Asian Cardiovascular Center is just one example of innovative new approaches to treatment at Illinois hospitals, which consistently receive national recognition for the care they offer. With eight medical schools, the state is seen as a teaching powerhouse for next gen physicians.
The University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine were ranked No. 8 and 18, respectively, on the 2013 list of best medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, a premier academic referral hospital for northwest Chicago, has been rated a 100 Top Hospital® 14 times by Truven Health Analytics and is one of only 30 hospitals in the nation to achieve exemplary outcomes for surgical patient care by the American College of Surgeon’s National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.
“Our relationship connects OSF HealthCare physicians to the latest Mayo Clinic expertise and clinical care resources through the use of electronic care reference and communication tools,” says Dr. Lamont A. Tyler, regional director – specialty care for the OSF Medical Group Central Region in Bloomington and physician champion – Mayo Clinic Care Network.
Those resources include Mayo eConsults, which allows OSF HealthCare physicians to consult electronically with Mayo Clinic experts for additional input regarding a patient’s care. Another is AskMayoExpert, an online tool with Mayo-vetted, evidence-based guidelines in disease management, clinical care, and treatment recommendations and reference materials for a variety of medical conditions.
The new partnership will benefit patient populations at the eight hospitals and medical centers run by OSF HealthCare. “The primary objective of this relationship with Mayo is the opportunity to provide better care for our patients where they prefer to have that care – close to home with primary care physicians and specialists that they know,” Tyler says.
Hospitals as Economic Force
Hospitals in Illinois play a vital role not just in the health of individual patients but in the state’s economic health. Collectively, the state’s hospitals and health systems have a total statewide economic impact of $78.7 billion each year, employ more than 250,000 workers and indirectly support another 223,000 jobs in the state, says Dr. Derek Robinson, executive director, Illinois Hospital Association (IHA) Institute for Innovations in Care and Quality.
The 189 hospitals and 216 rural clinics also demonstrate a commitment to patient care that goes beyond the norm. According to the Leapfrog Group’s 2013 safety grades for 2,500 hospitals nationwide, 60 Illinois hospitals received a grade of “A” – making Illinois fourth in the U.S. among the states with the highest number of “A” hospitals. These stellar rankings are due in part to the $3.5 billion that hospitals and health systems invest annual on capital improvements to stay on the cutting edge of health care.
“IHA and the hospital community strongly support increased and enhanced-care coordination, including development of integrated delivery systems – designed the right way, from the ground up, by providers – to ensure access to quality care, achieve the best outcomes for patients, develop new and innovative models of health care delivery, and make the state’s Medicaid program and health care delivery system as cost effective and efficient as possible,” Robinson says.