The last two articles on this blog have focused on the strategic plan our leadership team has developed to guide Swedish into the next phase of health care, which we call “Health 2.0.”
The first key area of the plan is Strengthening the Core, which focuses on optimizing the experience our caregivers have at work, striving for excellence in clinical care, and maintaining a focus on improved operational and financial performance. The second, Being Our Communities’ Health Partner, reinforces our commitment to collaborating with others to improve care and outcomes for the populations we serve.
The third and final key area of our strategic plan is called Transforming Our Future. There is no debate that the future of health care will look very different than the current system. In a health care environment that is changing rapidly, it is vital that we understand how Swedish will need to change in tandem with the industry, so that we can continue to meet the needs of our patients and our communities in a responsible way.
Transforming Our Future involves several objectives.
First, we are focused on diversifying our revenue streams. Historically, payer reimbursement for clinical services has been our key revenue source – as it has been for most health care providers across the country. But with revenue from payers decreasing and the cost to provide care increasing, we need to find additional revenue sources to bridge the gap, so we can continue to provide excellent care to our patients. Our health system is exploring diversification initiatives, which could include opportunities such as outsourcing our data to other organizations and continuing to develop innovative technology platforms such as the highly successful Circle health app for expectant mothers to use on their mobile devices.
Second, we need to leverage technology, data and innovative approaches to provide care in new and different ways. We are in the process of moving away from our traditional, hospital-centric care model to a model that is more integrated and seamless, bringing care closer to the patient. This includes offering more ambulatory care centers and extending our reach through new technologies such as telehealth and virtual visits.
We also need to invest in better data systems that will enable us to understand in real time what the data are telling us about improving our clinical care.
And finally, we need to serve as a voice for our patients in advocating for positive transformations in health care. We will continue to speak up and contribute to the national and regional health care dialogue to ensure the needs and perspectives of our patients and caregivers are represented.
This is an exciting time in health care that presents both challenges and opportunities. I am proud of Swedish for working as a team to move us forward toward the next phase of health care.