Engaged employees know your company’s expectations and believe their job descriptions implicitly include exceeding them. They use their talents to excel, connect well with colleagues and customers, and move their companies forward.

To learn more about transforming engagement levels in the workplace, Smart Business spoke with Diana Hendel, Pharm.D., CEO of three MemorialCare hospitals in Long Beach. MemorialCare is recognized as one of only 32 companies worldwide to receive the 2013 Gallup Great Workplace award.

How can you recognize an engaged employee?

When engaged employees walk past visitors in our hospitals’ hallways they make eye contact, smile and stop to help people find their way. Disengaged employees hurry by, believing that’s not in their job description. Engaged employees are more productive, customer-centric, safe and successful. They are 3.5 times more likely to be thriving in their lives, experience better days and have fewer unhealthy days. We see a direct correlation between high employee engagement and the service satisfaction scores we receive from our patients and their families.

What’s the first step to improve engagement?

Creating a work environment that values people and aims to ensure each employee has an emotional connection to the company’s mission is at the heart of sustaining employee engagement. Become an active partner with your employees to maintain or improve their health and wellness. Create an environment that makes being healthy easier, with nutritious on-site food options, walking challenges, weight reduction programs, gyms, smoke-free campuses, activity days, health information and more.

Encourage teams to take walking rather than sitting meetings, take activity breaks and make walking workstations available. In MemorialCare’s case, implementing these core aspects of a wellness program resulted in 77 percent of our employees reporting that their organization makes an effort to help them improve their health.

What are the next steps to partnering with employees?

Once you’ve implemented the foundation of a wellness program, the next step is to provide your employees with the knowledge they need to impact their risk factors for chronic disease. Understanding the key biometric numbers of blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and body mass index, and their connection to heart disease and diabetes can help individuals lower their risk. Chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and depression are responsible for two-thirds of the total increase in health care spending, so reducing these conditions can help lower health care expenses.

Actively partner with employees who need the most help managing chronic conditions. The latest evidence shows that the support of a team including a wellness coach, nurse, dietician and physician can give individuals with chronic conditions what they need to make important changes.

MemorialCare partners with our employees with chronic conditions to make long-lasting lifestyle changes, lessen complications, improve outcomes, and lower medical and pharmaceutical costs through our program, The Good Life — In Balance. With 93 percent participant retention, the program has led to significant improvements in participants’ blood glucose and blood pressure.

How can employers improve the workplace?

Help identify key factors in moving the dial on your employees’ engagement by participating in a survey, like those initiated by Gallup. These surveys compare your results with other companies so you can learn where you excel or need improvement. There is a direct connection between investing in employees’ wellness and achieving internationally recognized employee engagement levels. By creating a culture where well-being is valued, you can improve health, morale and productivity, while reducing absenteeism as well as the costs of workers’ compensation and health

benefits.

Diana Hendel, Pharm.D, CEO, Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, Community Hospital Long Beach. Reach her at dhendel@memorialcare.org.

Website: See more health and wellness information, podcasts and videos.

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Published in Los Angeles

Engaged employees know your company’s expectations and work hard to meet and exceed them. They use their talents to excel, drive innovation and move their companies forward.

To learn more about transforming employee engagement levels in the workplace, Smart Business spoke with Barry Arbuckle, Ph.D., president and CEO of MemorialCare Health System, recognized as one of only 32 companies worldwide to receive the 2013 Gallup Great Workplace award.

What do engaged employees do to improve the workplace?

Imagine a candy wrapper lying on the floor of your business’s lobby. An engaged employee picks it up and puts it in the trash. They are 100 percent invested in helping your organization succeed. A disengaged employee ignores it and walks by. An actively disengaged employee was the one who threw it there to begin with.

According to Gallup, the average ratio of engaged to disengaged employees in their database of health care organizations is 4-to-1. Engaged employees are more productive, customer-centric, safe and successful. They are 3.5 times more likely to be thriving in their lives, experience better days and have fewer unhealthy days. We see a direct correlation between high employee engagement and the service satisfaction scores we receive from our patients and their families.

How do you improve employee engagement?

Creating a work environment that values people and aims to ensure each employee has an emotional connection to the company’s growth or mission is at the heart of sustaining employee engagement.

Become an active partner with your employees to maintain or improve their health and wellness. Create an environment that makes being healthy easier, with nutritious on-site food options, walking challenges, weight reduction programs, gyms, smoke-free campuses, activity days, health information and more. Encourage teams to take walking rather than sitting meetings, take activity breaks and make walking workstations available. In MemorialCare’s case, implementing these core aspects of a wellness program resulted in 77 percent of our employees reporting that their organization makes an effort to help them improve their health.

How do you become a partner in your employees’ wellness?

Once you’ve got the basics of a wellness program in place, help provide your employees with the knowledge they need to impact their risk factors for chronic disease. Understanding the key biometric numbers of blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and body mass index, and their connection to heart disease and diabetes can help individuals to lower their risk. Chronic diseases like hypertension, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and depression are responsible for two-thirds of the total increase in health care spending. Reducing these can help lower health care expenses.

Actively partner with employees who need the most help managing chronic conditions. The latest evidence shows that the support of a team including a wellness coach, nurse, dietician and physician can give individuals with chronic conditions what they need to make important changes. MemorialCare partners with our employees with chronic conditions to make long-lasting lifestyle changes, lessen complications, improve outcomes, and lower medical and pharmaceutical costs through our program, The Good Life – In Balance. With 93 percent participant retention, the program has led to significant improvements in their blood glucose and blood pressure.

How can employers improve the workplace?

Participate in a survey, like those initiated by Gallup, to help identify key factors in moving the dial on your employees’ engagement. These surveys compare your results with other companies, so you can learn where you excel or need improvement.

There is a direct connection between investing in employees’ wellness and achieving internationally recognized employee engagement levels. By creating a culture where well-being is valued, you can improve health, morale and productivity, while reducing absenteeism, and the costs of health benefits and workers’ compensation.

Barry Arbuckle, Ph.D., is president and CEO of MemorialCare Health System. Reach him at barbuckle@memorialcare.org.

Website: See more health and wellness information, podcasts and videos.

Insights Health Care is brought to you by MemorialCare Health System

 

 

Published in National

This year, nearly 1.7 million new cases of cancer are expected to be diagnosed. Thanks to significant medical advances, prevention and healthier lifestyles, survival rates continue to improve.

Smart Business turned to Philip DiSaia, M.D., medical director, MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Memorial and world leader and researcher in gynecologic oncology, and Amanda Termuhlen, M.D., medical director, Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, the region’s renowned pediatric cancer facility.

Does prevention really work?

A substantial proportion of cancers can be prevented. Not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and diet, and plenty of exercise help reduce risks. Regular screening tests that allow detection and removal of precancerous growths can help prevent many cancers. Pap smears help detect cervical cancer, colonoscopies can identify colon cancer, PSAs may determine the likelihood and treatment of prostate cancer, and breast self-exams and mammograms reduce mortality for breast cancer.

What are some advances available locally?

Todd Cancer Institute and Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center are dedicated to early diagnosis, research, treatment and education of patients with cancer or serious blood disorders. At interdisciplinary treatment planning conferences, specialists review new and difficult cases, developing treatment plans suited to patient needs. Our world-renowned Leavey Radiation Oncology Center achieves break-through results with the most advanced technologies and therapies. Patients can access more than 100 cancer research protocols.

At the forefront of adult cancer management are our gynecologic, thoracic, breast, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, radiation oncology, genetic counseling and robotic surgery. We were one of the first centers to make individualized therapy and targeted treatment a clinical reality.

Is there progress for childhood cancers?

Prior to the 1970s, only half of children with cancer survived beyond five years following diagnosis. Today that number is 80 percent, thanks to better cancer drugs, treatment, research and access to clinical trials. Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center supports advanced diagnostic tools and treatments with comprehensive psychosocial services and a multi-disciplinary care team that follows every patient from admission through their hospital stay and follow-up in outpatient settings. New research efforts offers patients access to leading therapies.

What can be expected in the future?

Vaccines like those to prevent cervical cancer may be effective in other cancers. Emerging treatment technologies, techniques and drug discoveries more accurately treat cancer, and with fewer side effects. Myriad cancer therapies and treatment in varying stages of development continue to unveil more about cancer cell biology and new treatments.

New pharmaceuticals may better kill tumors by cutting off their blood supply. There is hope therapeutic vaccines will help activate a patient’s immune system. Gene sequencing seeking specific DNA mutations with different types of cancers may lead to new treatments. Physicians are researching family history and DNA to better predict cancer risk. Screenings for higher risk patients can help diagnose cancer at earlier stages. Doctors are customizing treatments and choosing the most effective outcomes.

How can businesses help?

Encourage employees to access cancer screenings. Offer wellness, nutrition and exercise programs. Partner with hospitals for on-site education. Memorialcare.org provides online risk assessments, tools and information on prevention, screenings, diagnosis and treatments.

MemorialCare Health System, a not-for profit, integrated delivery system, includes six top hospitals — Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, Community Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Memorial, and Saddleback Memorial in Laguna Hills and San Clemente; medical groups — MemorialCare Medical Group and Memorial Prompt Care; the Independent Practice Association (IPA) Greater Newport Physicians; retail health; ambulatory surgery centers; and numerous outpatient facilities across the Southland.

Philip DiSaia, M.D., is medical director at MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute, Long Beach Memorial.

Amanda Termuhlen, M.D, is medical director at Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center, Miller Children’s Hospital.

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Published in Los Angeles

 

Every hour, an estimated 150 people are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. The lifetime probability of an invasive cancer is 44 percent for men and 38 percent for women. But thanks to significant medical advances and a greater emphasis on preventive measures and healthier lifestyles, cancer death rates continue to decline.

Smart Business turned to prominent medical oncologists-hematologists, Merry Tetef, M.D. at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center and Jack Jacoub, M.D., medical director of thoracic oncology at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, to learn more.

What are some of the risk factors?

Preventive measures like not smoking, a healthy weight and diet, and plenty of exercise can help reduce your risk of cancer. While other risk factors — age, ethnicity, family history and inherited genes — cannot be changed, MemorialCare’s genetic counseling services help patients determine their risk for diseases, including several cancers that can be inherited.

Screenings such as pap smears help detect cervical cancer, colonoscopies can identify colon cancer and PSAs may determine the likelihood and treatment of prostate cancer. Laws that restrict smoking and education on associated risks are stemming lung cancer.

Can these advances be accessed locally?

MemorialCare Cancer Institute at Orange Coast Memorial and Saddleback Memorial — nationally accredited as Comprehensive Community Cancer Programs — offer the latest technologies, therapies and treatments. These include PET/CT, low-dose CT, automated whole breast ultrasound, MRI and dedicated breast MRI; sophisticated robotic surgery; the region’s only hospital-sited CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery system and advanced radiation oncology.

MemorialCare Breast Centers are long-time leaders in diagnosis and treatment of breast cancers and our physicians are highly regarded in every cancer specialty. Patients can access ongoing cancer research protocols and a wide variety of support services. Through the interdisciplinary treatment planning conferences, specialists review new or difficult cases and develop treatment plans suited to each patient’s specific needs.

What can be expected in the future?

Vaccines like those used to prevent cervical cancer in women may be effective in other cancers as well. Emerging treatment technologies, techniques and drug discoveries continue to help us more accurately treat cancer, and with fewer side effects. Myriad cancer therapies and treatments are in varying stages of development as researchers continue to learn more about cancer cell biology and new treatment options.

Pharmaceuticals are being created to better kill tumors by cutting off their blood supply. There is hope that therapeutic vaccines might help activate a patient’s immune system. Gene sequencing looks for specific DNA mutations that occur with different types of cancers and may lead to new treatments. Physicians are beginning to use knowledge gained by research to look at an individual’s family history and DNA to predict cancer risk. Personalized screening for those at higher risk might help diagnose cancer at its earliest stage. Doctors will be better able to customize treatment, choosing the most effective treatment and avoiding those that will not work.

Can businesses improve employee health?

Businesses can help by encouraging their workforce to take advantage of cancer screenings. Offer wellness, healthy foods and exercise programs. Partner with your local hospital cancer center to offer on-site education. Our memorialcare.org website provides online risk assessments and tools as well as information on cancer prevention, screenings, diagnosis and treatments.

MemorialCare Health System, a not-for profit, integrated delivery system, includes six top hospitals — Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, Community Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Memorial, and Saddleback Memorial in Laguna Hills and San Clemente; medical groups — MemorialCare Medical Group and Memorial Prompt Care; the Independent Practice Association (IPA) Greater Newport Physicians; retail health; ambulatory surgery centers; and numerous outpatient facilities throughout the Southland.

Merry Tetef, M.D., is a medical oncologist and hematologist at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center. Jack Jacoub, M.D., is medical director of thoracic oncology at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center.

Insights Health Care is brought to you by MemorialCare Health System

 

Published in National

[caption id="attachment_60236" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Daniel Bethencourt, M.D., cardiovascular surgeon, Orange Coast Memorial, Long Beach Memorial

Sinjin Lee, M.D., cardiologist, Saddleback Memorial Medical Center[/caption]

 

There is great hope for those with coronary heart disease. Two-thirds of adults now survive the disease, which is 27 percent higher than a decade ago, and impressive new technologies and techniques show promise

Smart Business spoke with prominent Saddleback Memorial Medical Center cardiologist Sinjin Lee, M.D.; as well as Daniel Bethencourt, M.D., a renowned cardiovascular surgeon and national leader in robotic surgery at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center and Long Beach Memorial to learn more.

What are the risk factors for heart disease and how can they be lowered?

Smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyles, and consuming saturated and trans fats are prevalent among many Americans. These will negatively impact cholesterol counts as well as blood pressure levels and can cause dangerous plaque build-up in coronary arteries. Further, one in three California children are overweight, increasing their heart disease risks as adults, making family fitness essential.

For women, the symptoms can be subtle and include nausea; uncomfortable pressure; dizziness; tightness or heaviness in the chest; difficulty breathing; pounding heart; cold sweats; and shooting pain in the shoulders, neck, arms or back.

Lowering cholesterol and treating high blood pressure can reduce risks of dying of heart disease or needing heart surgery or angioplasty. Prevention includes maintaining an appropriate weight, eating foods low in cholesterol and fat, reducing stress, exercising regularly, regular check-ups, screenings and following your doctor’s advice.

What advances are available locally?

At the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, advanced diagnostic heart disease technologies and treatments are standard. These include open heart surgery, angioplasty, medical device implantation, stenting, catheter ablation and rehabilitation and cardiac centers for women. Emergency treatment times at our cardiac paramedic receiving centers beat the national average, as do our hospitals’ cardiac outcomes.

MemorialCare hospitals are ranked among the highest in terms of the number of robotic heart surgeries performed nationally. These procedures enable surgeons to operate with precision through tiny incisions with less trauma to the body, faster recoveries, and minimal pain and scarring.

Orange Coast Memorial is one of the region’s first hospitals that has a hybrid interventional operating room with both a cardiac surgical suite and cardiovascular catheterization laboratory combined. This revolutionary suite is designed for open heart surgeries as well as minimally invasive cardiovascular procedures. It also allows cardiac surgeons to perform diagnostic testing during and after surgery.

Saddleback Memorial’s new advanced biplane system allows physicians to perform high-level interventional cardiac and neurological imaging and treatment procedures. Dual X-ray sources and imaging cameras move through and around the intricate human circulatory system, offering three-dimensional views of the anatomy during minimally invasive cardiac and neurologic procedures.

How can we create a healthier workplace?

The workplace can help everyone achieve better health by ensuring the availability of fruits, vegetables and nutritious foods.

MemorialCare offers heart health worksite prevention programs and screenings to employers. Also, memorialcare.org offers tools to help evaluate medical risks. Health guides outline heart attack symptoms, heart-healthy eating and women’s wellness.

MemorialCare Health System, a not-for profit, integrated delivery system, includes six top hospitals — Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, Community Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Memorial, and Saddleback Memorial in Laguna Hills and San Clemente; medical groups — MemorialCare Medical Group and Memorial Prompt Care and the Independent Practice Association (IPA) Greater Newport Physicians; MemorialCare HealthExpress retail clinics; and numerous outpatient health centers throughout the Southland.

Daniel Bethencourt, M.D. is a cardiovascular surgeon at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center and Long Beach Memorial. Sinjin Lee, M.D. is a cardiologist at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center.

Learn more about heart disease by taking a quick assessment at memorialcare.org/heart.

Insights Health Care is brought to you by MemorialCare Health System

Published in Orange County

As the recent health care reform act rolls out, those who care for America’s communities continue to address the legislation’s goals of better care, better health and better management of costs.

Smart Business spoke with Diana Hendel, PharmD, the CEO of Long Beach Memorial, Community Hospital Long Beach and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, part of the MemorialCare Health System to learn more about the impact of this legislation.

What action are you taking to prepare for reform?

MemorialCare continues concentrating on bold goals in clinical and service excellence, maintaining steadfast fiscal discipline, addressing patient satisfaction, enhancing physician partnerships and employee engagement and growing our capacity to improve health care for our communities. We’re adding hospitals, broadening offerings and expanding ambulatory care, including a new outpatient center in East Long Beach with physician offices, urgent care and diagnostic capabilities. Our goal is delivering the best value on a consistent basis at MemorialCare’s six hospitals and 250 outpatient, ambulatory and physician practice facilities throughout the Southland.

We are now moving from a system of caring for the sick to improving each person’s health and wellness. Two decades ago, our physicians undertook an ambitious effort to devise far more scientific approaches to improve the medical outcomes of patients. Those efforts — today involving thousands of physicians, nurses and other clinicians studying the best medical care around the globe — resulted in best-practice, evidence-based medicine as well as medical outcomes surpassing regional and national standards.

How do physicians partner for better care?

Partnership opportunities with our 2,500 affiliated physicians range from leadership and management positions and participation in MemorialCare Physician Society, to joint ventures and collaborations involving innovative medical technology. Many are joining our employment and Independent Practice Association (IPA) models that are part of the physician medical group we call MemorialCare Medical Foundation that includes MemorialCare Medical Group and Greater Newport Physicians. These unique partnerships promote an integrated approach to health care delivery and ensure a sound future for our physicians. By offering multiple options and strengthened alignments with physicians, we’re positioned to provide high quality care, offering patients a choice from among the best physicians, while carefully managing the health care costs to employers and consumers. Also critical to this broad-ranging, pluralistic physician partnership approach is our commitment to strong relationships with independent physicians, medical groups and IPAs plus myriad opportunities for physicians to impact the

future of health care.

How does technology improve medical care?

Groundbreaking medical technology yields faster, improved diagnoses; superior, less invasive and more targeted treatments; reduced hospital stays; quicker recoveries; and enhanced quality of life for our patients. Our 320-Slice CT Scanner — the most powerful x-ray imaging device, and one of just a few in the state — provides high quality imaging for early and accurate diagnosis and treatment of the heart, brain and tiny blood vessels — with less radiation exposure. Our robotic surgery suites — among the nation’s busiest — enable physicians to operate with unprecedented precision through tiny incisions for heart, gynecology, urology, gastroenterology, pulmonary, cancer and other procedures. Todd Cancer Institute’s nationally recognized cancer diagnosis and treatment modalities for adults and children, offer the most sophisticated treatment technologies available and is the world’s prominent teaching site for radiation oncology procedures. MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute includes comprehensive centers for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of cardiovascular disease with advanced, world-class care.

Digital technologies in the form of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) allow clinicians immediate access to a patient’s health and medical history, maximize clinical quality and patient outcomes at points of decision-making, reduce medical errors and improve patient care. Available in our hospitals, physician offices and ambulatory sites, many patients are accessing their health records to track and improve their own health and wellness.

Are health and wellness efforts working?

One powerful example — The Good Life program — is significantly improving the health and wellness of our employees and their families through fitness challenges, nutritious offerings and support for chronic conditions. These critical results-driven activities are extended to local employers who tap our expertise to improve the health of their work forces with on-site screenings, seminars, executive and employee physicals and more. MemorialCare helps employers adapt to health reform, trim health benefits and health costs and improve productivity.

Our focus on preventive care starts with the tiniest newborns and progresses through all stages of life. For example, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, ranking at the top for admissions among Southern California children’s hospitals, features a medical home model. Here, physician-led teams are providing comprehensive and continuous medical care to achieve optimal health outcomes. As the only health system in Los Angeles or Orange county with prominent adult and children’s hospitals, we’re in a unique position to address the life-long health needs of our communities, thus helping consumers take control of their health and their lives.

Diana Hendel, PharmD, is CEO of Long Beach Memorial, Community Hospital Long Beach and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach. The hospitals are part of MemorialCare Health System, a not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system that also includes Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills and San Clemente; MemorialCare Medical Group; Greater Newport Physicians, an Independent Practice Association (IPA); MemorialCare HealthExpress retail clinics; and numerous outpatient health centers throughout the Southland. For information, go to memorialcare.com.

Insights Health Care is brought to you by MemorialCare Health System

Published in Los Angeles

As each element of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act unfolds, those who provide health care for American communities continue to pursue the legislation’s Triple Aim goals of better care, better health and better management of costs.

Smart Business spoke with MemorialCare Health System President & CEO Barry Arbuckle, Ph.D., to discover  more about this.

How are you preparing for health care reform?

MemorialCare is committed to bold goals in clinical and service excellence, steadfast fiscal discipline and in staying ahead of the curve. We are now implementing new approaches that we do anticipate will improve and ensure the satisfaction of our patients, our continued partnerships with physicians and engagement with employees while growing our capacity to greatly improve health care for our communities. We’re expanding ambulatory care, adding more hospitals and broadening outpatient offerings with the goal of delivering the very best value across all of our 250 facilities.

Well before reform began, we implemented substantial changes, moving from a system of caring for the sick to one focused on improving each individual’s health and wellness. Then, beginning some two decades ago, top physicians began an ambitious

effort to come up with a more scientific approach to the improvement of medical outcomes. Those efforts — today involving thousands of physicians, nurses and other clinicians who are studying the best medical care around the globe — have led to

MemorialCare surpassing the national standards regarding both evidence-based, best-practice medicine and medical outcomes.

What options are there for physicians?

MemorialCare has a very proud history of physician leadership and engagement. Partnership opportunities with our 3,000 affiliated physicians range from the joint ventures, leadership, management positions and participation in the MemorialCare Physician Society, to joining our employment and Independent Practice Association (IPA) models, and collaborations that involve innovative medical technology. We will continue to forge unique partnerships that will favorably impact an integrated approach to the delivery of health care while also ensuring a sound future for our physicians. Earlier in 2012, MemorialCare Medical Foundation announced that it would be affiliated with Greater Newport Physicians and would acquire the Nautilus Healthcare Management Group. By offering a range of partnership opportunities and forging strengthened alignments with physicians, we’re positioned to provide the best possible care, offering patients a choice from among the Southland’s best physicians, and carefully managing health care costs to both employers and consumers. Critical to this broad-ranging physician partnership approach is our commitment to maintaining strong relationships with independent physicians, medical groups and IPAs, and offering physicians myriad opportunities through the MemorialCare Physician Society.

How does technology improve medical care?

Groundbreaking medical technology has proved to yield faster, improved diagnoses; superior, less invasive and more targeted treatments; reduced hospital stays; quicker recoveries; and enhanced quality of life for our patients. The 320-Slice CT Scanner — the most powerful X-ray imaging device — provides high-quality imaging for early and accurate diagnosis and treatment of the heart, brain and tiny blood vessels. Robotic surgery enables physicians to operate with amazing precision through very tiny incisions for heart, gynecology, urology, gastroenterology and cancer procedures. MemorialCare, with one of the West’s busiest robotic surgery programs, boasts the county’s first national robotic surgical training center and is among only a few hospitals that have introduced robotic technology into a hybrid cardiovascular suite.

MemorialCare Cancer Institutes have the latest cancer diagnosis and treatment modalities for adults and children with the most sophisticated treatment technologies that are available today. The MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institutes are offering

comprehensive centers for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of cardiovascular disease with advanced, world-class care.

Digital technologies that take the form of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) are allowing clinicians to have immediate

access to a patient’s health and medical history, maximize the clinical quality and patient outcomes at points of decision-making, reduce medical errors and vastly improve patient care. MemorialCare was the very first health care system in Orange County to initiate comprehensive EMRs for its hospitals that can now be found in physician offices and ambulatory sites. Many patients are accessing their health records to track and improve their own health and wellness.

Are health and wellness efforts working?

Our Good Life program works to improve the health and wellness of our employees and their families through our fitness challenges, our nutritional offerings and support for chronic conditions. Employers can take advantage of our expertise to improve the health of their staff with on-site screenings, physicals and more. MemorialCare can help employers adapt to health reform, trim health benefits and health costs and improve productivity. Further, as the only health system in Orange and Los Angeles counties with adult and children’s hospitals, we offer lifetime care and help consumers take control of their health and their lives.

Barry Arbuckle, Ph.D., is the president and CEO of MemorialCare Health System. The Southern California not-for-profit integrated  health care delivery system includes Long Beach Memorial, Community Hospital Long Beach, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills and San Clemente; MemorialCare Medical Group; Greater Newport Physicians, an Independent Practice Association (IPA); MemorialCare HealthExpress retail clinics; and numerous outpatient health centers throughout the Southland. For information, go to memorialcare.com.

Insights Health Care is brought to you by MemorialCare Health System

Published in Los Angeles
Monday, 01 October 2012 11:16

Leading the future of health care

There’s a revolution going on in health care, moving from a system of caring for the sick to improving each individual’s health and wellness. Today’s consumers are increasingly taking control of their health and collaborating as true members of health care teams — for the betterment of themselves and for their communities.

To learn more about these changes, Smart Business spoke with Diana Hendel, PharmD, the CEO of Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Community Hospital Long Beach and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach.

How is the transformation progressing?

A major goal of health reform is the ‘Triple Aim’ of improving the quality of care, reducing costs and enhancing the patient experience. Ensuring exceptional care means continually improving patient quality, safety and satisfaction, and engaging consumers in improving their health, wellness and lifestyle.

We realized decades ago the importance of creating a more scientific approach to improving medical outcomes and of becoming a national pioneer in best-practice, evidence-based medicine. In this area, physician-led interdisciplinary teams are able to identify, create, refine and expand upon the best diagnostic, treatment and prevention for virtually every disease, illness and medical category that a patient may face. Implementing optimal clinical standards across the health system helps us achieve patient outcomes that surpass both regional and national standards.

What is the role of technology and staff?

Our early adoption of electronic medical records supports and spreads evidence-based medicine throughout our health system to our more than 2,500 affiliated physicians and 11,000 employees. The results are higher quality and safer care with clinicians able to immediately access patient records. Electronic records in physician offices and other locations ensure coordinated, seamless care for all of MemorialCare. Plus increasing numbers of consumers adopting their own personal health records through patient portals translates into more people actively participating in their health care.

We are so proud to attract extraordinary physicians, nurses and other clinicians and support staff to MemorialCare. Our significant investment in state-of-the-art facilities and in the most sophisticated medical technologies — often the only such advanced facilities and equipment in the region — allows us to detect and treat the most complex and complicated diseases and conditions.

Is the community involved in the changes?

Members of the community are engaged with us in many ways. Screenings, health prevention and educational programs are offered at our hospitals, physician practices and outpatient centers, in the community, at worksites and schools and at memorialcare.org to help consumers to improve their health and wellness. The Patient and Family Advisory Councils at each hospital offer important advice and ideas on creating new programs and enhancing current services, helping to redesign key interactions by offering the ‘voice of the customer.’ And staff-led Partnership Councils collaborate on performance improvement and on patient experience projects.

Our Hourly Patient-Family Hospital Rounds supplement the patient care provided 24/7. Each hour, someone checks in on patients, ensuring that they are comfortable and their needs are being met, thus building trusting relationships. This enhances responses and communications among patients and their caregivers, resulting in less anxious patients and improved patient and family satisfaction.

Each week, the members of the leadership team ask patients about their care, learning first-hand how we are doing and ways staff can improve the hospital and the outpatient experience. Immediately following these interactions, team members huddle with staff — celebrating the positives, sharing feedback and opportunities to improve, discussing ideas and determining next steps.

What is the current status of population health management?

For years, we have provided programs that coordinate and improve care of children and of adults in the community. As the only campus in Los Angeles and Orange counties with adult and children’s hospitals in one location, we are able to offer lifetime care for those facing chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, orthopedic issues, asthma, and scores of other diseases and conditions, thus helping consumers to take control of their health and their lives.

Our Good Life program focuses on significantly improving the health and wellness of our own employees and of their families through fitness challenges, plus nutritious offerings and support for chronic conditions. The results-driven program is extended to local employers that tap our expertise to improve the health of their own work forces with onsite screenings and seminars, executive and employee physicals and more. MemorialCare also hosts programs to help employers adapt to health care reform, assist in trimming health benefits and health care costs, and in improving productivity.

All of these activities in the areas of best-practice, evidence-based medicine, advanced technologies, improving the patient experience, management of the health of the population and providing true value in health care have proven critical to the communities that MemorialCare serves. All of these efforts will continue to result in extraordinary quality, proven treatments and comprehensive care that are continually raising medical standards and ensure that MemorialCare remains a national leader in transforming health care.

Diana Hendel, PharmD, is CEO of Long Beach Memorial, Community Hospital Long Beach and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach. The hospitals are part of MemorialCare Health System, a not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system that also includes Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills and San Clemente; MemorialCare Medical Group; Greater Newport Physicians, an Independent Practice Association (IPA); MemorialCare HealthExpress retail clinics; and numerous outpatient health centers throughout the Southland. For information, go to memorialcare.com.

Insights Health Care is brought to you by MemorialCare Health System

Published in Los Angeles

Long before the Supreme Court upheld health care reform, health care organizations had begun implementation of substantial changes, moving from a system of caring for the sick to one focused on improving each individual’s health and wellness. Today’s consumers are increasingly taking control of their health and collaborating as true members of health care teams — for the betterment of themselves and of their communities.

To learn more, Smart Business turned to Barry Arbuckle, Ph.D., president and CEO of MemorialCare Health System and past chair of the California Hospital Association.

How is reform impacting health care?

One area that health care reform is addressing is the ‘Triple Aim’ of improving quality of care, reducing health care costs and also enhancing the patient experience. MemorialCare has been in the forefront of innovative and cost-effective health care delivery since opening its first hospital in 1905. It aims to continually improve patient quality, safety, satisfaction and outcomes, and engage consumers of all ages in improving their health, wellness and lifestyle.

The system realized decades ago the importance of establishing a more scientific approach to improving health care outcomes. That is when it became a national pioneer in best-practice, evidence-based medicine. The systems’ physician-led interdisciplinary teams identify, create, refine and expand upon the best diagnostic, treatment and prevention for virtually every disease, illness and medical category that a patient may face. Implementing optimal clinical standards across the entire health care system allows MemorialCare hospitals to achieve patient outcomes that surpass national and regional standards.

What is the role of electronic medical records (EMRs)?

To support evidence-based medicine, MemorialCare adopted electronic medical records systemwide. Many years ago, it was the first in Orange County to have a hospital go completely live with EMRs and all of its major facilities have comprehensive digital systems. The results are higher quality and safer care with clinicians able to immediately access patient records. Electronic records in physician offices and other locations add to benefits of more coordinated, seamless care throughout the MemorialCare Health System. And consumers who have begun adopting their own personal health records through the system’s patient portals translates into more people who are actively participating in their health care.

How are patients and families involved?

Patients and families are engaged in a variety of different ways. Education, screenings and health prevention programs are offered at hospitals, physician practices and outpatient centers as well as in the community, at the worksite and schools and online at memorialcare.org. Patient and Family Advisory Councils offer important advice on new and existing programs and services, helping to redesign key interactions by offering the ‘voice of the customer.’ And staff-led Partnership Councils collaborate on performance improvement and on patient experience projects.

An example of these efforts is the Executive Rounding. Each week, members of the system’s leadership team ask patients throughout the facilities about their care, allowing us to learn first-hand how we are doing and how staff can impact the hospital experience. Following these interactions, teams members immediately huddle with staff in that area — celebrating the positives, sharing feedback and opportunities to improve, discussing ideas and next steps.

Another example is the Hourly Patient-Family Rounds that supplement patient care provided 24/7. Each hour, someone checks in on patients, ensuring they are comfortable and that their needs are being met, thus building trusting relationships. The result has been better responses and communications among patients and their caregivers, with less anxious patients and improved patient and family satisfaction.

What about population health management?

For years, MemorialCare has participated in programs to coordinate and improve care of children and adults in the community with cancer, heart disease, orthopedic issues, asthma, diabetes, weight issues and scores of other diseases and chronic conditions in order to help consumers take control of both their health and their lives.

The Good Life program focuses on highly improving the health and wellness of employees and their families through fitness programs, nutritious offerings in the cafeterias and support for those with conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. This program is also extended to local employers who tap the system’s expertise to improve the health of their own work forces with onsite screenings and seminars, executive and employee physicals and more. MemorialCare also hosts programs to help employers adapt to health care reform, assist in trimming health benefits and health care costs and in improving productivity.

These combinations of activities in best-practice, evidence-based medicine and in advanced technologies, improving the patient experience, managing the health of the population and providing true value in health care have proven critical to all the communities the health system serves. These efforts will continue to result in extraordinary quality, proven treatments and comprehensive care that continually raise medical standards and meet the important goals of health care reform and beyond.

Barry Arbuckle, Ph.D., is the president and CEO of MemorialCare Health System. The Southern California not-for-profit health care delivery system includes Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Community Hospital Long Beach, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley and Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills and San Clemente. For additional information on excellence in health care, please visit memorialcare.org.

Insights Health Care is brought to you by MemorialCare Health System

Published in Los Angeles

As fall approaches, millions of Americans are facing one of the most important decisions for themselves and for their families. The annual ritual called open enrollment is often the only time each year that businesses allow their work force to make changes to their health benefits plans.

Smart Business Magazine spoke to Barry Arbuckle, Ph.D., president and CEO of the nationally recognized MemorialCare Health System and also the past chairman of the California Hospital Association, about how employers and employees can learn to make smarter choices about their health.

Why is open enrollment so important?

The choices that employees make during open enrollment will help determine the cost, the access and quality of their health care for the following year. Whether it is adding dependents, enrolling in a new plan, selecting a different primary care physician, increasing or decreasing one’s out-of-pocket expenses or other options, consumers should know the facts before making such decisions. Selecting a doctor, for example, can determine the entire course of one’s health care — including the hospital you’ll go to for both inpatient and outpatient care. That’s why it is so important to shop for health care just as you would for any other major purchase you make.

Selection of a health plan should be determined by more than just price. It’s important to examine your medical needs and those of your family. Do you or your family require regular prescriptions or doctor visits? This and some issues factor into how much coverage will be adequate for your needs. And you need to price out the unpredictable because medical emergencies do occur and payment for those varies from plan to plan.

How are physicians selected?

When it comes to choosing a physician during open enrollment, take the time to understand the benefits that are covered under each plan offered. Determine if you are comfortable with the medical group that your physician belongs to. Will you be able to continue to see your favorite specialists? Is your preferred hospital of choice contracted with your new health plan?

Large, highly regarded health systems  such as MemorialCare Health System are associated with many high-quality medical groups in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Consider the hospital or hospitals that are covered in your plan. Are they part of an integrated health system that provides patients with more access to sophisticated technology and advanced treatments and procedures? Receiving care from a health system also helps to ensure the clinicians treating you — whether they are in a primary care physician’s office, a specialist’s office, or a hospital — have shared access through electronic medical records to the latest information about your diagnosis, allergies, tests and other critical medical information. This helps streamline care, better manage any chronic conditions and avoid the unnecessary duplication of tests.

What are other considerations?

By planning ahead, you will have access to services that you consider important — and in the facility that meets your standards, when needed. Also take the time to inquire about a hospital’s quality, safety, its clinical outcomes, reputation and its patient care philosophy before making any decisions. Ensure you’ll have access to the hospital that demonstrates the best possible results for their patients — a hospital that employs a ‘best-practice’ approach to patient care where multidisciplinary teams continually study and implement cutting-edge treatments and techniques in a variety of specialties.

We are proud that MemorialCare hospitals — innovators and pioneers in best practice, evidence based medicine — have received many honors and awards from national, regional and statewide organizations for their quality, safety, clinical care and employees.

For example, MemorialCare Health System  is again one of only 27 businesses globally to receive the Gallup Great Workplace Award for having the world’s most engaged employees, which, according to Gallup, are safer and more productive, customer-centric and successful.

Another example is the recent accolades of MemorialCare Medical Group and of Greater Newport Physicians. Both physician organizations are continually honored by California Association of Physician Groups with the Elite Status rating of four stars, the highest rating possible for medical groups in California. The program measures ways that physician organizations improve patient quality, safety, affordability, access, communications, continuity of care, health information technology, public accountability, cultural sensitivies and their responsiveness.

How can employers improve open enrollment?

Businesses should continually evaluate their health plans to ensure they remain competitive. Work with brokers and health plans to ensure networks that are offered provide the best care possible while maintaining affordability.

Improve the process with comprehensive staff communications, benefit plan meetings and other activities to ensure employees fully understand all of their options and the ramifications of their choices. Explain basic insurance terms, the differences between co-payment and co-insurance, the impact of deductibles on their premiums, out-of-pocket expenses and the costs of out-of-network care.

All of the MemorialCare medical centers, MemorialCare Medical Group and Greater Newport Physicians offer employers many programs and services both onsite at the workplace and in the community. These include benefits and health fairs, wellness programs, executive physicals and information on how to select the best plan, lower your benefit costs and access high-quality care.

BARRY ARBUCKLE, Ph.D., is the president and CEO of MemorialCare Health System. The not-for-profit MemorialCare Health System includes Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Community Hospital Long Beach, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley and Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills and San Clemente. For more information on excellence in health care, visit memorialcare.org.

Insights Health Care is brought to you by MemorialCare Health System

Published in Orange County
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