Our Patient Care Program aims to eliminate preventable harms and unnecessary health care costs by meaningfully engaging patients and their families within a redesigned, supportive health care system. Redesigning health care means taking a systems approach to rethinking and re-engineering the complex delivery of care so that it functions as a coherent system rather than as fragmented and prone to errors. Redesigning requires a focus on technology, process and culture to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of care.
Redesigning also means that the system must focus on engaging the patient. We have all experienced, and too often suffered from, poor communications among health care professionals, hospital staff and patients and families. The doctor spoke in medical terms that were hard to understand; the patient didn’t feel comfortable asking a question. Communication begins with wishing to be understood—which means doctors and others in health care support patients and their families to be informed, make important decisions, and participate in their own care. In fact, research shows that when patients understand more, they make better decisions that improve their health, boost satisfaction and lower cost.
We will demonstrate our approach by partnering with others who also believe that our health care delivery system can, and should, change by having people and technologies work together to improve care.
We are taking these issues head on, beginning first in the ICU—where patients are most at risk to suffer from preventable harms, health care costs are among the highest and families, an invaluable yet untapped source of knowledge, often remain isolated. Eliminating preventable harms is not easy, but we believe that leaders who are the best at what they do can work together to produce the greatest solutions for our health care system. In partnership with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medicine and Applied Physics Laboratory, and the University of California at San Francisco, we are redesigning how care is delivered in the ICU. These four academic medical centers and their partners are developing smarter tools and protocols to help ensure that patients and their families are engaged in their care, to promote communications and collaboration across the entire care team, and to identify potential harms with clear actions to prevent them—ultimately making care safer and more compassionate and helping reduce health care costs.
For more than a decade we have focused on improving care for patients. Before the launch of the Patient Care Program in 2012, we created the Betty Irene Moore Nursing Initiative with the goals of addressing the nursing shortage and improving care in adult acute care hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Sacramento. Over the years, our efforts ensured a sufficiently large and well-prepared registered nurse workforce and expanded to implement evidence-based practices to reduce preventable harms and improve the transition of patients from hospital to home throughout the region. Collectively, our efforts have trained more than 2,500 nurses and other frontline clinicians and improved patient care in more than 80 percent of the region’s adult acute care hospitals.
In our commitment to build nursing leaders for the future, we launched the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California at Davis with $100 million dedicated to educate, train and prepare nurse leaders in new care models that will enhance and advance overall health care for generations to come.