A Publication of WTVP

Relationships are important when it comes to healthcare. Think about it: you want to have a good relationship—a comfortable relationship—with any doctor you go to for care.

For any healthcare organization, the goal of delivering the best care should always focus on the patient—what is best for those we care for. But sometimes, it’s also what’s best for the providers and the community. Forward-thinking organizations always look for ways to strengthen and improve relationships.

For OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and OSF HealthCare, we are constantly developing and refining our Accountable Care Management (ACM) structure. It’s something we use when working with groups that aren’t employed by us, providers that offer services that we want to collaborate with them on.

Through ACMs, we pay the group for their services, but, in turn, they must meet certain quality standards of care because we are judged on those standards through public report cards that can be accessed by anyone. In addition, as the way healthcare is paid for changes, there is an increasing focus to not create more risk for the organization while at the same time providing the right care at the right time and in the right place for the patient.

One such example is OSF’s affiliation with IPMR to become OSF-IPMR. This relationship allows us to deliver rehab services in a better, more efficient manner that improves access, affordability and outcomes for patients. Outside our walls, there are the relationships we develop within the community. OSF HealthCare, through the Jump Simulation Center, is developing and providing incubator space for a variety of groups. It is a marriage of healthcare, manufacturing and economic development that no one group can “own.” Within the incubator space, intellectual property will be tested and trialed through simulation to develop medical tools and devices with the ultimate goal of changing and improving the way healthcare is delivered.

Working with organizations like the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, Caterpillar, Bradley University, the University of Illinois College of Engineering and the College of Medicine, Peoria MATTER and more, the possibilities are endless. It’s all about relationships and collaboration—working together to do what’s best for our communities.

We are also working on relationship opportunities that expand our scope well outside the Tri-County Area. In fact, the opportunities lie north of the border.

OSF has been having conversations—developing relationships—with the Canadian Consulate. Although Canada offers socialized medicine, are there ways for them to learn from us, and vice versa? One big area of interest for them is telemedicine. There are large stretches of Canada with limited services and infrastructure in between major cities like Toronto and Quebec, and each Canadian province operates with its own set of rules at times. So how do you improve healthcare, bringing it closer to those in need, while working across five regions? It might be the ultimate test of relationship-building, from which we can all learn something!

For as much as the work we’re doing now moves us forward as a healthcare leader, it also reminds us of where we started, grounding us in the past. When our Sisters arrived in Peoria and started their Ministry nearly 139 years ago, it was centered around their desire to build a relationship and engage the community in providing the care it deserves. It’s work that continues and holds a bright promise for the future. iBi

Dr. Mike Cruz is president of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.