Relationships in Medicine

“Anything happen in your day? Anything new happening at work?”

After an extended deliberate process by leadership of Beaumont Health System and our own, Henry Ford Health System, leadership of both organizations announced a plan Wednesday to begin exclusive negotiations to create a new organization merging our operations into a new organization, to serve as a new model of health care delivery.

From left: Beaumont CEO Gene Michalski; HFHS CEO Nancy Schlichting; Beaumont CMO Dr. Ananias Diokno; Me; HFHS Board of Trustees Chair Sandy Pierce; and Beaumont Board of Trustees Chair Steve Howard at Wednesday’s press conference.

The Boards for Henry Ford and Beaumont approved a letter of intent to develop this new organization, and to enter a period of negotiations and due diligence to determine how best to bring the systems together. The goal is to create a definitive agreement for approval in the first half of 2013.

So when we go home and our spouse asks what happened at work today, we can say something more than, “Nothing, really.”

Here are comments I shared at the press conference announcing this event…

Medicine and health care create strong relationships.

Through those relationships, Henry Ford has had a long history of collaborating with Beaumont on patient care, education and research.

Many Beaumont physicians and my colleagues, including me, cared for patients together, patients who received their health care in both systems, systems with histories of clinical strength and deeply shared values.

Combining these two national leaders in clinical excellence and patient safety will transform our focus from not only healing the sick but to keeping people and our communities healthy.

The prospect of what we can do together for patients is exciting, especially opportunities to improve population health through quality, safety, integration and premier clinical programs.

This partnership can provide:

  • A comprehensive service offering to our patients with ample coverage throughout the full spectrum of medical specialties,  as well as
  • Greater access to care with broad selection of clinical sites close to home wherever you live in Southeastern Michigan.

With the installation to the EPIC electronic medical record throughout Henry Ford, both Beaumont and Henry Ford will have a common integrated medical record across all clinical sites.

  • With a common electronic medical record, patients will always be treated by a clinician who knows their history, no matter which site they visit, because their patient records will be at the clinician’s fingertips.
  • This common electronic record enhances patient safety, reduces duplication of test and services, and increase patient satisfaction.

Today’s announcement follows months of study and deliberation by both organizations on how to continue their nationally recognized industry leadership in the face of the changing health care environment. Continue reading

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