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CARE: Compassion, Accountability, Respect, Excellence

Posted Sep 20 2010 12:26pm
Why have so many people referred to the Schwartz Center as the Switzerland of health care?

In addition to supporting, educating and training clinicians to provide patient centered care, another role we play is that of convener, giving healthcare leaders the chance to express their views on why communication and compassion matter in today's health care system.

In that spirit, we invited Dr. Ralph de la Torre, President & CEO of Caritas Christi Health Care System to speak at our annual Corporate Breakfast about how Caritas will continue to deliver patient-centered health care under the ownership of Cerberus.

Dr. de la Torre emphasized that Caritas’ tax status does not define its patient care mission. Instead, the values of compassion, accountability, respect and excellence (CARE) form the basis of Caritas’ goal to create an accountable health care organization which puts patients at the middle of the health care delivery system while remaining consistent with its business objectives.

He elaborated on the three components necessary to creating this type of healthcare organization:

1. Physicians. Caritas involved physicians in a complete redesign of its organizational structure to keep them engaged. Information technology, despite its financial and operational challenges, has also been a way to integrate physicians into the Caritas hospital community.

2. Employees & Facilities. Dr. de la Torre emphasized that employees must feel valued by the management team and work in a facility which is functionally sound and efficient. Employee satisfaction has a positive impact on patient care.

3. Patients. At Caritas, the goal is to ensure that care moves around the patient. This means making it as easy as possible for patients to get their health care locally rather than sending them to more expensive off site locations.

Stay tuned for future posts from other health care leaders who we will ask to share their thoughts about how, in Ken Schwartz's words, they will preserve these precious moments of engagement.

What do you think of Dr. de la Torre's plans for creating an accountable care organization that places patients first?

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