Charlottesville-Area Hospitals Join Health Networks
Two Charlottesville hospitals are taking on new initiatives to make sure patients get the best health care value and top-notch service without breaking the bank.
The University of Virginia Health System and Martha Jefferson Hospital have joined health networks as a way to be better stewards of people's time and money. A big part of what makes these networks successful is that they allow health care providers to share patient information so there is no overlap in service.
UVA's Well Virginia is an accountable care organization, which focuses on Medicare patients to ensure people get the service that's right for them.
"We can tell if a patient has had an immunization somewhere else, a stress test somewhere else, so the idea is to know, one, that it's happened and they're up to date, and two, avoid duplication,” said Dr. Daniel McCarter of Well Virginia.
In January, Martha Jefferson's parent company Sentara launched the Sentara Quality Care Network. But unlike UVA's Well Virginia, it has a much broader outreach than Medicare.
"Many of our physicians, we have over 300 here in Charlottesville, we have over 2,300 across the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Michael Oblinger with Sentara Quality Care Network.
Technology is a big part of how Sentara allows doctors to communicate across such a large spectrum.
"Most of them are private, and they have chosen their own electronic medical records just like you choose your own cell phone and they don't talk to each other,” Oblinger said.
Sentara has developed a data registry which tracks patients and makes their records available to any doctor wherever they are. The goal is to help monitor people outside the doctor's office.
“If you have someone with congestive heart failure and they've been in the hospital six times, if we can manage them and keep them out of the hospital, the patient's much better off but so is the system," Oblinger said.
Enrollment for both networks officially began January 1.
UVA says there are about 20,000 people using Well Virginia, whereas there are about 60,000 participating in the Sentara Network across the state.