Quality of Care Is About the Entire Patient Experience

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Dr. Dev Gnanadev is the past president of the California Medical Association and is currently the Chief of Surgery at the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. He recently spoke with Ja Marr Brown of Successful Physicians Monthly Magazine about the services his hospital provides and how the medical community should be preparing for the upcoming changes as part of the Affordable Care Act.

People don’t realize how much change is coming as insurance companies and the government are walking away from paying for a service; instead they are going to pay for the health of the community or the health of the person.

“The mission of the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center is simple; quality healthcare and health education to all the people whether they have insurance or don’t have insurance,” Dr. Gnanadev said when taking about the main focus of the hospital. Built in 1999 the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center is the county hospital for San Bernardino located in Southern California. With a main emphasis on quality of healthcare, all of the employees and doctors engaged in customer service training, called “Charm School,” when the hospital first opened its doors.

“Charm School was important because we did not want to move into a new facility and people feel like it’s a county hospital and they don’t care about us.” Dr. Gnanadev explained that quality of care is not simply how good the result was. It also includes how the patient feels. “Quality of care is not just in the mind of the physician or based on the scientific result. It is also in the mind of the patient…so we take it very seriously.”

The Arrowhead Regional Medical Center offers numerous programs to assist in their mission of quality healthcare and health education for the San Bernardino county. In collaboration with the probation department, they offer free tattoo removal for former gang members that want to change their lives. The hospital has a professional chef on staff that has created healthy living and cooking classes free of charge for the community. One of the programs that Dr. Gnanadev is most proud of is The Edward G. Hirschman Burn Center. “One third of burn patients are children…burn surgery is very taxing and our team works very hard and we have very little turnover in our burn unit.” The hospital goes one step further in helping burn victims recover and build self esteem by offering retreats called, “Burn Camp.” “Care in our minds is not just giving healthcare in the hospital. It is total care including families.”

The Arrowhead Regional Medical Center Foundation raises funds to help the Medical Center achieve its mission. One of the key initiatives of the Foundation was to raise funds in order to create a mobile clinic. The mobile clinic visits parts of the county where access to healthcare facilities is limited or non-existent. Dr. Gnanadev said that the mobile clinic is designed to, “take healthcare to people rather than waiting for people to come to up.” The mobile clinic also makes stops at various community events and offers free health screenings. Dr. Gnanadev made it very clear that, “Prevention is the key” in healthcare. Asthma is the leading cause of school absenteeism as well as the number one reason children go to the emergency room. In partnership with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ARMC has created the Breath Mobile which is an “asthma clinic on wheels”. According to Dr. Gnanadev, the services of their two Breath Mobiles have cut down absenteeism by about 80% and lowered emergency room visits for asthma aggravation by 70%. All services are provided at no cost to the patient.

As President of the California Medical Association, Dr. Gnanadev very involved in health reform and the Affordable Care Act. “Health reform does put patients in the middle and makes sure that the way that doctors and hospitals will be paid will be based on showing results not by showing how many procedures you have done.” Dr. Gnanadev went on to explain that those results will be based on such things as: patient satisfaction scores, number of wound infections, and readmitted rates.

When asked about the future of healthcare and how it is going to affect their hospital, Dr. Gnanadev said, “Our goal is to improve population health. Population health management is different form an acute care hospital. Population health management involves partnerships with: hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, churches, home healthcare agencies and community organizations.”

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Dwight Cromie

Dwight Cromie
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