Date: July 1, 2013
Springtime always makes me think of new beginnings. And this spring at Johns Hopkins Medicine has been extra exciting, as our federally funded Johns Hopkins Community Health Partnership moved into full swing.
As you can see in our cover story, this ambitious effort to improve health outcomes for residents of East Baltimore and elsewhere has the potential to transform the way health care is delivered in the hospital, home and community. In just a few short months, allied health workers from East Baltimore working as ambassadors for our program already have engaged more than 100 residents who otherwise likely would not have taken advantage of primary care services. I’m privileged to be part of this innovative effort, which pools the expertise of health professionals across many divisions of Johns Hopkins Medicine.
A hallmark of the program is increased communication, including providers working in multidisciplinary rounds to discuss a holistic view of hospitalized patients’ needs and providing more education to patients to empower them to take charge of their health, as well as nurse transition guides who ensure smooth discharges and break down barriers to recovery.
Improved communication is a significant bonus from another major systemwide effort at Johns Hopkins Medicine this spring—our switchover to the Epic consolidated electronic medical record. Now, in a single system, our providers will be able to review patient medical history and recent lab and test results, and input new information in real time.
This switch not only benefits us, however. Patients will be able to easily access their personal health information from home, and through a feature called CareLink, referring physicians can keep tabs on patients sent to Johns Hopkins facilities for consultations or care and ask questions of our providers.
Although the transition to Epic was a team effort, one of our many champions was Gene Green. I’m sure many of you know him from his outstanding history with Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, where he has held many leadership positions since 2003 and where his efforts led to significant improvements in operating performance and increased patient, employee and physician satisfaction. Since February, Gene has been heading Suburban Hospital, and I can’t think of a better person to shepherd that community hospital in this challenging health care environment.
President, Johns Hopkins HealthCare