Innovating in High Value Care

Published in Winter 2019

The goal of high value health care—wholly embraced at Johns Hopkins—is to deliver the best health care at the lowest cost. But as you’ll see in Johns Hopkins Champions High Value Care Nationally, my colleagues here are taking high value a few steps further, searching within each department for methods to reduce unnecessary testing or creating new pathways for care. Such changes can really add up. For example, in fiscal year 2018, interventions to reduce brain MRI for uncomplicated headache led to over $500,000 in reduced charges, and limiting abdominal CT to indications supported by evidence in the literature led to a nearly $2 million reduction in charges. I’m excited to see continued good work from these teams.

Other innovative high value initiatives featured in this issue center on Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, where a nurse navigator service and education classes for prospective hip and knee replacement patients and their caregivers are having a big impact on patient satisfaction and readmission rates. Additionally, a novel protocol to make sure orthopedic patients are hydrated before surgery is reducing complications and the need for prescription-strength pain medicines.

For many patients, there is high value in being able to talk to health care providers or specialists from the comfort of home. With this population in mind, Johns Hopkins staunchly supported a bill approved by Maryland legislators in June allowing providers in the state to employ telemedicine in the management of many out-of-state patients as of next summer. Please be sure to check out our story on page 3 to learn more.

Finally, we introduce Ted DeWeese, a longtime radiation oncologist at Johns Hopkins who just took over the vice dean for clinical affairs post, succeeding Bill Baumgartner, who retired after many years in cardiac surgery at the East Baltimore campus. If you haven’t yet met Ted, I know you’ll enjoy working with him as much as I do. There’s no question that with excellent people like him—and others—on the job, Johns Hopkins will continue innovating pathways in the business of medicine to better serve our patients, payers and caregivers.