UC medical centers team up to lead way on health care reform
The University of California is launching a new center to support innovations at UC health campuses, including UCLA, to transform the way the health needs of Californians are addressed.
"This center will help connect the best and brightest UC minds so we can spread the most effective innovations throughout the system, provide Californians with better health care and be a leader in delivering health reforms," said Dr. John Stobo, UC senior vice president for health sciences and services and the chair of the governing board for the new UC Center for Health Quality and Innovation.
As part of federal health reform, providers will be expected to better coordinate care and improve the quality, access and value of care delivered to patients. The new UC Center for Health Quality and Innovation will be working to meet those challenges and fulfill its mission of patient care, health professional education and research to serve all Californians.
Projects will take place at UC campuses with a small coordinating staff based at the UC Office of the President in Oakland. The center will be a clearinghouse for best practices and provide financial support for projects at individual UC campuses that could be extended throughout the UC system to improve wellness and enhance the delivery of health care. Its governing board, chaired by Dr. Stobo, includes the six UC medical school deans and five UC medical center CEOs.
Dr. David Feinberg
Serving on the board from UCLA will be Dr. David Feinberg, CEO for the UCLA Hospital System and associate vice chancellor for UCLA health sciences, and Dr. A. Eugene Washington, vice chancellor of UCLA health sciences and dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine.
"UCLA is excited to be a part of the UC Center for Health Quality and Innovation," said Dr. Feinberg. "We have always been a leader in providing safe and high quality care. This new center will allow us, with our other UC medical centers, to do even more to improve the lives of all our patients."
Dr. A. Eugene Washington
Said Dr. Washington: “UCLA has always been a world leader in health care innovation. The national dialogue on health care gives us an unparalleled opportunity to share the advancements we’ve pioneered in medical education, research and patient care services.”
Noting the many federal programs will be funding pilot projects to research, design and deploy more effective healthcare systems, Dr. Washington emphasized that UCLA has not only the ability, but also a responsibility, to step up to the plate. “UCLA has all of the elements required to play a leading role in health care reform, including collaborations with all of the health sciences schools and the entire UCLA campus," Washington said.
As part of this effort, Dr. Molly Joel Coye, UCLA’s new chief innovation officer, will be overseeing the new UCLA Innovates HealthCare Initiative. “UCLA innovates all the time but does not necessarily disseminate its innovations,” said Washington. “We will embrace our role as a national leader in the development of new and ever more effective healthcare initiatives.”
Funding for the center will be provided by each of the five UC medical centers, which will contribute $1 million each. The funds will come from money generated from the California Hospital Fee Program. The program imposes a fee on California hospitals to make supplemental Medi-Cal payments and direct grants to hospitals, and help support coverage for children. The UC center also will pursue grants and philanthropic funding.
The center also can be a valuable resource for leaders in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., and other stakeholders interested in using its findings to help develop health policy. Its work is meant to complement and extend campus-based innovation efforts such as the UCLA Innovates HealthCare Initiative. Examples of the types of campus innovations that the center will be looking at include:
- A UCLA-led consortium involving five UC medical schools and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center that is researching the use of wireless and telephone care management to reduce hospital readmissions for heart failure patients.
- UC Davis' Interim Care Program, which works with other health systems and organizations to provide an 18-bed shelter that allows homeless men and women to recuperate from their medical conditions after being discharged from a hospital and referred by the hospital's nursing staff, helping to reduce hospital readmissions.
- UC Irvine's study of the effectiveness of new methods to prevent staph infections in people who harbor MRSA bacteria when they're discharged from the hospital.
- UC San Diego's project that allows physicians to make follow-up appointments at participating community clinics for patients being treated in the hospital or emergency department who don't have a physician, improving patient care and safety while reducing return ER visits.
- UC San Francisco's program to reduce the amount of "door-to-balloon" time transporting heart attack patients from the emergency room to the catheterization lab for balloon angioplasty, a procedure to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels of the heart.