WEB EXTRA: Blessing Health System news release on BJC Collaborat - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

WEB EXTRA: Blessing Health System news release on BJC Collaborative announcement

 May 9, 2013 

Blessing Health System Partners with the BJC Collaborative

            Blessing Health System today announced that it will participate in the BJC Collaborative, a partnership among health care systems throughout Illinois, Missouri and Eastern Kansas.

            The Collaborative was founded in October 2012 by BJC HealthCare (St. Louis), Memorial Health System (Springfield, Ill.), Saint Luke's Health System (Kansas City), and CoxHealth (Springfield, Mo.) to improve the quality and efficiency of health care in the region. 

            While remaining independent, member and participant organizations will collaborate to achieve savings, deploy clinical programs and services to improve access to and quality of health care for patients, lower health care costs, and create additional efficiencies that will benefit patients and communities.

            A significant benefit of the BJC Collaborative is the deepening of Blessing's connection to the St. Louis and Springfield, Ill. health care markets, which are frequent sites of referrals for Blessing patients for specialized medical care or treatment. BJC HealthCare includes Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital, which are academic medical centers affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine. 

            The four founding members of the Collaborative have nearly 5,000 hospital beds, 52,600 employees and 6,933 employed and affiliated physicians across their adjacent service areas.  The Blessing Health System has 327 licensed beds, 72 employed physicians, and 2,700 employees.   

            Blessing is the first health system to be invited to participate in the Collaborative by the founding members. Memorial Health System is sponsoring Blessing's participation.

            The BJC Collaborative offers Blessing the opportunity to participate in multiple existing initiatives, to the benefit of Blessing and the communities it serves.  Those initiatives include:

  • Population Health Management – population health information and assessment, physician recruitment and engagement strategies including Accountable Care Organizations and medical home development.
  • Clinical and Service Quality – performance improvement, staff development and training – including eLearning, management and leadership development, clinical skills training, clinical decision support, safety event reporting and emergency preparedness.
  • Capital Asset Management – supply chain relationships, facilities design, clinical engineering, technology evaluation, energy conservation and facilities management.
  • Financial Services – capital resource evaluation analysis, treasury operations, revenue cycle, business intelligence and actuarial expertise.
  • Information Systems and Technology – meaningful use of health IT, data center management, data warehousing, software applications, hardware configurations and emerging technologies, data security and patient confidentiality.

Blessing's participation in the Collaborative will also offer the opportunity to provide input on additional future initiatives, including those specifically related to the unique challenges faced by Blessing and the communities it serves.

"Blessing has taken a bold step into the future of healthcare and aligned itself with the best partners available," said B. Bradford Billings, President and CEO of the Blessing Health System.  "The BJC Collaborative will provide Blessing with access to the best medical resources and professionals in the region and allow Blessing to participate in shaping the direction of health care services throughout the Midwest in a rapidly changing health care field."

            Participation in the BJC Collaborative is a natural extension of Blessing's long-time relationship with Memorial Health System.  Blessing and Memorial have a shared interest in the following initiatives that they will continue to explore along with new ones together and/or through the BJC Collaborative:

  • Implementation of the Allscripts Electronic Medical Record platform.
  • Participation in the Lincoln Land Health Information Exchange.
  • Shared services such as the existing Memorial Bariatric Program and Denman linen services.
  • Access to shared learning opportunities and the future Memorial "Learning Center."
  • Development of relationships with additional health care providers in the Central Illinois corridor, including relationships with providers such as Springfield Clinic, which can bring specialists and subspecialists to the Quincy community.  

            "Memorial Health System is pleased to sponsor Blessing Health System as it joins the BJC Collaborative as a partner," said Edgar J. Curtis, president and chief executive officer of Memorial Health System. "Blessing Health System shares the same values and commitments as the four founding members of the Collaborative as we work together to achieve better patient outcomes, improve efficiencies and lower costs. Through Blessing Health System's presence as a partner, all members of the BJC Collaborative – and their patients – will benefit."

            In addition to joining the BJC Collaborative and deepening its relationship with Memorial Health System, Blessing is expanding its outreach to physician leaders in its service area.  For several years Blessing Hospital has sought input and involvement from area physicians through its Physician Leadership Council.  The Council advises Blessing Hospital on how to enhance the quality and efficiency of health care services at the hospital.  Beginning immediately, the Physician Leadership Council will become an advisory body to the entire Blessing Health System and interact directly with the Board of Trustees and senior management of Blessing Corporate Services, Inc., which is the system's parent organization. 

            The members of the Physician Leadership Council currently consist of physicians with Quincy Medical Group and Blessing Physician Services.  The membership will be expanded to include physicians serving the patients of Illini Community Hospital in Pittsfield and other physician groups that may begin to practice in Blessing's service area.

            For more information, please contact B. Bradford Billings, President/CEO – The Blessing Health System at (217) 223-8400, ext. 6806.


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