BJC Collaborative FAQ
Why has SIH chosen to develop a relationship with other health care systems?
The health care landscape has been changing rapidly in recent years. In response to those changes, SIH began a careful review of options for relationships with hospitals and health systems. The goal is to strengthen the SIH System by aligning with other providers of high quality health care services in the Midwest and, together, to provide even higher quality health care to the patients in these areas.
Why the BJC Collaborative, LLC?
SIH established criteria against which to evaluate potential relationships, including: (a) enhancing medical services in Southern Illinois; (b) improving quality and reducing the costs of such services; (c) retaining local ownership of assets and (d) maintaining local governance control.
Through the BJC Collaborative, SIH will be able to participate in the following initiatives:
- 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 options, 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.
SIH’s participation in the BJC Collaborative does not involve a change in ownership of SIH’s assets or governance. SIH remains intact with opportunities to reduce costs and improve care quality as well as clinical and service performance.
The BJC Collaborative also enables SIH to connect to the St. Louis, MO health care market, where many of its patients are referred for tertiary and quaternary medical care, and specifically to work more closely with BJC HealthCare. BJC HealthCare includes Barnes-Jewish Hospital, an academic medical center affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine.
Is this the first step towards a merger?
No. SIH has not discussed a merger with the BJC Collaborative members. Instead, the Collaborative signals a commitment to work together under a structure that allows each participant to maintain its unique identity, to preserve its independence, and to serve the health care needs of its local communities. At the same time, the participants can derive both the quality of care and financial benefits that come from being part of a larger Collaborative enterprise. The participants will be able to share services, costs and best practices where possible, while remaining independent systems.
Will there be leadership changes?
No. SIH will continue to operate independently with local governance and local leadership as presently constituted.
How will SIH’s employees be affected by this relationship?
SIH anticipates that the work of the Collaborative will be transparent to patients, families and the people who take care of them. Initially, the focus will be to capture opportunities to reduce or share costs in areas such as supplies, energy management, contracted services, equipment purchasing and maintenance and information technology hardware and infrastructure. SIH will participate in leadership roundtables to share best practices in areas such as regulatory compliance and employee lifelong learning and professional development. SIH will work with the Collaborative to find new approaches to improving patient care and service and making SIH’s facilities even safer places to receive medical care.
How will physicians be affected?
SIH looks forward to providing Southern Illinois physicians the opportunity to collaborate in the development of clinical programs and services with their colleagues at BJC Healthcare.
Exactly how will this affiliation lead to better patient care? Reduced costs?
The participants in the Collaborative, such as BJC HealthCare and SIH, have achieved superior quality scores in a number of clinical service areas. Comparing different approaches and measuring patient-specific outcomes will help SIH determine what works best and how to replicate best practices in SIH’s facilities.
Are you creating a new, combined group purchasing organization?
No. SIH and the other systems in the Collaborative are already members of Voluntary Hospitals of America (VHA.) However, to the extent that the participants can adopt those standards for certain products, supplies and equipment and coordinate the timing of these purchases, there may be additional opportunities for savings.
Will you have one Electronic Medical Record platform with the other participants in the Collaborative?
Not in the near future. Participants in the Collaborative have made sizeable investments in different software applications. However, over time, it is possible that a common EMR platform will be one of those areas of focus, so the participants may migrate to common solutions for mutual benefit.
Can others join the Collaborative?
The founding members of the BJC Collaborative will determine whether to invite additional health systems to join. SIH is pleased with the invitation to participate.
Does this mean SIH will not partner with any other health care providers in the future?
SIH will always look for appropriate relationships to work with others who share their goal to take great care of the patients they serve. We have worked with other organizations in a less formal structure on issues and will likely continue to do so in the future.