Lifespan, Rhode Island’s largest hospital network and private employer, with more than 14,000 employees, is investing more than $100 million over the next four years to redesign its health care delivery system, to make it more patient-centric, according to Lifespan President and CEO Dr. Timothy J. Babineau.
A significant part of that investment is the building of a new IT infrastructure, using Epic hardware and software, the same technology company chosen by Partners Healthcare in Boston, one of the largest and most prestigious hospital networks in Massachusetts.
The new IT system will connect all the hospitals and departments within the Lifespan system under one technology platform, eliminating “fragmentation and silos” in the delivery of care, according to Babineau.
PBN: How would you describe what Lifespan is building in terms of its new health-information-technology system?
BABINEAU: Lifespan is about to undertake a fundamental redesign of the way it delivers care within its system, supporting by new IT applications. As I have told the board and our physicians, this is not just an IT project, it is a fundamental redesign of care delivery, supported by a new IT infrastructure.
It is being led more out of my operations shop, rather than my IT shop.
Lifespan is redesigning and re-engineering its health care delivery model.
PBN: Why did you decide to make the change?
BABINEAU: I’ve been CEO at Lifespan for five months. George [Vecchione, the previous CEO], did a spectacular job for 14 years. George brought a particular viewpoint to the system; as a physician, I bring a distinctly different view.
I am committed to make Lifespan a patient-centered [hospital system]. It will be transformative, hard, and gut-wrenching, but it is absolutely the right thing to do for our patients.
PBN: When will it be operational?
BABINEAU: The work is going to begin this spring. We are looking at the strategy [through the lens] of how we want to deliver care moving forward, to eliminate fragmentation in care and in IT systems and standardize workflow. Much of the hard work that needs to be done has nothing to do with putting in the IT software. It involves process-mapping how care is delivered across the system. There are a dozen different ways that patients can be registered into the system.
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