From the Desk of Amy Perry: New Program to Reduce Avoidable ED Visits

The following blog was originally posted on lifebridgeblogs.org.

Recently, I had the privilege of announcing, along with HealthCare Access Maryland, an innovative program to reduce avoidable emergency department visits. It’s a project that our emergency department leadership has envisioned for many years and one that I believe will play a critical role in the future of health care in our region.

As an organization, we’re focusing on population health, which in part means to provide the right level of care at the right time to the people we serve. That’s why we’ve partnered with HealthCare Access Maryland on a new program called Access Health. Through the program, patients that are high utilizers of the emergency department at Sinai Hospital will be connected with an individualized set of services and community support, including access to primary and specialty care, to help them overcome obstacles to maintaining good health.

Sometimes it takes a village to care for people, and especially to care for an entire community. Through this program, we’re pooling the collective energies and resources of Sinai Hospital and HealthCare Access Maryland, with the support of grant funding from the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission, to make strides toward improving the health of our community.

At Sinai Hospital, we’ve identified more than 200 patients who have visited the emergency department four or more times in a rolling four-month period, with some coming as many as 20 times. We’re identifying these repeat patients and referring them to the Access Health care coordinators who work right inside the walls of our emergency department. They’ll meet with patients to identify barriers that prevent them from leading healthier lives, with a goal of educating and empowering patients to better manage their own care, and in turn, reduce readmissions and save precious health care resources.

To read more about this new program, check out this article in the Baltimore Sun. You can watch a video of the press conference here.

- written by Amy Perry, president of Sinai Hospital and EVP of LifeBridge Health.

Amy Perry is the president of Sinai Hospital and executive vice president of LifeBridge Health. Since her arrival at LifeBridge Health in March 2013, she has focused on furthering the mission of the organization. Health care is undergoing dramatic change as the Affordable Care Act is further rolled out and as Maryland implements its new all-payer model with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Perry is preparing the organization for the future – elevating its reputation for excellence by expanding its destination programs; enhancing its value through quality and efficiency initiatives; and supporting an array of targeted programs to improve population health.

In July 2013, Perry was named one of the Baltimore Sun’s “50 Women to Watch.” She is a strong advocate of innovation and continuous performance improvement in disease prevention, chronic disease management, comprehensive diagnosis and advanced treatment. She believes that technology and collaboration will be the keys to success in this new era of health care.