you’re also keeping the physician productive in terms of how
time is used,” he says.
University Hospitals physicians are also grouped strategically to allow them to cross-cover for one another and share
evening and weekend call coverage. They all share the same
EMR as well, which the team regards as a must for coordination of care.
And as consumer-driven healthcare continues to take
hold, patient convenience is also important. “Consumers
want convenient access to primary and urgent care,” says
Tait. “So we try to provide as much care locally as possible,
because we recognize that most people don’t want to get in
the car and travel very far for care if they don’t have to.”
Today’s consumers also want choices, notes Hanson. So
in some cases, the system offers urgent care and an emer-
gency room in the same facility. “If it is a true emergency,
they can go one avenue, and if it’s an urgent-care-type need,
they can go the other way and keep the cost down,” he says.
To help consumers determine which setting is most
appropriate—and get seen as quickly as possible—
University Hospitals uses the InQuicker program. The
technology allows patients to log in through the website or
mobile app, answer a brief series of questions to determine
the appropriate site of care, and self-schedule an appointment at the ED or urgent care center that is closest to them
or has the shortest wait. Typically, patients who use this
technology can be seen within 10 minutes, says Hanson.
InQuicker has benefited University Hospitals as well,
through increased urgent-care volumes and fewer nonemergent cases showing up in the ED, Hanson says. Based
on registration data dating back to January 2014, 46%–50%
of patients who used the program indicated they were
new to the facility they visited, and thus represented 552 new
patients in 2014, 3,698 new patients in 2015, and 2,159 new
patients between January and May 2016.
When an outpatient growth tactic is successful, the vol-
ume speaks for itself in indicating the system is offering the
right services in the right locations to meet community need,
Hanson says. “These are our entry points into our system.
So if they’re run well, they feed our hospitals and facilities.”
The benefit of a large health system with various facilities
throughout the region, Tait says, is that patients have the
ability to get most care closer to home, and on an outpatient
basis when that makes the most sense. For instance, while
UH’s main campus provides high-level tertiary care for
complex cases, oncology patients are able to access much of
their care close to home at the UH Seidman Cancer Center’s
In general, UH outpatient facilities often service patients
who, at some point, will be seen in a UH inpatient facility, Hanson adds. And while adding an outpatient location
does boost system net revenue and market share in areas
previously lacking access, lag time to break even can vary
considerably by project.
Meanwhile in Detroit, Henry Ford Health System has
designed much of its ambulatory strategy around a concept
its leaders have dubbed radical convenience.
“We started as a hospital, but we were fast in moving from
inpatient care to outpatient care with our vast ambulatory
network in this Detroit market,” says Szilagyi. “We’re con-
stantly looking for new ways to appeal to a more outpatient
or ambulatory type of care that is delivered in new ways. It
revolves around the idea of access.”
That access is available in three ways, which the system’s
leaders refer to as call, click, or come in.
These catchphrases aren’t just about marketing, however.
With about 70% of its payer contracts involving risk, Henry
Ford is especially attuned to managing population health.
And a key part of that strategy is offering care that’s not just
convenient but also affordable.
“When we first started this adventure, there were only
two ways to get into the Henry Ford Health System,” he says.
“You booked a visit in a clinic or you came in through the
emergency room. What we’ve done is created more opportu-
nities for patients to access the system.”
As the “call, click, or come in” terminology implies, some
forms of patient care are just a phone call away, via Henry
Ford’s 24-hour nurse hotline or its cold and flu hotline, both
of which are available for free to established patients. For
needs that can’t be fully satisfied by phone but don’t neces-
sarily require an in-person visit, Henry Ford offers virtual
visits through its partnership with Teladoc.
And when “coming in” is warranted, patients have plenty
of options, including same-day appointments at primary care
clinics, three freestanding emergency rooms, four urgent care
clinics, and five walk-in clinics located throughout the city.
Henry Ford’s newest addition to this array of access
points is its QuickCare Clinic, which opened last summer
HealthLeaders n July/August 2016 17 www.healthleadersmedia.com
“We are seeing appropriate growth that matches our expansion. As we expand
our number of providers and access to them, we see a direct correlation in
growth in encounters, which has been consistent in the last two to three years.”