Patient Care Improvements at Lawrence General
During the next few years, healthcare providers are likely to face many difficult decisions. Budgetary constraints among government payers (Medicare/Medicaid), changing approaches to contracting among private payers and increasing costs will strain even the strongest hospitals. The challenge for all of us in health care today is to find ways of working smarter and more efficiently while maintaining high quality, compassionate care.
In this time of rapid change in the health care field, we are proud that Lawrence General Hospital continues to remain ahead of the curve by working to improve quality and patient satisfaction, reduce health care costs and widen the breadth of services offered locally. With those goals in mind, our not-for-profit institution has in just three years: clinically affiliated with both Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center; opened a series of local specialty clinics; fully renovated our Pediatric Center and opened a Cardiac Cath Lab; added new centers including Cardiac Rehab, Outpatient Physical Therapy and Sleep, and much more.
We have worked very hard to be thoughtful in listening and responding to the needs of the Merrimack Valley region as we analyze, plan and execute positive and rapid changes in this challenging and fluid environment. Our new efforts allow us to advance and elevate our clinical practice using evidence-based approaches, facilitate a more seamless approach through all aspects of care, and better meet the expanding and changing needs of our patients and community.
These patient care improvements are being accomplished with no reduction in the nursing and clinical workforce at Lawrence General Hospital.
Here are some changes we are implementing:
The current centralized function of education and training for clinical staff will transition to a decentralized, service-line/clinical specialty-based function. This model will follow more of an evidence-based approach to education that has been shown to improve outcomes by increasing quality and safety for patients, nurses and other patient care providers.
Child Birth Education and Lactation Services
These services will be to better meet the expanding and changing needs of our patients and community.
- Lactation and childbirth education service hours will now offer “open access scheduling” to better meet patient needs.
- Classes will now be offered in both Spanish and English.
- Lawrence General Hospital and Greater Lawrence Family Health Center will collaborate more closely, and will offer these services jointly.
- A dedicated Perinatal Outreach Manager will oversee services.
Short Stay Unit
It is more clinically appropriate to care for patients of the Short Stay Unit in units that treat their specific condition, or in their own home. This also will facilitate a more seamless patient care approach.
- Cardiology patients will be cared for in our cardiac cath/interventional unit to minimize handoffs between multiple clinical areas.
- Infusion/Transfusion patients will be cared for on Hamblet 5, where our highly skilled, competent oncology nurses have experience in infusions/transfusions and caring for similar patient types.
- Interventional Radiology Procedure patients who require nursing observation during the recovery period from sedation will remain in their surgical units to minimize handoffs, where highly skilled, competent surgical nurses have experience caring for these patient types.
In support of Lawrence General’s mission, our goal is to better meet the needs of the patients we serve, work smarter and more efficiently, and to improve the quality, safety and continuity of care delivered in a patient and family-centered care model. These specific changes allow us to better achieve these goals for our patients.