Managing Consolidation for the Best Patient Outcomes: Standardizing Care and Quality
A 2018 JAMA report found that healthcare mergers and acquisitions can significantly increase risks to patient safety if leaders in charge of change lack clinical experience. Poorly managed integration can lead to a serious reduction in quality of care while costs rise. And while increases in patient volume seem desirable on paper, they also can include changes in demographics that can require substantial adjustments in staffing and training (including interpreters in some cases) as well as demands for different supplies, equipment and formularies, and strategies for making distinct electronic health records systems interoperable. In addition, mergers often lead to specialists such as cardiologists and oncologists being asked to move to new sites where they haven’t been sufficiently oriented into the new processes, culture and infrastructure adding further risks to patient safety. These potential problems can only be addressed with proper planning, oversight and data-sharing and early integration of clinical leaders. In this session, speakers will discuss the opportunities and potential pitfalls of consolidation.