Mercy 'Integrated Health System to Know'

February 9, 2012

Brendon McCollom, a Mercy physician,

can use MyMercy to send secure messages

to patients 24/7 via a computer or smart

phone. (Download Hi-Res Image)

By Mercy's Laura Keep

A long list of innovative approaches in caring for patients landed Mercy on Becker’s Hospital Review  of “61 Integrated Health Systems to Know.” For starters, Mercy:

  • Links more than 200,000 patients to MyMercy – a free online service where patients can track health history, see lab results, schedule appointments, contact their doctors and renew prescriptions from a personal computer or smartphone
  • Allows headache patients in rural areas to connect via two-way camera with offsite specialists for convenient appointments
  • Provides patients with chronic conditions home monitoring devices that electronically transmit readings to their doctor’s office everyday

According to Becker’s, as the health care industry moves from a fee-for-service model to a pay-for-performance system focused on quality patient care, integrated health organizations are better positioned to provide greater access to a range of health services. Mercy, among others, has also achieved a high level of integration as demonstrated through a group of physicians who collaborate with hospital leaders to provide better coordinated care.

“Mercy Clinic includes more than 1,500 medical providers across Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma,” said Fred Ford, chairman of Mercy Clinic’s leadership council. “This isn’t about being bigger and better. It’s about patients having access anywhere and at any time across the four states Mercy serves. It’s also about tracking our patients’ care via our electronic health record to ensure everyone is on the same page. Ultimately for patients, it means much more coordinated care.”

Linked through Mercy’s electronic health record, primary care and specialty physicians across Mercy have access to a patient’s record at any hour and at any place in the world.  

“Because we are electronically connected, the care is seamless and we can be much more responsive, not waiting on reports or records to be faxed or delivered by some archaic method,” said Sean Baker, D.O., Mercy Clinic family medicine physician in Fort Smith, Ark. “We have immediate access to the information we need to make critical decisions and an entire team is focused on our patients’ needs. By being partners – primary care physicians, specialists and hospitals all working together – we’re empowered to maximize how well we care for our patients.”

Mercy is also currently transitioning all of its 31 hospitals and more than 200 outpatient facilities to one simple, easy-to-recognize name – Mercy.

“We owe it to the 3 million patients we serve each year to know us by one name,”said Lynn Britton, president and CEO of Mercy. “These patients already have an integrated network of hospitals and caregivers at their disposal – we don’t want there to be any question about where and how they can tap into it.”   

Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,500 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit www.mercy.net.

About Becker’s Hospital Review list

Health systems were selected for inclusion on this list based on data from health care analytics company SDI, nominations and careful research by the Becker’s Hospital Review editorial team. Becker’s Hospital Review is a bimonthly publication offering up-to-date business and legal news and analysis relating to hospitals and health systems.

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