MemorialCare Health System in Southern California Receives Advisory Board National Physician Partnership Award for Care Quality


MemorialCare Health System is one of two organizations chosen from more than 1,000 hospitals nationwide to receive the prestigious 2013 Crimson Physician Partnership Award presented by The Advisory Board at its Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz.

MemorialCare Health System is an integrated delivery system that includes six hospitals in Los Angeles and Orange counties and more than 200 care sites throughout Southern California. The Advisory Board, a research and technology firm that works with more than 4,100 organizations across health care and higher education, is headquartered in Washington, DC.

The award recognizes MemorialCare’s outstanding partnership with 2,500 affiliated physicians that has resulted in the delivery of a higher quality of care at a lower cost. This has been accomplished by utilizing advanced technologies to analyze data, identify national trends and benchmarks and showing individual physicians how they compare to other physicians across the country in a wide array of clinical and other categories. A health system in Texas and New Mexico was also honored.

“As health care providers move toward new models of accountable care, MemorialCare Health System has exhibited remarkable results in achieving outcomes that go well beyond the national standards,” says Paul Roscoe, CEO of Crimson. “MemorialCare has distinguished itself with exceptional quality of care while driving significant savings from its quality initiatives.”

In its fourth year, the award is presented to executive and physician leadership teams at organizations that participate in the Crimson Physician Performance Management platform. A program of The Advisory Board Company, Crimson provides a user-friendly and comprehensive physician technology platform, best practice performance improvement support, and clinical and operational benchmarks. The goal is to help align the efforts of physicians, hospitals and health systems to deliver higher quality, more cost-effective care to patients and populations they serve.

MemorialCare Health System continues its long-standing partnership with its affiliated physicians to constantly improve patient quality, safety and clinical outcomes that exceed national averages. By engaging physician champions, offering ongoing medical staff education and providing individualized benchmarking data that Crimson displays on their patients, MemorialCare was able to generate $15.3 million in savings for direct costs in 2012 as compared to 2011 by reducing utilization and lengths of stay—all while improving demonstrated quality.

“MemorialCare is a leader in building a culture of collaboration and data-driven performance with physicians to greatly benefit patients and their communities,” adds Roscoe. “It distinguished itself from among the more than 1,000 hospitals representing more than 500,000 physicians nationwide as leaders in care quality and organizational effectiveness and serves as a shining example of how Crimson organizations are delivering on the promise of value-based care.”

“We have long been committed to creating a culture of physician collaboration through our Physician Society, founded in 1996 as a voluntary membership organization focused on promoting clinical quality and advanced technology as well as many other partnerships,” explains Barry Arbuckle, Ph.D., MemorialCare Health System president & CEO.

In 2011, MemorialCare implemented Crimson to assist its physicians in the continued adoption of technology and data to together improve quality of care across the enterprise. Initial feedback was solicited from a pilot group of 50 physicians to help guide the larger system rollout. MemorialCare cultivated ownership of the initiative with an organizational structure that included physician champions, lead physicians and “super’ knowledgeable staff at each hospital campus and care site to reinforce the supportive and collaborative approach.

“We decided in the initial design for our Crimson site to add direct variable cost as a utilization indicator that physicians could touch and impact,” says Helen Macfie, Pharm.D., MemorialCare senior vice president for Performance Improvement and Strategy. “This required collaborative trust and was a transformational decision for our physician-hospital partnership. The ability to drill down to actual cost and frequency of use has become a conversation changer for our physicians.”

MemorialCare made data transparency a priority and found ways to improve already strong, individualized quality and cost data for physicians. As another benefit, the health system designed methods to integrate this data with its electronic medical records and other technologies.