Fragmented hospital care has been associated with higher hospital mortality and length of stay, and failures of communication and teamwork are the most commonly identified sources of “sentinel events” in hospitals — unexpected occurrences that result in actual deaths or the risk of deaths, or physical or psychological injuries.
To address this problem, Emory Healthcare (EHC), the clinical delivery arm of the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University and the largest and most comprehensive health system in Georgia, launched its Care Transformation initiative in 2009.
Through the strength of this initiative, in 2012, EHC became the first and only health system in the nation to have two hospitals — Emory University Hospital and Emory University Hospital Midtown — simultaneously in the top 10 in the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) Quality and Accountability ranking of U.S. academic medical centers. In 2013, these two hospitals were ranked in the top five.
The Care Transformation initiative at EHC has influenced the organization in many ways, one of which was the creation of an environment where the redesign of care models was encouraged.
This piece focuses on the development of a collaborative care model called the Accountable Care Unit (ACU), which became a re-imagining of hospital care inspired by core principles of EHC’s Care Transformation initiative: patient-and-family...