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COVER STORY
Untitled Page

O.C. healthcare, continued ...Published: September 01, 2012

Dr. Barry Arbuckle, President &
CEO of MemorialCare Health System
“Hospitals look for new innovations to improve outcomes and improve the quality of care they deliver,” he says. “In the past, it was more diagnostic and robotics, but today it’s more about looking for innovations in healthcare that incorporates technology within the delivery of care, which I think is the next evolution in technology.”
   
Another example of breakthrough innovation used by a local medical center is a community-wide program at the Orange County Vital Aging Program, part of the Hoag Neurosciences Institute, launched in March of 2011. The program features a self-assessment tool that allows users to test for and identify early stages of memory loss due to hidden medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
   
“By identifying underlying features of cognitive impairment, we can slow the progression of that illness,” says Afable.
   
A commitment to quality
In addition to superior technology, the dedication of physicians and nurses in Orange County are unmatched, says Montalvo.
   
“Orange County attracts physicians with a desire to help their community,” he says. “Many of our physicians grow up here, go away to medical school and come back. They have ties to the region and support the entire medical community. They have a commitment to providing quality care in the county.”
   
Dr. Barry Arbuckle, president and CEO of MemorialCare Health System in Southern California, a not-for-profit integrated delivery system that includes six hospitals, credits a long, strong history in healthcare innovations that contribute heavily to the success of Orange County’s healthcare system.
   
“For example, a good 20 years ago, our health system established a partnership with interested physicians, all under the umbrella of evidence-based medicine,” says Arbuckle.
   
Up to this point, patients with similar diagnoses were being treated differently, depending on where the physician went to medical school, how recently he or she graduated, and so forth. While they were all good treatments, many resulted in differing outcomes.
   
“We approached physicians and offered to provide the clinical support and quality management to pore over the data with them to find the best treatments,” says Arbuckle. “Now most patients who come through the door have that sort of detail behind them; 75 to 80 percent of conditions have these kind of evidence-based guidelines behind it.”
   
In addition, hospitals in Orange County have largely moved toward electronic medical records, says Arbuckle. “In fact, one of our hospitals, Saddleback, was the first in Orange County to implement electronic medical records throughout the entire hospital in 2004,” he says. “We now have wall-to-wall medical records integrated throughout all the hospitals.”   


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