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Seeing the future

September 7, 2015 News and insights By Andrew Norton, MD, FACP

This [fall 2015] issue of Main Line Health Physician is all about the future: the future health of our patients; the future of cancer research; the future of our region’s health care; and the future health of many in poor sections of the world.

  • A collaboration with the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is a “game changer,” helping vulnerable patients get needed non-medical resources like insurance, transportation, and food access, thereby removing obstacles to medical treatment so they can achieve better health. See page 9.
  • Reducing readmissions is an ongoing—and increasingly successful—process at Main Line Health. Aiding our efforts, and helping improve patient care, is the ability of our electronic medical records system to identify, on their charts, patients at high risk of readmission. Very soon, we’ll be providing this information directly to their primary care practitioners. See page 5.
  • A recent conference at LIMR highlighted our participation in—and impact on—the future of immuno-oncology. LIMR has been a leader in research and discoveries in an important segment of this field, building the foundation for international research and eventual patient treatments. See page 4.
  • The largest accountable care organization in the region, the Delaware Valley ACO, is planning to thoughtfully integrate specialists into the ACO model, as well as increase investment in informatics and population health technology. Partly owned by Main Line Health, DVACO has 430 primary care physician members and a newly named chief clinical officer. See page 8.
  • At vulnerable spots around the world, extreme poverty, sometimes exacerbated by natural disaster, means the absence of even the most basic medical services. The Main Line Health clinicians who voluntarily respond with compassion and skill, supplies and surgery, are able to change many lives, including their own. See page 6.

I would also like to thank our clinical teams for your cooperation, patience and assistance during the recent visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia. Our preparations for this event, which impacted travel and the demand for health care in our region, enabled our facilities to conduct business with minimal disruptions, so our communities could continue to access superior medical care. This is a true reflection of our systemness at its best.

I’d welcome hearing your comments at nortonaj@mlhs.org.

Andy Norton, MD, is chief medical officer at Main Line Health.