Volume 1, Number 4
Emerging Trends in Healthcare Keep Hacienda Healthy
By Tina Hansen
Healthcare and its administration are evolving at a tremendous pace and providers and innovators in Hacienda and Pleasanton are keeping up. Businesses and practitioners are developing proactive strategies and solutions that both meet the needs of consumers and contribute to healthcare on a national and global scale.
There are many facets to the healthcare industry, as it serves the community — striving to make people healthier — it is also an incubator for technological innovation, complicated by policy and regulation, and the need to meet patients’ ever-changing needs. All told, few industries are influenced simultaneously by as many factors.
Among the changes and emerging trends in healthcare is a shift toward specialized, smaller healthcare facilities, clinics, and micro hospitals. These facilities are often a hybrid of urgent care centers and full-fledged hospitals that add specialized care and are designed to give patients more access to care with less travel. As this trend continues, The Health Advisory Board, an organization that tracks, researches and compiles data about healthcare, suggests patients will have increased expectations for service, convenience, and coordination of their care.
This new trend has been developing for some time with healthcare businesses in Hacienda, and a prime example was when Stanford Health Care acquired ValleyCare Health Systems in 2015. The partnership began with the support of the public and healthcare providers and continued to enhance the community with preeminent healthcare in Hacienda. Personalized medical attention and care are offered at convenient locations for residents, as well as immediate access to Stanford specialists and technology.
Last month it was announced that several Stanford Medicine physicians would provide care locally, expanding access to specialized medical care, clinical innovations and research opportunities for patients in the community.
“Extending care to the Tri-Valley enables us to understand the needs of our neighboring communities and deliver life-changing discoveries,” said Lloyd B. Minor, MD, Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine. "We look forward to working with community doctors to offer accessible, personal care that not only treats people when they are sick but also empowers them to be well.”
Women’s health is at the forefront of this movement. Denise Estrada, Manager of Women’s Imaging and Cancer Services at Stanford Health Care ValleyCare, has worked for 25 years to provide cancer patients with high-quality care and has led multiple successful accreditation efforts for the Cancer Program. Estrada develops local community partnerships with cancer-focused support programs and coordinates community outreach events to educate the community on breast health, the latest treatments, and support services. Estrada was instrumental in establishing the organization's program store in Pleasanton.
On March 30, Tracey Lewis Taylor was named COO of Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare in Pleasanton. Taylor, who served previously as a director at Tenet Healthcare, brings 17 years of experience in hospital leadership, clinical management, and healthcare and life sciences consulting to her new role. At Stanford Health Care, she will oversee day-to-day company operations and provide strategic leadership direction and oversight to key clinical services hospital-wide.
As the region’s growth continues, other medical centers have become part of the community. Last year John Muir Health and San Ramon Regional Medical Center opened an Outpatient Center in Hacienda. "The public can obtain a wide range of medical services, all in one convenient location," said Paul Smith, CEO of the joint venture between John Muir Health and Tenet Healthcare. The joint venture operates the Pleasanton Outpatient Center. Even if you do not have a doctor located at the new center, you can use its services, including its urgent care, lab, and imaging facilities.
Getting to and from a doctor’s appointment often requires public transportation and most of these medical centers are a short walk from the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station, located within Hacienda on the north side. The location of this clinic and other medical facilities, and their proximity to BART and shuttle stops builds on the Hacienda goal of providing convenience.
As Hacienda continues to become a destination community, the need for healthcare facilities supporting families of all income levels grows as well. Axis Community Health, which is the Tri-Valley's sole provider of medical and mental health services for low-income or uninsured individuals and families, serves more than 14,000 members of our community (throughout the Tri-Valley). The new state-of-the-art 24,000 sq. ft. health center, which opened one year ago in Hacienda, doubles the clinic’s space dedicated to primary and mental health care.
Technology has long been key to the healthcare industry and never more so than today. In a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, more than 100 health care executives were asked what they think about for the future of their business. As it turns out, technology was their answer. About a third believe that they need to increase technical collaboration with providers and 56 percent said data sharing partnerships with other organizations is crucial.
Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect, with its IT operations based in Hacienda, is revolutionizing how medical records are stored and accessed through technology. HealthConnect is one of the largest private electronic health systems in the world and has become a model for managing and working with patient information.
“The implementation of our world-class electronic health record has shaped and improved how our physicians and care teams treat patients,” said Phil Fasano, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Kaiser Permanente.
Technology continues to improve the quality of healthcare, and how it is administered, and Hacienda businesses are in the forefront. Another emerging trend is “virtual care” through smartphone apps or via the Internet. The main benefits include reduced costs, increased access for both patients and providers, and better communication between doctors and patients. According to The Health Advisory Board, virtual consultations are expected to increase 60 percent by 2020.
Virtual care is the next step in giving patients service and convenience, with two companies in Hacienda providing solutions; Leaf Healthcare and BlueJay Mobile Health.
Leaf Healthcare has created a unique wearable Patient Monitoring system that was recently named one of the most innovative medical devices in North America. The Leaf system, which utilizes a wearable, wireless sensor, tracks patient movement and signals caregivers when an intervention is required to avoid complications that could lead to immobility. The device continuously monitors patient activity and encourages patients to meet important mobility goals, which also helps decrease the length of a hospital stay and reduces the risk of readmission.
"Digital technology is revolutionizing healthcare," said Barrett Larson Leaf Healthcare CEO and Co-founder. "Wearable technology is allowing us to deliver highly personalized care in a manner that is more efficient and effective than ever before.”
BlueJay Mobile Health equips physical therapists and rehabilitation providers with mobile applications that help patients with their unique rehabilitation needs. The app gives patients easy access to health, wellness, and fitness programs that will keep them on track in their physical therapy.
From any angle, healthcare is a critical part of life and Hacienda has fully embraced the people and businesses involved in the administration and the innovation of healthcare. Not only does Hacienda have an array of healthcare providers on the large and small scale, but there are also healthcare businesses here that provide on-going, extended services such as LifeGuard Hospice Care, ValleyCare Diabetes and Weight Loss Center, and Senior Helpers. The Business Locator tool at Hacienda.org provides information on different services that are available within Hacienda; click here for more information www.hacienda.org/businesslocator.
Through the quality and availability of health care, to resources for maintaining good health through fitness, yoga, karate, and more, to the development of innovation of the technology, Hacienda has health care at its heart.