Five Mid-Mo Health Care Systems Form Network

2 years 8 months 4 days ago June 25, 2014 Jun 25, 2014 Wednesday, June 25 2014 Wednesday, June 25, 2014 11:28:00 AM CDT in News
By: Shale Remien, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Five mid-Missouri health care centers have formed a collaborative network they say will improve patients' health care experience.

The five health care systems include Bothwell Regional Health Center, Capital Region Medical Center, Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, Lake Regional Health System and University of Missouri Health Care. 

The president and chief executive officer of Hannibal Regional Healthcare System said the health care systems will continue to be independent units. Now, the systems will work together to transfer medical records, share and exchange data practices and improve access to patient care.

Todd Ahrens said, "We want to make sure tests aren't duplicated, work doesn't have to be redone and that the patient doesn't have to pay for work being done twice."

He also said the health care units will operate using task forces. He said the network is looking for people within the health care system that have specific skills that will benefit certain areas of the task force.

The Health Care Network was initially conceived in 2011. Harold Williamson, executive vice chancellor of health care affairs at the University of Missouri,  said this collaboration is about the patients. 

"What we hope to do is decrease the number of admissions that people need, increase the quality of their experience and increase the quality of their care," Williamson said.

Ahrens said many Missouri areas, including Hannibal, will benefit from this new collaboration because several patients from the area are referred to MU Health Care. He said medical records will be more easily shared under the partnership.

"It will help both the patient and the staff in both facilities, as well as the physicians that are providing care to that patient," Ahrens said.

This new collaborative network will have more than 1,000 hospital beds, around 9,000 employees and about one thousand physicians. 

The newly signed legal structure for the collaboration was announced Wednesday morning at a press conference at the Reynolds Alumni Center.

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