This week’s leadership reorganization at CarePoint Health System put Dr. Mark Spektor into the newly created job of “chief clinical integration officer” for the three-hospital Hudson County system.
He told NJBIZ his goal is a unified system of outpatient and inpatient care where clinicians are on the same page as they strive to deliver efficient, high-quality medical care.
Spektor, who will remain president of Bayonne Medical Center, said Bayonne, Hoboken University Medical Center and Christ Hospital are getting a significant investment in information technology and processes to get them working together as an integrated system. All three hospitals were acquired while in bankruptcy by the owners of CarePoint, but Spektor said the for-profit health care system is now stable and making money.
“Because they were all separate institutions and not collaborating, what was evident to us was that there was a need to standardize clinical processes,” he said. “We focus on quality, good outcomes, safety, efficiency of care at all three hospitals, but we also needed to create an environment and a management structure where we could collaborate with each other in a more efficient way.”
He said CarePoint under his leadership is “in the process of building a clinically integrated health system with a tremendous amount of IT investment so we can share data across all of our assets” — not only the hospitals, but the physicians groups affiliated with CarePoint, its ambulance service and the Neighborhood Health Centers that CarePoint operates to care for uninsured and Medicaid patients.
“By sharing this data and having clinically integrated processes — meaning we get the right information to the right people at the right time — we will create systems for efficiency so we are better able to deliver health care to an underserved population,” he said. He added that nearly a quarter of the Hudson County population is uninsured or underinsured, one of the highest rates in the state.
He said the goal of clinical integration is to provide care that is more efficient, not cutting the workforce of the hospitals:
“As we get more efficient, the goal is not to reduce the workforce. The goal is to create the capacity to capture more market share, provide better and more efficient service, higher quality services to prevent the out-migration of patients out of Hudson County.”
He wants patients to “stay closer to where their providers are and get high quality care within Hudson County — so they don’t have to leave to go across the river to Manhattan and other institutions outside the county. That is the goal of a more efficient system.”
Jeanne Otersen is policy director for the Health Professionals and Allied Employees union, which represents nurses and other employees at Christ Hospital and Bayonne Medical Center. She said the union is in contract negotiations at both hospitals; the Christ Hospital contract expired May 31 and the Bayonne contract expires July 31.
She said of the changes, “I think it’s very clear that they are consolidating their forces into a corporate health care system.” And she said she’s concerned that voices of the community and the workers “are not heard within that corporate board room.”
However, Mark Manigan, a health care attorney for Brach Eichler, said he found nothing out of the ordinary in the CarePoint personnel moves:
“It looks like they are moving some pieces around the board and they’ve brought in some new people.”
Manigan said CarePoint’s owners “are serious folks committed to succeeding in a very tough market, and they are shuffling some cards to make sure that they get the right team in place.”
On Monday, CarePoint announced a major leadership shakeup, including the departure of Paul Walker, who was hired to run Hoboken University Medical Center less than two years ago.
Ann Logan, Hoboken’s chief nursing officer, will become the interim operating officer and continue her role as chief nursing officer.
In addition to Spektor’s promotion, CarePoint also announced the following executive personnel changes, effective immediately:
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