Future of health care coming to CHI St. Luke's Health Memorial

Future of health care coming to CHI St. Luke's Health Memorial

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Catholic Health Initiatives and St. Luke's leadership were in town this week talking about bringing the future of healthcare to East Texas. KTRE talked with CHI CEO Kevin Lofton about what's happening next at CHI St. Luke's Health Memorial.

First on the list for CHI CEO Kevin Lofton is changing CHI St. Luke's Health Memorial approach to health care.

"We want to help you to improve the health of you and your family, and so when you're not really sick, you're not really a patient, and so at that point we have to refer to them as consumers of healthcare," Lofton said. "So it's really more about moving from an illness care approach to a wellness care approach and keeping people healthy."

High on the list of things to do is to implement electronic health records in 2015 that will connect to the CHI St. Luke's global system.

"Most of your physicians have electronic health records in their office practice, but we need to have an electronic health records system in the hospital that can connect with the global/regional system from CHI St. Luke's and also has connectivity to the physician office so that no matter where you are, the record will go with you because it's all electronic, and therefore there won't be any gaps in information that you're caregivers are looking at when they're treating you," Lofton said.

And gone will be the days of multiple registrations, check-ins, and hand offs to different sectors of health care with the clinical integration network approach which means that all health care providers from doctors, nurses and pharmacists to home care and hospice will be streamlined.

"The Clinical Integration Network (CIN) approach means that we will have the broad spectrum of caregivers," Lofton said. "The whole continuum of care so that everything that needs to happen for you and your family before hospitalization and post-hospitalization is better coordinated.

Lofton said Memorial already had an excellent reputation for quality and now local physicians and patients will be connected to Texas Children's, The Heart Institute and Baylor College of Medicine.

"Lufkin is not the size town that would be able to have that level of specialty fitted here all the time, full time. There's never going to be a transplant program here in Lufkin so basically what it's allowing us to do is in that network and part of the same organization you would now have access to the best specialists in the world," Lofton said.

CHI leadership is expanding their footprint in Texas and announced today they just acquired the St. Joseph's four-hospital system in the Bryan-College Station area.

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