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Collaboration Does a Body Good

Vitruvian-manDuring the firstPresidential debate of the 2012 election season earlier this week, PresidentBarack Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney went to the mat to discuss – amongother topics – the future of health care in the United States. Though the twohave opposing views on how to reform and improve the way health care isdelivered in the United States, they did agree that there is a need forstreamlined care in order to help reduce costs and readmission rates.

One approach PresidentObama highlighted was collaboration between doctors. Instead of individualdoctors ordering tests, Obama noted the benefits of a team approach, wheredoctors from multiple specialties meet to confer on each patient’s care. Thecollaborative approach, he said, helps prevent duplication of services, andprovides preventive care.

Also earlier this week, the federal government began its newsystem for financially penalizing hospitals when too many patients arereadmitted within a month of being discharged. Currently, nearly 20 percent ofMedicare patients are readmitted within a month, which the government considersa prime symptom of an overly expensive and uncoordinated system.

Recognizing the need for integrated, one-stop-shop care, PennMedicine has for years focused on implementing programs and facilities that aredesigned to promote inter-departmental planning and consultation. In fact, thePerelman Center for Advanced Medicine, which opened in 2008, was designedspecifically to promote this type of care delivery. Last week, Penn Medicinetook another step toward offering comprehensive care in one location when it brokeground on the PennCenter for Specialty Care (PCSC), a new 272,200 square-foot 11-story tower inUniversity City at Market and 38th Streets that will providepatients with seamless care for same-day specialty consultations with a rangeof medical specialists.

Slated to open in mid-2014, one of the main features of thePCSC is the multidisciplinary PennMusculoskeletal Institute, which brings together specialists from PennOrthopaedics, Rheumatology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, PainMedicine, Musculoskeletal Radiology and Good Shepherd Penn Partners (GSPP). Thegoal behind bringing providers from multiple disciplines under one roof is tooffer integrated and collaborative musculoskeletal care to patients, andultimately reducing the need for readmissions or duplicate testing.

An advanced and comprehensive radiology center will belocated in the Penn Center for Specialty Care, directly adjacent to theMusculoskeletal Institute. This advanced radiology center will have servicessuch as digital x-ray, computed tomography (CT scan), magnetic resonanceimaging (MRI scan) and ultrasound. Musculoskeletal radiologists will be on sitefor interdisciplinary collaborations to develop individualized treatment plansfor musculoskeletal disorders.

Though our Presidential candidates may never agree on thebest way to manage health care, when it comes to quality of care, Penn Medicineprioritizes a model that finds ways to bring together a variety of experts totackle patient care. 

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Views expressed are those of the author or other attributed individual and do not necessarily represent the official opinion of the related Department(s), University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine), or the University of Pennsylvania, unless explicitly stated with the authority to do so.

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