The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Montour County

April 4, 2014

Steele reveals Geisinger's 'secret sauce'

DANVILLE — Geisinger CEO Dr. Glenn Steele, Jr., shared “the secret sauce” behind Geisinger’s success during a presentation attended by approximately 120 Pennsylvania nursing industry professionals.

An audience member asked Steele about Geisinger’s secret to success.

The answer, he said, is a “sweet spot” created by Geisinger having access to caregivers, medical facilities and an insurance provider that gives them many options in customizing care for patients. This also allows Geisinger to reduce cost of care as patients will less frequently require repeat visits for their illnesses.

“Working with nursing leadership at Geisinger has been one of the reasons we’re so successful,” Steele said. Nurses play especially important roles in Geisinger services such as ProvenHealth Navigator, Steele said, which places nurse case managers at Geisinger and non-Geisinger practices to help patients coordinate and manage their care. From 2007 to 2012, ProvenHealth Navigator patients saw a 27.5 percent reduction in acute admissions and a 34 percent reduction in 30-day readmissions.

Steele was one of several speakers presenting at the “Step Up and Step In: Your Role in the Future of Health Care” event, held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:50 p.m., Thursday, at Geisinger Medical Center’s Pine Barn Inn. The event was hosted by the Pennsylvania Action Coalition, which is spearheaded by the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association and Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers.

Steele spoke from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and, among other things, addressed the Affordable Care Act.

“We are in the midst of a great experiment to try and redistribute resources,” he said. “You and I and are colleagues are managing through that right now.”

Steele said he would like to eventually see affordable healthcare coverage offered to all Americans.

Victoria Rich, chair of the Pennsylvania Action Coalition, thanked Steele for taking the time to speak.

“I’m in awe of the great work you’re doing out here in Geisinger,” she said.

Rich said events like “Step Up and Step In” are important to the Pennsylvania Action Coalition because it allows them to annually review their success. “It’s a time to reflect on our hard work,” Rich said.

Nursing has changed dramatically over the years, Rich said, due to new technology and a population that’s living longer.

Nurses have to be proactive in their care and need to communicate constantly to stay up to date on new practices and new medical evidence. “It’s a moving target, constantly,” she said.

Also assisting at the event were Susan Hallick, chief nursing officer for Geisinger Health System, Dr. Christine Alichnie, president of the Pennsylvania State Nurse’s Association, and Betty Snook, CEO of the Pennsylvania State Nurse’s Association.

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