The DAI staff identified at least two other Exemplar Hospitals in Pennsylvania – Lancaster General Hospital (Lancaster) and Susquehanna Health System (Williamsport).
Susquehanna’s score dazzled us – 130, one of the highest in the nation. There are seven palliative outcome measures used to develop the Performance Profiles – Susquehanna scored better than the state and national averages in six of seven measures. For one measure, hospital days per decedent during the last six months of life, Susquehanna’s experience was nearly 40% better than the national rate. Surely, there must be lessons to be learned here, practices to be emulated.
Could it be that an Accountable Palliative Care Organization (APCO) has evolved over the past decade, under the leadership of a chief palliative care officer in the Williamsport community? Is there a “bellwether” HPM practice which contributes to the Hospital’s exemplar status? Suffice it to say, for the present, that there are exemplar hospitals and communities whose performance in late-life care suggests that there remains considerable room for improvement for most hospitals, and in most communities.