July marks the beginning of a next fiscal year at UCSF Medical Center, and as health care reform takes effect, the next few months and beyond are expected to be challenging, yet rewarding.
California is at the forefront of health care changes nationally, but also will have more newly insured people than any other state. California also faces unprecedented economic challenges.
Mark Laret, chief executive officer of UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, recently sent this video message to medical center employees, sharing his perspective on recent successes at the hospital and the priorities and opportunities he sees for UCSF in the coming year.
“I believe changes are needed in how patients access — or aren’t able to access — care, and in how this country delivers and reimburses for care,” said Laret. “The new law isn’t perfect, and as with any monumental shift in an issue as complex and vitally important to people as health care, there will be bumps in the road as it is implemented. Every health care provider, including us, will need to deliver even higher quality and more patient-centric care, with fewer resources.”
The good news is that UCSF is well-positioned to succeed. The medical center already is driven by an imperative to improve the quality and safety of care; its quality and safety metrics, and patient satisfaction scores are at all-time highs, and infection rates are at all-time lows.
The medical center also has made investments in infrastructures, such as a new electronic health record, that is enabling the hospital to more quickly and seamlessly meet the needs of its patients. And hospital leadership continue to explore and form strategic relationships with other health care organizations to improve access to care.
“These are exciting times, and the pace will only get faster,” said Laret. “Each of us will need to arrive at solutions differently than we have in the past and think creatively about increasing our efficiency without compromising care.
"Medical center employees play an important role not only in our hospital’s future, but in the overall success of UCSF," he said. "After all, the UCSF Strategic Plan is built around five priorities, the first of which is to 'Provide unparalleled care to our patients.' ”