From Business Insider – When Dr. Joshua Sharfstein first visited theWestern Maryland Regional Medical Center one year ago, he thought he entered the wrong building. The hospital was too quiet. There were no patients in the halls. No crowds in the waiting rooms. The hospital’s staff showed him entire wards that were being closed down. It was a great sign.
“I left, and I described it as the ‘anti-gravity zone’ for healthcare,” Sharfstein, the state of Maryland’s health secretary, told Business Insider in an interview this week. “Just everything was incredible. I think they were pretty far out ahead of the country at that point.”
Sharfstein had just visited what would become the foundation for Maryland’s grand experiment in healthcare reform. He was thrilled to see concrete signs fewer people were being hospitalized there.
Through innovative methods and a data-centric approach, Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, has become the cornerstone in Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley’s ambitious makeover of the state’s healthcare programs.
The facility, which is located in a far corner of the state, has managed to strike the elusive balance of cutting costs and improving the quality of patient care – all while improving access to preventative care and the relative health of the community. Specifically, the facility has served as a showcase for O’Malley’s plan to reduce preventable hospitalizations throughout Maryland.
Read more at Business Insider
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