Access to Care
Since 2000, we’ve invested more than $10 billion to build and improve hospitals and care centers across Northern California and to employ advanced patient care technologies, including one of the nation’s most comprehensive electronic health record systems. In 2014, we continued to implement forward-looking tools and services that make accessing health care anywhere within our network faster and easier. On our website, for example, patients can quickly find Sutter Health doctors close to their home, learn about the physicians’ training and professional interests, and make an appointment.
Tool for teens builds trust, access
In 2014, Sutter Health launched My Health Online for Teens, an innovative tool that allows children ages 12 to 17 to securely access their health records and email their doctors. Our online tool also gives parents a way to stay connected with their teens’ doctors, as their children learn how to manage their health care. More than 4,000 teens who have signed up can review test results, renew prescriptions, track immunizations and schedule appointments—all from a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Parents maintain access to common tasks in their teen’s health record, such as paying bills. My Health Online for Teens creates a convenient, secure solution and a trusted resource for parents and kids alike.
Investment provides new telehealth option
In January 2014, Sutter Health invested in MDLIVE, a national provider of telehealth services for consumers, employers, health plans, hospitals and physician organizations. Sutter-affiliated doctors work with MDLIVE and each other to determine how to best integrate telehealth into their medical practices. MDLIVE doesn’t replace a patient’s primary care physician but offers an additional option for patients needing after-hours care, consumers who don’t have a primary care physician and patients with a nonemergency but time-sensitive concern who can’t immediately see their doctor. MDLIVE connects people with board-certified physicians and therapists nationwide via telephone, email or videoconference.
Health plan welcomes first members
We welcomed the first enrollees in our new health plan, Sutter Health Plus, in January 2014. Sutter Health launched the plan as a way to partner more directly with our patients and help them manage their complete health care needs. By the end of 2014, more than 8,300 members in the Sacramento and Central Valley areas had enrolled in the plan, gaining access to nearly 1,600 Sutter-affiliated doctors, nine hospitals, 17 surgery centers, 22 urgent care clinics and many other services customized for members’ unique needs. Sutter Health Plus will expand into the greater Bay Area in 2015.
Electronic health record expands further
In 2014, Sutter Health took another significant step forward in patient care with the continued expansion of Sutter EHR, our electronic health record system. We connected three more Sutter-affiliated hospitals to our platform, for a total of 13. Our five medical foundations also connect to the system.
Sutter EHR uses advanced digital technologies to integrate patient medical information to ensure a highly personalized experience for our patients and to help clinicians better coordinate medical care—safely and securely.
In addition, in April 2014 our consumer-friendly patient portal, My Health Online, surpassed 1 million patients signed up, or more than 62 percent of adult patients across our network. Part of Sutter EHR since 2001, the tool gives patients secure online access to their personal health information via desktop computer or mobile device. Patients can email their doctors, renew prescriptions, pay bills, schedule appointments and review test results—anytime, anywhere.
“Patients want to know that the advice you’re giving them is personal. That’s what we do with My Health Online.”
Albert Chan, M.D.
medical director, My Health Online
System enables coordinated patient care
Sutter Health implemented another piece of our secure health information exchange system to help us continue to improve and coordinate care for our patients. In 2014, doctors and other clinicians in our network quickly and safely exchanged medical information for more than 1 million patients with more than 200 other organizations in 43 states. Rather than relying on fax or mail, through our secure electronic system doctors can download details of patients’ previous tests, treatments and medicines so they can better understand patients’ medical conditions and order only what’s necessary. With access to complete and timely information, doctors spend less time gathering medical records from other providers and can focus on what matters most: caring for patients.
Construction investments increase services
Sutter Health invested nearly $642 million in hospital, care center and earthquake safety-related construction throughout Northern California in 2014. In October, we opened Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital, serving Santa Rosa and surrounding communities. The hospital provides a full range of services, including emergency care; obstetrics, nursery and neonatal intensive care; medical and surgical services; comprehensive cardiac services; and women’s reproductive health services.
Also in 2014, we opened hospitals and care centers in several other communities: Alta Bates Summit Medical Center’s Patient Care Pavilion in Oakland; Sutter Gould Medical Foundation’s care center in Turlock; Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation’s urgent care clinic in Castro Valley; and Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Westside Clinic in Santa Cruz, San Carlos Center in San Carlos and Urgent Care Center at Mills Health Center in San Mateo.
We continued to build our Anderson Lucchetti Women’s and Children’s Center in Sacramento, and our Sutter-affiliated California Pacific Medical Center began construction of two hospital campuses in San Francisco.