What You Can Expect from an Integrated Network
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Vivian Dos Santos lost consciousness at her home in Davis, Calif., just days away from delivering her third child, Stella. She woke up at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento – more than 15 miles away – with bandages on her head and no longer pregnant. She was unaware that care teams at two Sutter network facilities had come together to save her life and care for her baby after she suffered a sudden and severe stroke. Ultimately, Vivian’s care would include three Sutter network facilities coordinating an emergency caesarean section, lifesaving neurosurgery and extensive rehabilitation.
The coordinated care that Sutter provided to the Dos Santos family is a testament to our integrated healthcare network and the coordination that occurs between multiple medical facilities, practitioners, and services to ensure that patients receive timely, high quality care when they need it most. (To view an infographic on Sutter’s integrated network and Vivian’s journey, click here.)
Vivian’s first sign of trouble came on Dec. 31, 2018. As she prepared to ring in the New Year with her husband and their two young sons, she began experiencing an excruciating headache. Shortly after she suddenly lost consciousness, an ambulance rushed Vivian to Sutter Davis Hospital’s Emergency Department.
There, doctors determined that Vivian was suffering from an intracerebral hemorrhage – a life-threatening brain bleed. Vivian’s obstetrician and physician at Sutter Davis consulted with a neurosurgeon at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento (SMCS) and ultimately decided an immediate emergency C-section was the safest treatment approach for Vivian and her baby. The Sutter Davis care team stabilized Vivian while delivering baby Stella, and then airlifted Vivian to SMCS for immediate neurosurgery.
During surgery, stroke experts at SMCS successfully stopped the bleeding. After Vivian recovered from surgery, she was transferred to the Sutter Rehabilitation Institution in Roseville where she received advanced rehabilitation care. Meanwhile, Sutter Davis’ labor and delivery team helped Vivian’s husband care for the couple’s healthy newborn daughter, Stella.
Our team’s ability to develop and implement a treatment plan spanning multiple facilities — which remained in constant communication and included comprehensive access to Vivian’s medical records — proved critical to saving Vivian and Stella’s lives.
“When you have a single network, it really improves the communication,” said Dr. Rudolph Schrot, Vivian’s neurosurgeon. “You have a very rapid transfer from one facility to another, from Sutter Davis to Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, to the Sutter Rehab Institute. There’s a constant thread that goes through this patient’s experience, where there’s immediate access to medical records, communication between providers, and also a very rapid response.”
Sutter’s integrated system helps provide patients like Vivian and Stella with qualified, highly-trained medical staff throughout a life-threatening medical emergency. The system allows for smoother transitions between inpatient and outpatient services, multi-specialty teams that can address patient care holistically while reducing complications and, in turn, lower hospital readmission rates and total cost of care for patients. The coordinated care model also allows teams to share ideas, improve communication and spread best practices across locations – ultimately contributing to improved care, a more user-friendly experience, and better patient outcomes.
“Coordinating our efforts across facilities, doctors, teams and locations is crucial to providing patient-centered care throughout a patient’s journey,” said Steve Lockhart, M.D., Sutter Health’s Chief Medical Officer. “Our integrated network enables us to be attuned to a patient’s needs and provide personalized care from inpatient to outpatient, preventive to rehabilitative, hospice to home healthcare.”
Lockhart continues, “At Sutter, we believe ready access to multiple types of patient-centered care from well-informed and highly coordinated providers sets integrated care networks apart. This connectivity allows Sutter to provide innovative, quality care to more than 3 million Californians. Our integrated system ultimately helps improve patient outcomes, resulting in happier, healthier families and communities.”