Written by: Ray Pedden

Whenever I have the opportunity to spend time with staff on the front lines of safety net organizations I am impressed with how far people are willing to go to make sure that our patients get the best care possible.

Of course there are exceptions, but, in a vast majority of situations we are true to our mission of caring for everyone that is in need. We think of “innovation” as discovering new ways to provide better care. I often ask “how far outside the box are you willing to go?”  The best response that I have ever received is from a medical assistant in a CHC who told me,  “Box? What box. I will do everything that I can and sometimes more than I dreamed I could do.”

I remembered this when I came across this news release. While I generally do not think of USA Today as a source for insights into healthcare delivery, this article is clearly on point about much of what we are thinking about every day.

How about thinking about your emergency department as a rental property referral center like this hospital in Chicago? Is that far enough outside our traditional role for you?  It meets a need expressed by the community, and it significantly improves the health status of our patients while improving their bottom line. Or, how about the use of EMT/Ambulance service providers that are often sitting on the street that I highlighted in my last blog article?

What have you thought about today that could make your community a better place to get needed healthcare and related services?  I would love to hear about your ideas so we can share them broadly in our safety net.