Partnering With a Local OB/GYN vs. a National Group for OB Coverage

Asia Dean shares the benefits of working with a national group like OBHG for coverage.
Partnering With a Local OB/GYN vs. a National Group for OB Coverage
Featured Speaker:
Asia Dean
Asia Dean is a Senior Director, Strategy & Business Development at Dignity Health.
Transcription:

Prakash Chandran: When you choose to partner with a group for OB coverage, you want to ensure that your patients are seen by trained OB clinicians during their emergent hospital visits and that they become an integrated part of your care team to help reduce your risk profile and provide a better patient experience.

Today, we'll talk about the benefits of working with a national group like OBHG for coverage. And here with us to discuss is Asia Dean, the Senior Director of Strategy and Business Development at Dignity Health.

This is the Obstetrics podcast from OB Hospitalist Group. I'm Prakash Chandran. So, first of all, Asia, it is great to have you here today. Why don't you start by telling us about your role at St. Rose Dominican Hospital?

Asia Dean: Thanks so much, Prakash. So, I've been with Dignity Health in Nevada since 2014. My role here is really around strategic planning and growth planning. So I do service line forecasting for the hospital, service line growth initiatives including related to maternal child, which is what we're talking about today, set up strategic partnerships for the hospital system and really just try to make sure that our hospital system here in Nevada is well positioned into the future to serve our patients in the way that we want to see our community be served.

Prakash Chandran: Okay. And I know that dovetails into your hospital's labor and delivery unit objectives. Can you expand on those a little bit more?

Asia Dean: Sure. So we have 17 LDRP, labor and delivery rooms. We also have 16 mother-baby rooms. And additionally, our hospitals in Nevada have both a level III and a level III NICU. And our labor and delivery units can get busy at times. And so we wanted to make sure that when we're at capacity, when we have unexpected emergencies, a mother comes in and needs care, and the community physicians are already busy serving their patients or they might be in a GYN surgery, that we have someone at all times that is available to take those emergency situations as they come and also to see patients who might come in and might not have an OB provider. There are cases where that happens as well.

And so we wanted to make sure that as we thought about what do we need for the future related to OB hospitalists coverage, we had a group that could recruit our physicians for us, make sure that we always had consistent coverage and then also be available to work with the community providers to meet their needs as well, and then to be educators for our staff.

Prakash Chandran: Okay. That makes a lot of sense. So is that what led you and your leadership team to want to transition to a national hospitalist program?

Asia Dean: So we decided to work with OBHG after going through an RFP process where we did get proposals from both national and local groups. And it wasn't really a decision of whether to go national versus local. It was really who can provide what the hospital needs and be a partner with our staff, our community physicians and our administration and provide adequate coverage and really OBHG really harped on their ability to provide quality metrics, data support, and then also to be supportive to our staff from the educational standpoint.

And then the ability and the need for the consistent coverage goes without being said, but OBHG has the tools and resources to provide consistent coverage. They have recruitment tools that the hospital needs for an OB hospitalist coverage model. And they just made the transition and implementation process very seamless and took challenges as they came and their ability to recruit physicians was definitely a huge draw for us as we were working under kind of a time crunch and an unusual implementation timeline.

Prakash Chandran: So let's talk about the selection process itself. Were you a part of that in any way?

Asia Dean: Yes. So both from the standpoint of bringing OBHG on and then also the process of selecting providers as they came, interviewing providers. They were really great about having the hospital be involved in the interview process, keeping us up to speed along the way, and making sure that we were always at top of mind from the hospital administration and from the clinical leadership standpoint at our hospital. They just were really great about making sure that we were super involved in the process.

Prakash Chandran: So, you know, you spoke to your goals and objectives for labor and delivery. How did you evaluate the best fit as you move forward in this process?

Asia Dean: We looked at the coverage ability. And so how many providers does the group have available to help our hospital out? You know, what's their track record? Are they in other Dignity Health or Common Spirit facilities? We did a lot of background research on credentials and the customer service aspect of it. And ultimately decided that for what we were looking for, what we needed, OBHG met that need.

Prakash Chandran: And can you talk to us a little bit about the importance of the OB hospitalist partner, understanding both local and national goals and objectives?

Asia Dean: Sure. So from a quality standpoint, we have objectives locally that we look at every month, every quarter. And we look at those with our community OB leadership through our med staff meetings. And so for the OB hospitalist group, to be able to come in work very well with our community providers and the staff, to be able to meet those quality goals, that's something that we were definitely looking for and it was really a necessity when choosing group to work with.

And then from the national standpoint, Dignity Health is part of a national organization, of Common Spirit. And so we do have national goals from a quality standpoint that we want to look at as partners with our OB hospitalist group. And so they've been super helpful from that respect as well. Just making sure that all of the data that we need, we have it, we're able to work with them, and that they are starting to look at national goals with Common Spirit and how they can best help serve from the national standpoint.

Prakash Chandran: So let's talk a little bit about the transition process itself. Talk to us about how that went from, you know, working with a local group to now a national provider.

Asia Dean: So the transition process was actually as smooth as it could be given the timeline. And we had a unique implementation in that we were working together to get the new group integrated within our hospital system within roughly a 90-day period. And that's not something that's very common at all I think for both groups. We achieved something that, you know, we hadn't done previously. But it was a relatively, I won't say painless, but it was a relatively well-integrated process because both teams were so completely invested and involved throughout the entire process.

Now doing the short implementation is not without challenges and when you can have more time to prepare, I would recommend it, just to make sure that you have adequate time do the planning and not so much in a time crunch. But that being said, we did a great job of working together and getting everything off the ground. And then we worked through the challenges together as they came and just remained flexible and open and ready to do whatever was needed to make sure that the partnership was successful.

Prakash Chandran: So besides having maybe a little bit more leeway for the transition, what advice do you have for hospital administrators that are considering a partner for OB coverage?

Asia Dean: I would say be open to the idea that quality is something that definitely can't be compromised when you're choosing a group to make sure that you and the group are aligned first on quality and then also to consider the potential drawbacks of having to have recruitment challenges and trying to tackle that on your own is something I think that is really difficult from the hospital standpoint. So, you know, not to neglect the importance and the benefits of having a national group who has really a robust toolkit for recruitment and the ability to have providers on site and quality providers on site within the amount of time that the hospital needs. I think that's really important.

Prakash Chandran: And you touched on some of the criteria that you were considering when you were evaluating the best fit. But for these hospital administrators, what should they be considering when they're making their selection?

Asia Dean: So as a hospital administrator, there's always going to be a number of criteria and metrics they look at. Usually, the first is cost. And I would say that OBHG is never the cheapest option and we found that as well. But as we looked at what we needed to be, to administer an excellent program into the future, we found that working with OBHG was and has been so far a process that has made it easier on the hospital side to be able to implement.

We've been working together on quality. We have developed multiple initiatives to be able to cater to and reach out to the community, both from the patient standpoint and the OB standpoint. And we've been getting a lot of really good feedback from our staff so far. Even though we're early in the process, lots of great feedback from the staff, from our community OBs and then also from patients and others in the hospital. So we definitely think that we made a good choice there and we're happy with how the implementation has gone.

And then, outside of cost, you're also going to be looking at quality metrics and you're going to be looking at the group's ability to fill recruitment needs make sure that there's no gaps in coverage. So those are, I would say, the three main things that a hospital administrator is going to want to consider.

Prakash Chandran: Great. And just before we close here, do you have any final thoughts that you would like them to take away from this conversation?

Asia Dean: Just final thoughts would be remain open and enjoy the process. I think for me, being super passionate and, you know, just in my role period, maternal child is one of the areas that I love working in and working on. And so when you have the conversations with OBHG, allow them to listen to kind of what our hospital needs are, but then also to really demonstrate the full capabilities of what their program can provide, because they have a lot of really robust tools and service offerings. They're flexible. They add new things all the time to offer to the facilities. And so, just remain open in those conversations to learning new things about not only what OBHG can provide, but how they're working on new things in the OB world and new ways to serve the community.

Prakash Chandran: Well, Asia, I think that is the perfect place to end. This has been a truly informative conversation. So thank you so much for your time. That's Asia Dean, Senior Director of Strategy and Business Development at Dignity Health. To find out more about OB hospitalist coverage, please visit OBHG.com. If you found this podcast helpful, please share it on your social channels and be sure to check out the entire podcast library for topics of interest to you.

This is the OB Hospitalist Group podcast series. Thanks, and we'll talk next time.