Our vision is to focus on the health, well-being and continued development of our associates, creating a Model Community. We will lead the way in creating an environment where all associates will be able to live out our Values and achieve our Vision together.
This is how we will create this model community:
- We will encourage and grow spiritually in the workplace and ensure that our leaders have an understanding of and commitment to the spiritual foundations of our ministry and are committed to continuing our Mission.
- We will focus on improving health and well-being of all associates and their families through attention to mind, body and spirit. We will work with physicians and others who provide care to offer education, incentives and benefits to encourage and enable healthy lifestyles. In this way we will serve as an example to the broader community of how to improve health and to use health resources effectively.
- Our associates will find their work to be life-giving and satisfying. They will thrive in a culture that promotes service to others and supports their own self-care, health and well-being.
- We will ensure that all associates have, or are able to develop, the skills, knowledge and tools required to perform their roles to serve our communities.
- We will enjoy a sense of community based on the sharing of the talents and perspectives of our associates, physicians, governance representatives and Sponsors. We will celebrate our diversity as a strength.
We understand that Ascension Health and our Health Ministries cannot provide all possible healthcare services needed by those we serve. We have relied and continue to rely on others who have core competencies in other points along the care continuum to make it possible for those we serve to receive the care they need and deserve. As we choose which organizations to partner with, we will ensure that they have values compatible with our own in order to be entrusted with the relationships we have developed over time.
Our partners fall into two broad categories:
- Continuum care partners - those that provide parts of the health care continuum of services that are not part of Ascension Health.
- Support partners - those that we rely on to deliver services to those we serve.
Contiuum Care Partners - To provide individuals in Ascension Health communities with the ability to access a full continuum of care throughout their lifetimes, many services will need to be provided by others. While Ascension Health will continue to provide distinctive services that we do best – including the provision of acute care services, Ascension Health will establish and manage a network of alliances with other providers that offer complementary services. Our partners will include, but not be limited to, other organizations and groups within the Catholic Church and the faith-based community.
Support Care Partners - We also will establish alliances with organizations that Ascension Health relies on in order to deliver our core services. These alliances may include suppliers, medical device companies, and information technology vendors and technology firms. Through these alliances with people and organizations that have compatible values, Ascension Health will increase efficiency, speed development of necessary new products and services, and work with others to share the financial risks and rewards of bringing new solutions to problems we face in providing care.
Ascension Health will develop and test criteria for selecting values-compatible partners, using lessons we have learned from current alliances, as well as existing national and local practices. We will identify and build the skills and capacity to manage these relationships.
We also will identify and deploy systems to enable efficient sharing of information among all partners in the alliance network.
Information technology has transformed society in so many ways, yet healthcare has not yet been able to fully harness the tremendous power of information systems to have a measurable effect on the care we provide to those we serve. Ascension Health intends to change that.
We will deploy, in partnership with others, an information technology network that connects the organization with individuals, affiliated clinicians, and our trusted partners across the continuum of care. This network will enable our Health Ministries to access at the point of service the knowledge of Ascension Health and its partners. It will support the development of a lifetime electronic health record. Having this information available quickly and in a consistent format will help clinicians make the best decisions for their patients, sharply reduce duplication and waste, and support continuous improvement. It will increase patient care quality and satisfaction by providing the right information to the right place at the right time.
- Information technology systems across clinical settings that automate our processes of providing care and making decisions; manage and track patients’ medication information; and make medical images and data from medical devices available to caregivers.
- Advanced administrative systems (e.g., financial, materials management and human resources systems) to improve the timeliness and accuracy of information.
- Business management systems that facilitate the collection, storage, aggregation and analysis of data across the organization from clinical and administrative systems.
- Linkages between Health Ministries and regional efforts to connect healthcare organizations. This capability will support redesigned models of care for the uninsured, as well as anticipated federal and/or state integration requirements (e.g., Regional Health Information Organizations [RHIOs]).
- A consolidated and standardized technical infrastructure that allows secure, highly available, seamless and appropriate sharing of information across Ascension Health and its patients, affiliated clinicians and partners.
Having Vital Presence in the communities we serve starts with a critical assessment of the needs of the communities and our own core competencies. To be a strong, vibrant Catholic health organization, Ascension Health and its Health Ministries will need to be thoughtful and prayerful in determining where we will serve, and in what capacities, to ensure the best outcomes. In looking at the elements of ensuring a vital presence, we will approach decisions from two perspectives – that of the local Health Ministries, and that of the overall national Health Ministry.
Local Health Ministries
We will serve as stewards of the gifts entrusted to us and strengthen our Health Ministries’ ability to serve the poor and vulnerable locally. Ascension Health will be where we are needed, how we are needed to be there. We will engage with our communities to determine what is needed and then assess the most appropriate presence for Ascension Health to meet those needs. This will require certain steps, including:
- Continuing to seek opportunities to use the scale/size of Ascension Health to reduce waste, unnecessary variation and inefficiency;
- Considering how we can achieve the appropriate practice volume in our communities to both ensure access to holistic, clinically excellent care and establish efficient, equitable relationships with those who reimburse us for services;
- Considering consolidation, growth, divestiture and collaboration opportunities to best meet the needs of the communities we serve.
Based on these components, we will create and then implement plans for achieving vital presence in each of the communities we serve.
National Health Ministry
We also will consider the presence of Ascension Health as a national Health Ministry to strengthen the Catholic health ministry in the United States and position Ascension Health as a strong, vibrant Catholic health ministry. We will seek to develop new ways of working with others in the community, including Catholic health systems, to improve access to care and strengthen the Catholic health ministry. We will also selectively consider the role of Ascension Health in expanding into new markets with unmet needs where Ascension Health could make a vital contribution. All such activities will be considered using a rigorous set of criteria that appropriately balances the need to strengthen Ascension Health with the need to strengthen the broader Catholic health ministry.