Tag Archives: health care

Transforming Health Care


Improving the nation’s health takes more than a big idea. Samueli Institute builds partnerships in health care, worksites, the military and community settings to change a complex and financially-driven network of care. This systematic collaboration balances the often competing priorities of population health, personal experience and cost.

Packaging Change for a Ripple Effect in Health Care

Samueli Institute uses its expertise in the areas of integrative patient-centered care and whole systems learning to tackle key challenges of our health care system and produce system-level change. Solutions scale from a single doctor’s office to a large hospital system, allowing measurable, sustainable change to spread throughout the health care system. This change occurs through collaboratives, a team-based approach to problem-solving. Continue reading “Transforming Health Care” »

Medical Center Combines Holistic Person-Centered Care with Integrative Modalities, Business Flourishes

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When hospital leaders come together with the goal of holistic, team-based care centered on the patient, business flourishes. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), this focus was embedded upon inception and financial success has been a constant for the hospital system. As of 2014, both revenues and profits for CTCA have grown at a compounding annual rate of 15% to 20% for several years.One of five CTCA hospitals, Eastern Regional Medical Center (ERMC)  in Philadelphia, Pa. has seen high year over year growth since its launch in 2006.



CTCA founder Richard J. Stephenson created a culture combining a whole-person treatment approach with a compassionate, nurturing environment. Creating a “mother standard” of care, the hospital system provides a patient-centered approach to cancer treatment, an approach that one would want for their own mother. At ERMC, the Mother Standard® is expressed and manifested by staff at all levels, from the CEO, CFO, and CNO to housekeeping staff and shuttle drivers.  There is a deep-seated commitment to “looking at care through the patients’ eyes,” finding out and providing what the patients want. In fact, ERMC will absorb costs for extra services not covered by insurance if the services are valuable to patients. At ERMC, the patient is “at the center of [their] hearts and souls.



ERMC offers a unique integrative approach to cancer care that includes both standard medical, surgical, and radiological oncology treatments integrated with complementary and integrative therapies.  Each patient is assigned a Patient Empowered Care® (PEC) team comprised of an oncologist, nurse manager, naturopathic doctor, nutritionist and two care managers.  Integrated therapies – such as nutrition, herbs and supplements, mind-body


therapies, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, physical therapy, and pastoral care – are fully incorporated into each patient’s individual treatment plan.   Their approach is to “focus on the person not the cancer.

By providing such holistic and integrative care, ERMC maximizes the health and strength of the patient – body, mind, and spirit – leaving them in the strongest position possible to fight cancer and withstand side effects of treatment, while also improving their quality of life.  As one administrator notes, “We leave no stone unturned to create a healing environment.”



ERMC’s financial success is due in part to patient loyalty and resultant referrals leading to sustained growth. 

Patient satisfaction with ERMC’s integrative care is reflected in high patient loyalty and experience of care scores.   ERMC’s Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores are substantially higher than regional and national averages.  Of the 18 Philadelphia hospitals participating in the public reporting system, ERMC scores the highest in overall hospital rating (88% of respondents give ERMC a score of 9 or 10) and likelihood to recommend (91% answered they would definitely recommend).  

ERMC was recognized as a best place to work in the Philadelphia Business Journal for the past three years and administrators report minimal recruiting costs for professional positions. They have a 2% nurse turnover rate, significantly less than the regional (14.2%) and national (18%) averagesCalculated potential cost avoidance is in the $4-5 million range. 

Potential cost avoidance for nurse turnover rate at ERMC is $4,387,730 compared to other hospitals in the northeast region; $5,394,750 compared to national hospitals of a similar size.

Potential cost avoidance for nurse turnover rate at ERMC is $4,387,730 compared to other hospitals in the northeast region; $5,394,750 compared to national hospitals of a similar size.

As one ERMC administrator states, “…build your reputation and the financials will follow.


“ERMC is exemplary in their provision of holistic team-based care combined with complementary and integrative therapies.  They illustrate how Optimal Healing Environment initiatives can financially benefit a hospital system,”  said Wayne B. Jonas, MD, President and CEO, Samueli Institute.

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Download a print-friendly version of this article: ERMC Business Case

(1) Herzlinger RE KN. Cancer Treatment Centers of America (A). Boston: Harvard Business School; 2014.

This work is supported by the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command under Award No. W81XWH-08-1-0615. The views, opinions and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official Department of the Army position, policy or decision unless so designated by other documentation. In the conduct of research where humans are the subjects, the investigator(s) adhered to the policies regarding the protection of human subjects as prescribed by Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 45, Volume 1, Part 46; Title 32, Chapter 1, Part 219; and Title 21, Chapter 1, Part 50 (Protection of Human Subjects).

Focus on Integrative Care Improves Outcomes and Market Share at Valley Hospital

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Investing in a hospital’s staff and resources can be a major driver in facilitating positive change. That’s why Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey decided to train their nursing staff in using holistic integrative care – for themselves and with their patients.

For the staff, the program not only increased their knowledge of holistic practices, but reignited their passion for work. The decision to incorporate integrative, holistic care was clearly on target.

With an operating margin of 9.64%, nine times the average for New Jersey, the decision to incorporate holistic care and create an environment that optimizes healing was a no-brainer.   Continue reading “Focus on Integrative Care Improves Outcomes and Market Share at Valley Hospital” »

Working Group Tackles Chronic Pain Care as Part of Samueli Institute’s Breakthrough Collaborative Series


Pain is the most common reason patients seek health care in the United States. Use of opioids, steroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and other analgesics has significantly increased in recent years with opioid prescriptions alone increasing by 60% from 2000 to 2010. Such treatment can be costly and may cause medication dependence and potential abuse.

On June 3rd and 4th, 2015, Samueli Institute hosted its first learning session as part of a breakthrough collaborative to address how chronic pain is managed in today’s heath care system. Eight health care organizations joined Samueli Institute’s leadership team and expert faculty to embark on a seven-month journey to embrace improvements in person-centered chronic pain management. Continue reading “Working Group Tackles Chronic Pain Care as Part of Samueli Institute’s Breakthrough Collaborative Series” »

Creating an Optimal Healing Environment Pays Off for Cape Coral Hospital

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A successful hospital system that is centered on health and well-being begins at the patient level. Cape Coral Hospital (CCH) in Cape Coral, Fl. applied this maxim through the use of Samueli Institute’s Optimal Healing Environment (OHE) framework in their strategic plan. Their operating margin grew and today is 16%, 15 times the average rate for hospitals of a similar size in Florida.  Continue reading “Creating an Optimal Healing Environment Pays Off for Cape Coral Hospital” »

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