News | Published January 28, 2013 | Written by Steve Brown, FACHE, president and CEO, Mount Nittany Health

The benefits of a health system

Today, increasingly more hospitals are choosing to become part of a larger “system” of care. While reasons for this obviously vary on a case-by-case basis, the overarching explanation for this trend is simple: It makes for better care.

Simply put, when parts are coordinated, they work better together; just like players on a sports team or musicians in a band.  Similarly, practicing medicine in a connected and accountable way across the spectrum of care makes for better healthcare decisions and improved patient care. By working together in a coordinated approach with shared resources, expertise and a common mission and vision, healthcare systems have been shown to improve the patient experience while also reducing costs.

Two years ago, Mount Nittany Medical Center transitioned from a hospital-based entity into a system organization. This system includes the parent organization, Mount Nittany Health, along with Mount Nittany Medical Center; Mount Nittany Physician Group, a practice with nearly 100 providers in more than a dozen locations throughout the region; and its fundraising and development entity, The Foundation for Mount Nittany Medical Center.

Working together, Mount Nittany Health has grown to become a regional health system, growing in scope and prominence with more integrated and efficient care. Whether forging strategic partnerships with those who share our mission, recruiting new specialists to provide world-class care close to home, or implementing patient navigators to guide folks through healthcare decisions and resources, our focus remains the same: to make people healthier and to become the most trusted source of healthcare for Central Pennsylvanians.

I believe that it’s our responsibility, as a healthcare provider, to make healthcare work for you, not the other way around. That’s just one of the many benefits of delivering healthcare as a system. Better coordination means better care, and that leads to better health for our entire community—perhaps the greatest benefit of all.