Collaboration at North Shore, Montefiore

Crain’s Health Pulse
December 18, 2013
Collaboration at North Shore, Montefiore

In May 2011, the North Shore-LIJ Health System and Montefiore announced they would collaborate on sharing best practices aimed at enhancing quality and access to clinical services, education and operational efficiencies. At the time, the two systems said they expected to cooperate in 10 to 12 areas—a goal made easier by the fact they compete in geographically separate markets.

How has that cooperation fared in the years since? Fairly well. The two systems act as informal consultants to one another. North Shore-LIJ recently explored opening school-based clinics, which Montefiore has operated for years. Advice on the clinics was a phone call away.

“We gave them a quick call, and it helped to see how they work,” said Donna Drummond, senior vice president and chief administrative officer at North Shore-LIJ. She has a counterpart at Montefiore who is the point person for the collaboration.

Most hospitals host groups and give tours of their operations in a collegial way, and North Shore-LIJ is no different. “We’re big sharers. But this is at the next level, and it’s easy to just make a call,” said Ms. Drummond. She added that the alliance also is “CEO-driven,” referring to the close relationship between North Shore-LIJ’s Michael Dowling and Montefiore’s Dr. Steven Safyer, who share
information in monthly calls and on an ad hoc basis. (North Shore-LIJ is also part of Montefiore’s pioneer ACO.)

North Shore-LIJ executives recently toured Montefiore’s Westchester Square site to look at a freestanding emergency department in operation. North Shore-LIJ will be opening an FED in Greenwich Village. “Sometimes just physically seeing something makes it easier,” said Ms. Drummond, adding that Montefiore has asked about the system’s retail pharmacy operation.

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