A hidden Clovis success

John Taylor: May 14, 20120 Comments

Praise in public, criticize in private. I totally believe in that philosophy (though it was rarely evidenced in my 30 years in the newspaper business). So I'm a tad puzzled that a wonderful atta-boy delivered to Clovis government leadership by a prominent author and health care futurist was so way "between the lines" as to make Clovis invisible.

"A community in the Central Valley of California," was how Ian Morrison chose to not mention Clovis when he wrote about innovative ways to right-size the delivery of health care in a Hospitals & Health Networks Magazine article.
Morrison is a witty speaker whose Scottish burr adds to the delight of his insights. He's also chairman of the board of the California HealthCare Foundation. 

“Big data and new thinking can transform the care of heavy users,” was a headline on his May 1 article. Morrison and other foundation board members quietly visited the Central Valley in March, stopping briefly at Community Regional Medical Center and also touring Clovis.

He mentioned several groups by name that impressed him with their innovations. But then came – shhh! Clovis.  He wrote: “Our valiant assistant city manager has begun to identify how simple, nonmedical, non-health-care interventions – like seniors’ transportation services, cooperation with and support of landlords on mold remediation, help with job counseling and social service support programs – could save millions of firefighting resources.”

Essentially, don’t repeatedly send a fire truck or an ambulance when building a core of care could better and more economically address what someone views as a dire need.

The unnamed Clovis official had done some serious data mining and area outreach, and he made a difference. Similarly, case workers and others involved with Community Regional’s Community Connections program are trying to assist chronically ill patients who repeatedly are ambulanced to our ED when what they often need is appropriate, accessible care elsewhere to stabilize their conditions and improve their lives.

Morrison concluded that “if we meet people in their lives, not just in our facilities” and apply our growing stockpile of sophisticated data, we can transform for the better the quality of life for the seriously ill.

Kudos to Morrison for taking note, however understated, of good work in the Valley. And a big well done to Clovis!

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