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Columbus hospital looks to improve quality of care with new Emory Healthcare affiliation

Emory, St. Francis Hospital leaders share how partnership will impact community

Three years after announcing a partnership with Emory Clinic’s Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, St. Francis Hospital has announced it will be furthering that partnership by becoming a member of Emory Healthcare Network.
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Three years after announcing a partnership with Emory Clinic’s Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, St. Francis Hospital has announced it will be furthering that partnership by becoming a member of Emory Healthcare Network.

St. Francis Hospital announced Wednesday it will become an affiliate of Emory Healthcare Network with the goal of improving “quality outcomes” and making “care more affordable for the region,” according to a press release.

St. Francis started a partnership with Emory Clinic’s Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery three years ago and this announcement expands the relationship between the two medical institutions.

“This is the first time Emory has branched out of the 28-county metro area in Atlanta,” Dan Jones, chief executive officer of St. Francis Hospital, said in an exclusive interview with the Ledger-Enquirer Tuesday.

Jones said the partnership will bring “services to the community that have not existed in the past, which allows more patients, more community members, to stay here in Columbus for that care.”

Other benefits of the new partnership for patients and physicians , according to the release, include:

  • Emory providing electrophysiology capabilities, as well as expanding cardiothoracic and vascular capabilities already provided.
  • Network partners sharing common quality goals, connecting via electronic medical record systems.
  • Partners participating in group purchasing of medical supplies to lower costs in their practices while working to reduce health care costs for patients.

Patients in Columbus will still be seeing their local providers.

“One of the foundations of the EHN’s structure is that we help local networks strengthen, and we’re really based on keeping healthcare within that local area,” said Joel Shu, chief medical officer and chief quality officer for Emory Healthcare Network. “We’ve sent some of our Emory physicians to help create, run and even stay to manage programs that are within each local network.”

Under the agreement, while St. Francis physicians and providers could participate as network partners, St. Francis would continue to be a part of LifePoint Health, as it has been since January 2016.

Emory and St. Francis Hospital’s clinical partnership has been going strong for two decades, according to Jones.

“We also recently entered into a clinical affiliation for nursing education to help support our nursing education initiatives,” Jones said. “We’re also in discussions to expand other clinical affiliations.”

When asked about any possible impact on jobs at the hospital, Jones said the affiliation will help grow the organization over time, in turn influencing job growth at the facility.

Jones said Emory is known for its clinical quality and education and that St. Francis Hospital is excited to expand the partnership.

“This is an amazing initiative and amazing affiliation: it will have a direct impact not only on our patients and the quality of care that’s delivered in this marketplace but ultimately will help the larger community as part of our mission to make communities healthier,” Jones said.

St. Francis Hospital, located on Manchester Expressway in Columbus, is the city’s major cardiac and heart treatment center. The 376-bed hospital offers inpatient, outpatient and emergency room services.

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