Norton Healthcare, UofL Physicians – Pediatrics and the University of Louisville School of Medicine today announced they have officially signed a definitive agreement for an affiliation that will combine resources to strengthen and enhance medical care for children, including:
- Improved access to care. A primary goal is to provide excellent care close to home without the worry of waiting for an appointment. Access will be improved through scheduling enhancements and recruitment of additional providers.
- Commitment to innovation and education. With this new initiative, Norton Healthcare’s support of UofL’s clinical research and the school of medicine’s academic mission will continue. These entities collectively recognize the importance of teaching the next generation of pediatric providers, as well as the importance of UofL’s research mission, in growing a regionally and nationally recognized pediatric program. Working together, the groups can recruit, train and retain key talent for pediatric programs.
- One integrated electronic medical record for each patient’s health records, which will improve care coordination, including provider communication.
- Additional multidisciplinary clinics, where patients with serious and chronic medical conditions can see multiple specialists on the same day, will be added to allow more children to receive the coordinated care they need.
- Examples of current multidisciplinary clinics include neuro-oncology, heart transplant, spina bifida and congenital diaphragmatic hernia.
- More than 20 clinics are planned over the next two years. These include breathing and digestion conditions, preserving reproductive potential in children who have cancer and managing the ongoing health issues of premature babies.
Norton Healthcare will assume operations for pediatric and pediatric subspecialist offices currently managed under UofL Physicians – Pediatrics. Approximately 600 employees with 21 different practices will transition with the affiliation. UofL doctors will remain on the faculty of the school of medicine and will work clinically within a Norton Healthcare pediatric practice plan.
This new model will allow the practices to enhance their focus on providing highly skilled care that is integrated with world-class medical education and research. It also will help streamline patients’ access to outpatient care with the practices and to inpatient care provided by Norton Children’s Hospital.
“Norton Healthcare and Norton Children’s Hospital have worked closely with the University of Louisville since 1930 as part of our academic affiliation,” said Russell F. Cox, president and chief executive officer, Norton Healthcare. “Our long history of collaboration has resulted in expansion of pediatric care and research, especially in the areas of heart, diabetes and cancer care, and the growth of multidisciplinary clinics.
“By linking together the best pediatric providers who are committed to providing safe, high-quality care, we will make it easier for families to access comprehensive medical care for their children.”
“UofL is committed to helping nurture healthy children and communities while maintaining our strong academic training programs and research, which ultimately translates into even better care for children,” said Neeli Bendapudi, Ph.D., president, UofL. “We’ll do that by capitalizing on the strengths of each organization.”
“Working together will help us attract additional specialists to Louisville to care for children with the most complex medical issues,” said Steven T. Hester, M.D., MBA, division president, provider operations, and system chief medical officer, Norton Healthcare. “Patients can expect a seamless transition and will now have the added convenience of one integrated medical record, rather than working across two electronic medical record systems. This will provide ease in accessing test results and communicating with providers.”
“Ultimately, the goal is to develop and deliver the best possible programs, services and patient experience for the children of Kentucky and beyond,” said Kimberly A. Boland, M.D., interim chair, UofL School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics and UofL Physicians – Pediatrics. “We look forward to seeing what great things we can accomplish together, not only in clinical care but in educating future pediatricians and making new discoveries in the field of child and adolescent health care.”
The affiliation is slated to take effect on Feb. 1, 2020.