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Evans dreams big as Clarian becomes IU Health

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Clarian Health, which is set to change its name to Indiana University Health on Jan. 24, is relying on the academic expertise of its downtown Indianapolis hospitals to pull in patients from a wider swath of the state and the nation.

That’s key because CEO Dan Evans doesn’t see Clarian’s Indianapolis-area market share growing much. Clarian currently claims nearly 40 percent of the inpatient hospital market in the Indianapolis area, according to bond-rating agencies.

“We’re probably about as big as we’re going to get in the local market,” Evans said Monday, adding, “We’re trying to think our marketplace is the world.”

Clarian is a long way from making that vision reality. Just 5 percent of its patients come from outside Indiana—a far cry from the drawing power of Minnesota's Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, the hospital systems that Evans wants to emulate and compete with.

To do so, Evans intends to promote the “thousands” of clinical trials in which Clarian’s physicians are participating as a way to draw in more primary-care patients in the Indiana communities around Clarian’s 16 hospitals. Because the IU School of Medicine physicians are a major chunk of Clarian's medical staff, its facilities and patients participate in more clinical trials than community hospital systems in Indiana.

“People want the same thing in Lafayette as they want in South Bend or anywhere else,” Evans said—emphasizing access to clinical trials, a patient experience that fosters trust and a consistent level of care at all facilities that will come under the IU Health brand.

The clinical trials are a reality. Evans just wants to make it so primary-care physicians can “press a button” and see all clinical trials within the IU Health system that the patient sitting in front of them might qualify for.

Evans’ other two points are more works in progress—although works on which Clarian has been progressing in recent years.

Creating a consistent and retail-like patient experience is no easy task, and as Clarian becomes IU Health, it is working to train its staff and physicians on how to consistently communicate well with patients.

“This is a massive retraining exercise,” Evans said.

Ensuring a consistent level of care depends on the smooth, electronic transfer of patient information from one facility to another. Many Clarian hospitals are fully synchronized electronically, but some are not. And Clarian still will have the challenge of linking thousands of physicians to its electronic networks.

The information technology is key to providing high-level care without duplicating all the medical specialists at every hospital—which is impossible.

For example, Clarian’s Tipton Hospital has no interventional radiologists on hand. But if a patient comes to Tipton in need of such care, he or she can be transferred to Clarian North Medical Center in Carmel in 45 minutes. Patient information travels ahead of them, and even helps the EMTs hook up only the necessary tubes, so the hospital staff spends no extra time unhooking the unnecessary ones.

Information technology is also crucial when it comes to tracking whether physicians are all adhering to the evidence-based medicine guidelines Clarian is establishing at all its facilities.

“Our goal is one standard of care all the time everywhere,” Evans said.

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  • \O/
    Like,like,like Indy Guy!
  • Thanking Healthcare in Indiana!
    Interesting to read the comments on here. I suppose no one believes in democratic capitalism?!

    Competition that all of you seem to detest has led to Indiana offering world-class healthcare that few other states can match. In Indianapolis alone, we have several great systems that are vying for patients by continually trying to improve. That's what IU Health has just done. As a taxpayer, no one should be worry about such costs as I can't believe that any of IU Health's business expansions have resulted in a cost to taxpayers. Like any private industry, healthcare is funded by the businesses themselves. Moreover, a quick check of the IU Health web site shows that they gave back about $500 million to the community -- including writeoffs and free care through their emergency departments, not to mention all the jobs that have been created! One reason this state is doing so well compared to others in the Midwest is because the healthcare sector continues to create so many jobs.

    Readers need to get off their high horse and quit trashing good people that are making a difference for our community and our state!
    • Thanking my doctor
      I wanted Dr Cacioppo & his assistant Tina Sizemore to know how much I appreciated their help while going thru chemo. Dr Cacioppo did such a great job in reconstrution of my breast, & was always so positive, thus making this terrible incident easier to go thru. Is there a web-site where I can be sure Dr Cacioppo & his staff will know how great & professional they are.
    • Consider the Other Side
      I have found over the years that some organizations are driven by big egos that always think that bigger is better. As a Tax Payer in Indiana, I am disturbed that so many resources are being wasted because of "market share" and building new markets. Think of all the money "Clarian" wasted in building a brand identity around "Clarian" only to now change the name to IU Health. I would submit that Riley Hospital for Children should have never been a part of IU Health as it used to be the "Indiana Children's Hospital" and then became a "Clarian" hospital. St. Vincent then spent millions building the Manning Childrens Hospital just to be able to compete. Why could we not be satifsied with one Childrens' Hospital owned by all of Indiana that we all could support because of the quality care and research provided? Another example is what IU Health has done to buy and build hospitals all over the State. A prime example is what happened in Lafayette. There, we already had St. Elizabeth and Home Hospital that had mergered into one system. Clarian spent millions of dollars building another hospital in Lafayette. It is sicking to ride by the buildings that once housed Home Hospital in Lafayette and see a perfectly good building sitting there empty. What a waste of money! Since IU Health gets a lot of tax payer support because of State dollars that flow to IU and the entire system, should they not be held accountable for the way money is spent? Should they not be called on to support other hospitals and healthcare providers in the State rather than trying to compete against them? Someone told me recently that IU currently is the only medical school in the State but they give very limited access to the doctors they train forcing other hospitals to have to look elsewhere to get their needs met. This is not right as every community having physician needs should have equal access. We all have heard the term recently "Too Big to fail". Maybe the term we need to be focused on is "Small enough to succeed". This would take the focus off of market share and buying markets and, instead, put the focus on cooperation between hospitals and healtcare providers in the State working together to provide high quality healthcare in a more efficient and effective manner. This would be a real start in cutting healthcare costs and at the same time improving quality. Come on folks, lets quit competing and start working together for the betterment of all our citizens! There is no place in our current system and economy for big egos. What we need is servant leaders. That's the way healthcare used to be.
    • Efficiency
      How can hospitals use evidence-based medicine to drive efficiency? Here's a good example: http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=3225
    • Caring staff?
      I'm glad you had such a positive experience at IU, but it has not been my case in dealing with the Clarian system. Billing is a nightmare. Gatekeepers--ie. telephone systems that dump you into voice mail, scheduling assistants who screw up your appointment time, and "nurses" that turn you away because you don't fit into the prescribed timeframe have been my experience with this unrealistically large system that doesn't seem to understand that they are dealing with people/patients in the middle of some of the most emotional situations in their life. FRONTLINE PERSONNEL in the system have to do a better job of meeting the needs of clients for Clarian/IU Healthcare to be considered a world-class institution. Good luck.
    • High Quality Care!!
      In response to "Doctor"...Exactly (1) year ago today, I entered IU Medical Center for a very serious surgery. The ENTIRE staff including surgeons, nurses, techs, housekeeping, etc... were/are of the highest quality and do in fact provide a caring environment. Spending the subsequest (3) weeks in the hospital and the (1) year of follow-up visits, you get to literally know people on a first name basis...they ALL are doing a great job. Their focus is on the patient.

      "Doctor", yes, healthcare does have its issues, but please don't paint with such a broad brush.

      Whether you like it or not...worrying about "competing" and "market share" is Mr. Evans' job...if he didn't have such an approach, we the public wouldn't have access to such world class healthcare here in Indianapolis!
      • hmmmm...
        Instead of spending so much time worrying about 'competing' and 'market share' maybe Mr. Evans ought to just consider the possibility of the hospitals under his leadership providing high quality, affordable health care in a positive and caring environment in the communities which they serve? Health care is not supposed to be a 'competition/ and those like Mr. Evans who consider it as such should look for a different line of work (hey, try investment banking, I hear those d-bags are ALL about the competition!)

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