Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ochsner LSU Health announces rural health system affiliations

by BIZ Magazine

Tuesday,  Ochsner LSU Health announced a new affiliation with DeSoto Regional Health System launching this Thursday, July 1 and shared expansion plans to further strengthen its affiliation with North Caddo Medical Center. With its highly specialized, acute care teaching hospital in Shreveport, Ochsner LSU Health’s rural affiliations help ensure access to all levels of healthcare for residents in Northwest Louisiana.

One area of focus for the affiliations is excellent coordination and communication when transferring patients from a rural healthcare setting to Ochsner LSU Health for specialized and immediate care needs. Following the initial affiliation with North Caddo Medical Center in 2019, the new Ochsner LSU Health patient flow center increased patients transferring from North Caddo Medical Center by more than fifty percent. The patient flow center will also be aligning with DeSoto Regional Health System.

Ochsner LSU Health’s affiliation with North Caddo Medical Center also includes after-hours pharmacy coverage and savings through conversion of supply chain and biomedical equipment contracts. North Caddo Medical Center also has a rural family practice residency program that supports future rural healthcare needs by training and preparing physicians for a rural setting.

Preparing for its affiliation with DeSoto Regional Medical Center, Ochsner LSU Health has already begun providing rotating physicians to enhance specialty care. It expects to increase those specialists and supplement primary care and medical staff as needed. The two systems are also engaging in a daily operational meeting to coordinate on capacity and patient needs.

The affiliation builds on the crucial healthcare services these systems have provided to surrounding communities for decades. DeSoto Regional Health System and North Caddo Medical Center both provide vital healthcare resources to rural communities with a 24-hour emergency department, acute care hospitals, outpatient care, a variety of specialties, and primary care clinics. In existence since 1948, DeSoto Regional Health System also supports growing behavioral health needs with its addiction detox program. North Caddo Medical Center, established in 1965, opened a new state-of-the-art medical facility in 2017, replacing the previous facility.

Future integration with Ochsner LSU Health for both rural systems, located north and south of Ochsner LSU Health’s main facilities, includes expansion of telemedicine, radiology and laboratory services, and increased continuity of care and patient experience by integrating electronic medical record systems. 

“At Ochsner LSU we’re deeply committed to making our communities healthier. We want to ensure that everyone in our region has quick, efficient access to healthcare and there’s no way we can do that alone. It takes deep, committed partners to do that throughout all of North Louisiana,” said Chuck Daigle, CEO, Ochsner LSU Health.

CEO of DeSoto Regional Health System Todd Eppler shared, “One of the things that Ochsner is committed to is innovation, technology and doing new things. It is exciting for us to be part of the team that is going where healthcare is going, fact leading where healthcare is going, and focused on making sure rural residents and facilities have the same access to technology and innovation as the more urban communities.”

CEO of North Caddo Medical Center David Jones shared an example of how the affiliation has benefited by describing the support from Ochsner LSU Health related to urgent COVID-19 testing in early 2020 provided to the system’s nursing home in Vivian, La., “It saved lives in northern Caddo Parish–that’s what the affiliation did for us.”

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