PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The way health care is delivered to patients at Lifespan member hospitals in Rhode Island could become more efficient under a new partnership with GE Healthcare, the organizations said Tuesday afternoon.
The announcement was made at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Through targeting segments of the health care delivery system, GE Healthcare and Lifespan personnel plan to work together to create organizational efficiencies such as reducing costs, speeding up service and reducing wait times for patients.
“It will be easier to get an appointment and it will be a bit easier to get seen faster and they’ll get a little more time with their nurse and they’ll get out of the system a little faster,” GE Healthcare’s Helen Stewart explained.
“There’s so many ways this relationship can really help improve healthcare,” she added.
In addition to making patient care more efficient, the partnership aims to save Lifespan $182 million over the next six years.
“We had a reasonably good year last year but it was a razor-thin margin,” Lifespan President and CEO Tim Babineau said. “So for us to be able to continue to deliver on our mission we have to be more financially stable.”
The organizations said they planned to make sure Lifespan can access data analytics to help streamline patients in the system and thereby reduce costs.
Babineau said that just because they’re looking to save money doesn’t mean layoffs should be expected.
“I can’t imagine we would,” he said. “This is about being able to take care of more patients and taking care of more patients usually requires more people, not less people.”
Gov. Gina Raimondo was on hand for the announcement, calling it an innovative partnership. In fact, GE says it’s only the fifth time they’ve worked on a collaboration like this.
A spokesman for the United Nurses and Allied Health Professionals (UNAP) union says they are eager to learn more about the partnership but are remaining cautious, adding that they want to see the details and learn more about any potential impacts.