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Q&A with Spectrum Health's president

by Nancy Ryerson, Staff Writer | March 07, 2013
Kevin Splaine
From the March 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

After two and a half years with Spectrum Health Grand Rapids, Kevin Splaine’s ambitions are no less than making his hospitals the very best in the country. Recently he shared his vision for the future of Butterworth Hospital and what it will bring to Michigan residents with DOTmed Business News.

DMBN: Tell us a little about your background. How did you get to where you are today?
KS: I’ve had the benefit of working in a lot of different venues. My background would include working in the community hospital setting, working for a major health plan, working with IPAs and PHOs and a little sidestep into the technology and medical management space. Just prior to coming here, I was with the Penn State Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine in Hershey Pennsylvania for about 10 years. My family and I moved to west Michigan and Spectrum about two and a half years ago.

DMBN: What have been some of the highlights of your time at Spectrum Health?
KS: I think for me, the best highlight would be the people. We really have a community that has been dedicated for a long time to focusing on very high quality of care, safety, patient experience and providing services at a relatively low cost. And all of those attributes are going to help us as we enter into the health care reform era. If I were to pick out the element that I’m probably the most proud of, it’s the work that we’ve done in our patient safety space. We’ve really done an awful lot in trying to orient our culture around patient safety.

DMBN: You mentioned that you did some work in the technology space. Is health IT a big priority for you now?
KS: Information systems are a huge priority for all of us. Unfortunately, we’re in an industry where we have less technology enabled processes than many of the industries that we rely upon for everyday life. So when we look at the challenges in front of us, whether it be from a quality and safety standpoint or from a cost standpoint, our health care information technologies are our core infrastructure that we have to rely upon. I think the biggest thing for us is the extent to which we can have our information systems helping us at the point of care to make sure we’re delivering the right care to the right patient at the right time, all the time. Secondly when we look at the amount of productivity that [we’ll need to] realize as we see such downward pressure in revenues associated with health care reform, we’re really going to have to rely on our IT systems to fundamentally change the processes of care.

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