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Q&A with Adventist Health White Memorial CEO John Raffoul

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | March 12, 2019
From the March 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Patient being prepared for mammogram in the womens center.
HCB News: Can you say more about that? What are some ways you’ve improved care while achieving savings?
JR: A few years back, we brought in a 3T MRI and a PET CT; equipment that helps us improve outcomes because we can pinpoint disease more accurately and treat it more effectively. Recently, we also invested in a linear accelerator (LINAC) to enhance our cancer treatment offerings.

In our electrophysiology lab, we have Stereotaxis training technology that can be operated remotely; we use that as a teaching platform for physicians who come to learn from all over the world. And we also have an innovative simulation lab we use to train our nurses, physicians, and residents.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the HeRO monitoring system in our NICU. The HeRO system will tell you 24 to 48 hours ahead of time whether the underweight babies, the littlest ones in the NICU, are developing an infection. We’re just the second in the state to employ such a system.

HCB News: You’re talking about very high-tech equipment. With such a large portion of your population lacking a high school degree, what have you done to address any gaps in familiarity with things like PET CT machines and a LINAC?
JR: It’s all about education. A few years ago, we created a bilingual, educational TV program for the community that aired on MundoFox and KDOC that also highlighted our technologies and how we address different diseases. We also do intensive education when the patient comes to the campus, spending a lot of time on what the technology does, how the procedures will go, and what to expect.

HCB News: Are there any big developments in the works that you can talk about today?
JR: Health care is in a constant state of flux, and so we need to stay ahead of the curve in terms of our facility. We have an east tower we need to upgrade starting in 2020. And our ORs are also constrained in terms of capacity, so we’d like to see some expansion there. Those are two large projects that could cost close to 200 million dollars to accomplish well, and we hope to get those launched over the next three years.

White Memorial Medical Center

Adventist Health White Memorial provides a full range of inpatient, outpatient,
emergency and diagnostic services to communities in and near downtown Los Angeles.

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