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Community forums focus on Delaware healthcare innovation

Delaware Center for Health Innovation
A diagram shows how Delaware's 10 neighborhoods part of the Healthy Neighborhoods program are divided.


The Delaware Center for Health Innovation has been holding a series of community forums to discuss a broad plan to transform healthcare delivery in Delaware.

In 2013, Delaware received a planning grant to examine the state’s healthcare systems and how they can be improved, with an eye toward lowering costs.


Julane Miller-Armbrister is Executive Director Delaware’s Center for Health Innovation. She says one result: a tool called the Common Scorecard, to help streamline reporting for healthcare providers.


“We tried to come up with one scorecard that everyone could adopt to say: these are the measures that are important, these are the measures that we need to be tracking, these are the measures that help us understand how care is being delivered," Miller-Armbrister said.

Miller-Armbrister says there’s also a greater focus on integration of care, and with it, increased workforce development trainings to get providers up to speed on the changes.

Payment reform is also on the table. The state wants to move toward a value-based system where providers are based on the quality and efficiency of care rather than the volume of patients they see.

The forums, like the one in Newark Monday night, are intended as platforms for patients to understand the work going on to transform Delaware’s health care system.


“There has already been years of stakeholder outreach so that doctors and hospitals and all the stakeholders in the system can participate and be involved in crafting a plan and putting the plan in place,” said Matt Swanson, Chairman of the Delaware Center for Health Innovation.


He says part of that crafted plan is a new initiative called Healthy Neighborhoods.


Swanson is leading that statewide effort to tackle community health issues head on.


“Delaware is divided up into 10 healthy neighborhoods, and each of those neighborhoods will have a council that helps identify health priorities for their specific area," Swanson said.


Priorities to be considered include healthy lifestyles, maternal and child health, mental health and addiction and chronic disease prevention and management.


The first neighborhood council was just launched in Sussex County, with another ready to get rolling in Wilmington. Swanson says priorities – and resources – will vary depending on the neighborhood.


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