Sutter Health’s connected model of care allows us to step in where others may step out, investing in underserved communities, supporting hospitals and patients during emergencies and major disasters and opening doors to healthcare that might not otherwise be available.
Sutter Health is working to advance health equity for our patients through analysis and patient-focused care. That is why Sutter Health created our novel and innovative Health Equity Index (HEI).
Sutter’s HEI is the first implemented health equity metric that uses real-time health system data combined with external demographics, prevalence and utilization statistics to help address disparities and identify their underlying causes. We are taking major steps to build on the benefits of our integrated, coordinated network of care to further health equity within our system and across the country.
Learn more about Sutter’s HEI and how providers inside and outside the Sutter Health network are working together and using the HEI’s findings to fuel targeted investments in issue-specific care and community-oriented and culturally sensitive programs.
All hospitals are coping with rising labor, facility, and technology costs. Hospitals in rural communities disproportionately feel this pressure as they serve a high proportion of Medi-Cal and Medicare patients. Rural communities are also facing a provider shortage. As a result, rural hospitals are closing at an alarming rate throughout the United States.
To help address this crisis, Sutter Health is making significant investments to keep small and rural community hospitals open so communities that may lack other healthcare providers can keep their care close to home.
Sutter’s investments help ensure that patients do not have to travel unreasonable distances to see a doctor or delay essential health services, and they have access to comprehensive medical facilities and leading specialists if and when they need them.
Opening Up Access to Innovation: Sutter Health’s telepsychiatry and EKO telecardiology provide patients access to care in communities who may not have specialists immediately available. Sutter’s Electronic ICU (the first of its kind on the West Coast and only the second eICU in the nation) offers patients 24/7 access to an expert team of doctors and nurses specially trained in mental health and intensive care.
Sutter Health’s integrated model of care makes it possible to provide these services to many rural Californians who may not otherwise have access to them.
Sutter Health is able to step in and support patients across our hospitals, clinics and home health care services during emergencies and disasters because our integrated network allows us to quickly shift and provide critical resources at any given time.
Since January 2020, when the first COVID-19 cases were reported, our entire integrated network acted quickly to adapt our ‘normal’ operations and prepare for a surge of patients in response to this pandemic. California was one of the first states to see cases of COVID-19, and Sutter Health was among the first health systems in the country to care for patients with the virus.
Our integrated network allows us to quickly shift and provide critical resources at any given time, allowing us to protect communities and support patients across our hospitals, clinics and home health care services — especially during emergencies. Our hospitals are not on their own. They have an entire network backing them up and providing needed support.
With the safety of our patients, employees and clinicians as a top priority and in alignment with local, state and federal guidelines to prepare for a surge and support slowing the spread of COVID-19, early on we responsibly and rapidly scaled down surgeries and preventive care that could be safely postponed. The pandemic has also significantly impacted patients’ willingness to seek care, resulting in a sharp drop in overall patient visits to our offices. While the impact of COVID-19 has been challenging for all of us and adapting our operations in response has been a costly and difficult endeavor, every decision we’ve made has aligned with our not-for-profit mission and values, and we are proud to continue to care for our patients.
During Sonoma County’s Kincade fire, Sutter’s integrated network proved crucial. Sutter was able to efficiently and safely move patients out of Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital to other nearby hospitals where providers continued to provide seamless care. Our network also allowed staff to quickly contact patients and coordinate care. From filling prescriptions and rescheduling appointments to keeping vital chemotherapy infusions on track, Sutter works to ensure patients have continuity of care, even during emergencies.
Read more about how the Sutter Health team acted swiftly to support patients during recent wildfires:
Because of its not-for-profit mission, Sutter Health steps in where others may step out, providing care for those who cannot afford it, funding education and research that will improve lives, and contributing to programs and organizations that provide healthcare access and services for those in need.
This includes programs that provide adults, children and families with access to primary healthcare, alcohol and drug treatment, mental health services, specialty consultation and procedures, crisis services, dental and vision care, health education, transportation, income assistance and housing, among others.
Read more about Sutter Health’s commitment to serving the underserved: