In health care, change is constant, and now health care is changing faster than ever before. One study estimated that the doubling time of medical knowledge in 1950 was 50 years. When I was in medical school, 25 years. By 2010, only 3.5 years. At the rate the industry is moving, by 2020 it is projected to be 0.2 years — just 73 days.
This means that, due to continuous advances in research and technology, students who began medical school in 2010 will experience approximately 150 percent more knowledge by the time they complete the minimum seven years of training needed to practice medicine.
The good news is Lakeland is committed to keeping up with the changing times and overall, we’ve had a great year.
We have improved almost every quality measure that matters. This is evident by the fact that our overall performance is not just better than average – it’s better than most in our region, and better than most across the country. That fact came into sharp focus this year as Lakeland was recognized as a 15 Top Health System by Truven Health Analytics®.
But it doesn’t end there. Our work with Affirmant Health Partners, a state-wide clinically integrated network, has created opportunities to learn from others and share with others so they can learn from us. We have providers and nurses, as well as quality, information technology, and communications experts at Lakeland who are now connected with colleagues from across the state and working to align their collective efforts to improve the health and health care of the communities we serve.
At the same time, we have made significant strides in understanding and addressing, not only the health care needs, but the health status of those living throughout Michiana. That commitment has brought new people, new talent, new tools, and new collaborative relationships to Lakeland that will be leveraged to improve health outcomes of those we serve.
We’ve also made a significant investment in our community with the biggest facility addition in Lakeland’s history located on the Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph campus. The Pavilion will help us continue to provide exceptional care and recruit an exceptional team as we care for our patients now and into the next generation. The hole has been dug, the foundation piles are mostly in place, concrete walls are being poured, and soon steel girders will begin to define the size and shape of the new building.
Although we’ve had quite a remarkable year, we’re continually looking ahead to what’s next. The start of 2018 will bring with it new strategies and goals, new lives to save, and more health to improve – because it’s what our friends and neighbors in Michiana deserve.