Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: Coordinating Patient Care

Case Solution

Jody Hoffer Gittell, Julian Wimbush, Kirstin Shu
Harvard Business School ()

External cost pressures are motivating the introduction of case management (CM) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), but several of the organization’s key professional groups are working against it. President and CEO David Dolins must decide if CM is needed and if it supports the patient- and employee-centered culture on which BIDMC has built its success. CM is touted in the healthcare industry as a way to coordinate the complex, multidisciplinary process of patient care in the hope of controlling costs without compromising quality. CM creates a new role that stands above the established disciplines of physicians, nurses, and social workers to coordinate their activities and monitor their performance. The case describes the threat CM poses to the professional position of doctors, social workers and nurses. It also examines the coordination mechanisms that already exist in the care pathways, primary care, care management teams and information systems and asks if QI is required.

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