Once-notorious hospital now leads the way on preventive care

When it was shut down in 2007, care at Los Angeles' King/Drew Medical Center had become so infamous it was colloquially known as "Killer King," due to incidents such the accidental slitting of a shooting victim's throat. Now the hospital, which reopened this summer, is blazing a trail on preventive care, according to the Los Angeles Times.

While it's too early for concrete numbers on the reopened facility's outcomes, the hospital, renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, has implemented some of the best technology and care standards in the industry, the article reports. Each patient room features a whiteboard listing the patient's care team, including the doctor, nurse and social worker the hospital assigns to each patient on admission. A manager oversees each team and will talk to patients and family members to listen for any details doctors might be too busy to catch, John Fisher, M.D., King's chief medical officer, told the publication.

To avoid post-Affordable Care Act readmission penalties, most hospitals have a preventive-care plan that targets their highest-risk patients. King, however, is going further than that, according to the article; its personalized care-coordination approach allows it to apply this kind of preventive care to all patients rather than just the most vulnerable.

The hospital also goes against the grain in how its teams operate, according to the article. Rather than working separately, physicians and nurses commit the time and resources to conducting morning rounds together, which is broadly accepted as a best practice for communication and care quality, but is not widely implemented.

The eight-year closure also provided some advantages over competitors that remained open, according to the article, allowing hospital leaders to create the organization from the ground up rather than adding essential features such as electronic health records one at a time. "From a technology standpoint, building a hospital has huge advantages compared to trying to retrofit a hospital that was built 30 or 40 years ago," Erica Mobley of the Leapfrog Group told the Times.

To learn more:
- here's the article