Seattle Children’s Care Network Leverages Accreditation Process to Identify Gaps, Improve Operations

| URAC Staff
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Seattle Children’s Care Network (SCCN) Senior Director of Operations Ginger Hines laughs when she calls it “the one source of truth.” However, she’s serious when it comes to how SCCN uses its URAC Accreditation binder to train new staff, help current personnel stay fresh, and otherwise emphasize the demanding “rigor” of its operations.

“This is how we do business,” Hines says. The binder helps to drive the point home. As part of the onboarding process, SCCN shows new employees the presentation it used to secure URAC Clinical Integration Accreditation earlier this month (April 1, 2018). “It’s a good way to see how we do things, how we run our shop and the rigor we expect” from each employee in everything they do. “I use the binder every week,” Hines says. “It’s great to have everything in one place.”

“Accreditation shows we’re serious,” agrees Dr. Sheryl Morelli, SCCN’s medical director and chief medical officer.  Attaining URAC accreditation is tangible proof to everyone in the market that “we’re doing what we say we’re doing.”

SCCN is a pediatric system of care made up of Seattle Children’s Hospital, 600 specialists in the Children’s University Medical Group (CUMG) and 15 primary care practices comprising nearly 200 pediatricians and nurse practitioners. These member organizations share a common commitment to advance quality, reduce cost and improve patient experience across the care continuum. Providers at SCCN practices span the Puget Sound from Skagit in the north to Olympia in the south, supporting the health of more than 60,000 children in SCCN’s value-based care contracts.

As the operations leader in charge of the URAC accreditation prep, submission, and review, Hines says it is an important competitive tool that SCCN values as one way to help it continue its phenomenal growth. “We’re always looking for ways to show our CIN is serious.”

Like many others who have worked hard to win URAC accreditation, SCCN found that the very process itself improved their operations. “It helped us identify some gaps,” Dr. Morelli says.

“Going through the process absolutely cemented our standards,” Hines adds. “It helped us to adhere to the standards we had and create ones when we didn’t have them” in place.

Dr. Morelli also worked with the SCCN board to ensure they were supportive. It didn’t take a hard sell. “They got it right away.”

Dr. Morelli also applauds how URAC conducted the give and take on the road to accreditation. The process wasn’t easy, nor should it be, she says. However, URAC helped to make it collaborative, ensuring a positive impact for SCCN during and after the process. Attitude and approach played a big role. “Working with URAC was very conversational, not confrontational,” she reports.

Independent word of mouth also played a part, Hines says. “We got very positive feedback from Phoenix Children’s Care Network (PCCN). It weighed heavily in our decision” to move forward, she says.

PCCN became the first clinically integrated pediatric network to earn URAC accreditation in April 2017. Twelve months later, PCCN reports it is benefitting from stronger relationships with service providers, enhanced credibility with regulators and patients, and a long line of physicians knocking on the door hoping to join the network.

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