Northwestern Medicine Emergency Department (NM ED) and CHI+Care

Northwestern Medicine's emergency department evaluates a relatively high volume of HIV+ homeless patients. In order to better serve these patients, NM ED runs a limited referral program to connect patients with the Chicago House, a non-for-profit organization which can provide housing, HIV treatment, and case management to these patients.

NM brought in Second Opinions to develop a strategy to increase patient referrals from the ED to Chicago House. Second Opinions first worked on assessing current referral policies, team structure, and stakeholder priorities and compared them to patient initiatives in the city of Chicago with similar missions and structure. Second Opinions analysts mapped out the current referral process and developed short-term and long-term improvements to each component of the current referral process based on comparator analysis. The team then followed up by tracking improvement of the program as the strategies were implemented. 

Northwestern Medical Group: Transitional Care

Northwestern Medicine Group Transitional Care (NMG-TC) is a multidisciplinary internal medicine practice that oversees referral of complex, chronically ill, uninsured, or undomiciled patients to community-based medical homes after hospitalization. However, low attendance rates at scheduled appointments continues to limit realization of the potential benefits of Transitional Care. NMG-TC challenged Second Opinions to develop strategies to increase the attendance rate to the first transitional care appointment by understanding referral patterns and key obstacles to patient attendance.​ 

Second Opinions analysts identified key issues from stakeholders, designed a survey based on these themes, and conducted the survey among 39 Internal Medicine physicians at NMH. Additionally, patient-facing interviews were conducted to qualitatively assess the transitional care's value to patients. Analysis of the physicians' knowledge base and practices related to transitional care referrals, as well as value reported by patients, guided strategy development.