Throughout our history, Swedish has cared for countless patients and has grown to be the health care provider of choice for the greater Puget Sound area and beyond. We have a responsibility to our current and future patients to manage this organization with a focus on efficiency and sustainability so we are able to care for our community for another 100 years.
Our Evolving Industry
We are navigating a health care environment that is constantly evolving, both at the national and local levels. Like other health care organizations across the country, Swedish is confronting the challenges posed by declining reimbursement rates, a changing payer mix and increasing costs of care. At the same time, patients’ needs and demands are changing dramatically. There is growing demand for community-based care that is supported through a network of ambulatory, virtual and other types of non-acute care.
To continue serving our communities well, Swedish also needs to evolve. Our team is committed to ensuring that Swedish provides the high-quality care that patients need, where and when they need it, and at a cost that is affordable. This commitment requires that we constantly evaluate our organization and seek opportunities to improve.
Upcoming Changes for Swedish
For this reason, I decided to move Swedish to a more cost-effective model of care that will better serve our patients in many care settings, both acute and ambulatory. This evolution is necessary for Swedish to continue providing care for our patients in the years to come. To enable this transition, we have to make difficult decisions that will impact some programs and some of our caregivers.
We identified opportunities to be more cost-effective without impact to quality of care. We will strategically invest in outpatient systems of care and other services our patients require, while enhancing our partnerships with other providers in the community. We also focused on opportunities to create more efficiency within our organization such as through staffing improvements and reducing select management positions.
For impacted programs and individual positions, we have begun to notify caregivers today, with a goal of connecting with each affected person by end of the week. As part of this process, approximately 4% of our total caregiver positions will be impacted. We are committed to working with all impacted caregivers to help them apply for one or more of Swedish’s more than 600 open positions if they are interested.
Our process will reflect our core values and honor the dignity of every caregiver. The changes we are implementing were determined after exhaustive consideration, analysis and discussion. Through all of these changes, Swedish will maintain our commitment to providing the highest quality and safest care for our patients. Over the next several days and weeks, the leadership team and I will be focused on providing caregivers support they need during this transition. I thank you all for your grace and compassion as we work through this process.
These changes will allow Swedish to allocate resources to programs and services that will help us meet our evolving patient needs, including:
Improved access to primary care by increasing the number of advanced care practitioners in some of our primary care clinics
Expansion of our palliative care program to ensure we are meeting the needs of our community
Increased support of community-based care through partnerships, such as our partnership with the Issaquah School District, where we provide school-based mental health counselors and will be adding staff to help meet the growing community need
As the health care industry continues to transform, and our patients’ needs and expectations change, Swedish will adapt our care model to strengthen our long-term sustainability and affirm our pledge to serve all.
I am deeply grateful for your commitment to Swedish, our patients and our community.
R. Guy Hudson, M.D., MBA
Chief Executive Officer
Swedish Health Services