CommonSpirit CEO Lloyd Dean on Three Patient-Centric Goals the Health System is Pursuing

Dean discusses the importance of shared values and common goals in the recent CHI/Dignity Health merger and his work in addressing drivers of health and health inequities.

Key Takeaways: As mergers in the health care industry are becoming increasingly common, it is important that consumers understand how these mergers will affect (and benefit) them and that mergers work to better address health care’s most serious problems.

By Michaela Katz

CommonSpirit, the product of the union of CHI and Dignity Health, has recently joined other companies including Cigna/Express Scripts, CVS/Aetna and Advocate/Aurora in the sweeping trend of consolidation.

“At the center, our objective was to create something that is patient centric and better than they could get without us in their lives,” said Lloyd Dean, CommonSpirit CEO in an interview at the Health Evolution Summit. “You would feel and see in a very tangible way that you are at the center of your health care journey.”

But what exactly does that mean?

Dean said the answer resides within three key goals CommonSpirit is pursuing. The first is the ability to get your own medical information.

“You would have access to your data, when you go to see a physician or when you get labs, within 12 hours,” Dean explained. “Those will be readily available to you and not just in the normal language but in language that you understand. You would feel that you’re in control of what happens.”

Second, care will not be confined solely to the traditional hospital locations. “We will have brought health care to you,” he said. “It would not be predominantly acute, campus-based care.”

The third goal is connection to and genuine interaction with your provider. “You would be able to interact with your provider in a way that you feel that you are the most important thing in that transaction.”

CommonSpirit is working to use things like Google Glass which will enable providers to develop deeper relationships with their patients by reducing their need to fill out forms and spend time looking at electronic medical records.

The ultimate metric of success is not the goals that CommonSpirit has set but how patients respond to the care CommonSpirit is providing.

“Our true measurement of all key things that we’re doing is not what we hope to achieve but, whether the patient says, ‘That’s the kind of care I want, when I want it, how I want it and I understand it and I feel like I’m in control,’” Dean said.

In addition to the lofty goals Dean hopes that the CHI/Dignity health merger will accomplish, he also wants to continue addressing drivers of health and health equity. “I think [the industry’s] focus on social determinants is long overdue.”

CommonSpirit, for its part, is making investments with communities, giving non-interest loans to other community groups, doing outright grants to address determinants and chonic conditions in particular, Dean said.

“Health care is a right,” he added. “It is not some luxury or something for the most privileged and, for the health and wellbeing of our society, it makes sense.”

Watch more episodes of the Health Evolution Interview Series. The next Health Evolution Summit is scheduled for April 1-3, 2020 in Laguna Niguel, California.  


Lloyd Dean

CommonSpirit Health

Mr. Dean is CEO of CommonSpirit Health and previously was president and CEO of Dignity Health since 2000. He is dedicated to preserving and expanding health care access for all and is guided by the belief that the healing power of humanity can bring communities together to support a healthy future for everyone. Full bio ›

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