By Terrey L. Hatcher, Editorial Group Manager, Relias Media

Consolidation among healthcare facilities can benefit patients by promoting standardized care practices and economies of scale. However, potential safety risks also crop up when hospitals and providers merge under one umbrella system.

The challenges arise especially because physicians are entering a new physical environment, dealing with new patient populations, and navigating unfamiliar sets of protocols and resources, according to Susan Haas, MD, MSc. Haas, principal investigator at Ariadne Labs in Boston, shares her research and advice on healthcare system expansions in our latest podcast episode.

“Medicine is not just the what, but it is very largely the how,” she observes. “And how is different in every institution and oftentimes on every nursing floor. Suddenly, physicians are confronted with knowing what they want to do but not how to get it done.”

With more than 100 healthcare system expansions each year from 2014 to 2017, involving clinicians and risk managers early on is key, Haas says. For more on this topic, read the full article on mergers and acquisitions in the October issue of Healthcare Risk Management.

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