AU Health partnership with Philips saves money and lives

Executives from AU Health & Philips take a look at how the partnership is going after three years in the agreement.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A long-term partnership at Augusta University Health not only saves patient’s lives, but it is also saving the hospital money.   Going to the hospital can be tough already, but Philips planted itself at AU Health three years ago to make sure the experience is better.

Kelley Connolly, Philips Senior Director for Long Term Strategic Partnership in North America, told NewsChannel 6 his company aims to make it easier to go to the hospital.

“The goal in our partnership is to help drive better, faster, less expensive healthcare for the system,” he said.

The technology giant moved into Augusta University Health three years ago and can already chart success.

“The medical devices in the hospital can help drive better throughput, which means faster turn around time for exams, quicker diagnosis, more accurate diagnosis. All of these thing improve the delivery of care and also the experience of care,” he explained.

Executives from both AU Health and Philips toured the hospital and noted how the first three years of the 15 year partnership turned out.

AU Health Chief Operating Officer, Shawn Vincent, told us, “We have been able to upgrade over 800 pieces of equipment. We have the latest and greatest technology.”  He also noted this type of partnership was the first of its kind in the world when it started and it’s becoming more standardized in the health care industry.

Vincent said Georgia’s academic medical center saw an $8 million savings in the past three years. He said Philips maintains older equipment and installs new ones too.

“If you have an opportunity to view our pediatric radiology suite, the ambient lighting, looking at the many CT and other things that pediatric patients can utilize,” he said of the upgrades thanks to Philips.

The $300 million long-term deal brought about a dozen permanent Philips employees to the Garden City.

Connolly added, “Our constraint isn’t whether it’s Philips or not. It’s really providing the best level of service and acquisition and overall management of those assets. Do we the right number? Do we have the right kind to deliver the best care?”

The partnership between Philips and AU Health is for 15 years.  A big part of what helps the two entities work together is an advisory board of patients.

Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins

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