Massachusetts General Hospital will form a clinical affiliation with Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, in which the two provider organizations will collaborate on areas as telemedicine, research, and protocols for providing care, according to a report in the Boston Globe.
Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, or EMHS, is one of Maine’s largest health systems, and this partnership is the latest move by Massachusetts General and its parent company, Partners HealthCare, to expand across New England, according to the Globe report.
There are health IT implications involved as well. As the story outlined, because EMHS’s facilities are several hours away from Boston, Mass. General physicians will work with their Maine colleagues virtually more often than they will travel up to Maine. The collaboration will focus on specialties including cardiovascular, neuroscience, pediatrics, orthopedics, and transplant medicine. Mass. General physicians plan to provide advice to EMHS physicians in these areas.
According to a news release on the announcement, specialty physician experts from Eastern Maine Medical Center have hosted their Mass. General counterparts on two separate occasions since the beginning of the year to talk about ways they might work better together for the benefit of Maine patients.
M. Michelle Hood, president of EMHS, said in a statement, “There is a tremendous opportunity to make meaningful progress on tackling our mutual challenge of improved care at a lower cost.”
In addition to the collaboration at EMMC, EMHS and Mass. General are also in discussions around opportunities to work together in population health and cancer care at EMHS’ Mercy Hospital in Portland. And, Mass. General providers are involved today at EMHS’ Acadia Hospital through the provision of direct patient care for inpatient adolescents through telepsychiatry, officials noted.
“EMHS and the MGH share a profound commitment to ensuring that the highest quality care is available to the patients in our communities, in our region, and beyond,” Peter L. Slavin, M.D., president of Massachusetts General Hospital, said in a statement. “MGH clinicians in such specialties as neuroscience, telemedicine, transplant, cardiac, pediatrics, orthopedic surgery and trauma are excited to have the opportunity to work with their neighbors to the north to deliver on that promise.”