Mercy Medical Center - Des Moines this morning announced it will undertake a reorganization that will elevate seven physicians to executive leadership roles to work more closely with administrators in an effort to improve accountability and quality of care.
 
Under the plan, which goes into effect Feb. 1, seven physician leaders have been selected to partner with an administrative colleague. Each two-member team, or "dyad," will be accountable for the performance of its area. Additionally, the physician leaders will be charged with working together as a team to ensure the overall coordination and quality of patient care.
 
A major goal will be to identify and eliminate redundancies in patient care, such as doctors in different areas of the hospital ordering the same tests for a patient, Mercy President and CEO David Vellinga said.
 
"This new structure creates an exciting opportunity to innovatively coordinate patient care across our broad organization," said "By implementing this model, we believe we will bring the best thinking and planning together to meet the needs of our patients, families and staff."
 
Mercy officials said the new integrated structure will be achieved without adding any new administrative functions in the organization or changes in staffing. One of Greater Des Moines' largest employers, Mercy operates three medical campuses with a staff of more than 950 physicians and 6,600 employees.
 
The physician-administrator teams will be responsible for seven key areas:  Hospital-based Services; Cancer, Women and Children's Care; Surgery; Cardiovascular Care; Specialty Care; Primary Care; and Orthopedic Care.
 
Though the model has been used by several large health-care organizations such as Mayo Clinic, hospitals such as Mercy that contract with independent physicians are just beginning to adopt this approach across the country.