Over the last 10 years, the Stanford Children’s Health care network has provided families in the Bay Area and beyond with access to some of the best minds in medicine. The backbone of this innovative health care system is an infrastructure that empowers doctors to provide extraordinary pediatric as well as obstetric and specialty care. Two of Stanford Children’s Health’s founding pediatricians share how being part of the network helps them bring the best care possible to their patients.
In order to build what is now the largest health care network in the Bay Area—and one of the few in the country—exclusively dedicated to pediatric and obstetric care, Stanford Children’s Health sought out the best pediatricians in the Bay Area. Jeffrey Tan, MD, of the Peninsula Pediatric Medical Group, was one of the first pediatricians to join the network.
According to Dr. Tan, part of the attraction was Stanford Children’s Health’s focus on pediatric care and its ability to lift the administrative burden so that he can concentrate on patients and stay updated on the latest innovations in health care.
“We can focus more on clinical care rather than having to worry about the business part of medicine. We can spend more time with the patients, which is a big benefit of the network,” Dr. Tan said. “It’s nice to be part of this wide network. There are constant opportunities for CME [Continuing Medical Education], lectures, and other learning opportunities that we have access to, sharing the most cutting-edge research and learnings that benefit our patients.”
Sukhjit Basi, MD, is part of another founding practice, Livermore Pleasanton San Ramon Pediatrics (LPSR) group, which joined in 2012. According to Dr. Basi, the support of the network helps them improve patient care by giving them access to the best tools, such as electronic health records, telehealth virtual visits, and administrative support.
“[Since joining], our practice has benefited from the development of electronic medical records and telehealth virtual visits being implemented into our patient offerings. I can’t imagine that we would have these same opportunities without being part of this organization,” she said.
“Having everything we need at our fingertips to make doing our job easier ends up helping us provide a higher quality of care to our patients over the last 10 years. We’re still growing; we’re still improving every day,” she added.
According to Chief Operating Officer Rick Vance, Stanford Children’s Health’s link with Stanford Medicine and Stanford University allows the network physicians to seamlessly connect with experts in every pediatric specialty.
Dr. Basi explained that the network streamlines their ability to get patients in to see a specialist rapidly when needed.
“Being able to pick up the phone and call or email the specialist has been a tremendous support for us. We can work with [the specialist] to triage patients and get them seen appropriately,” she said. “It is really great; the patients are getting a much higher level of care because we’re able to very quickly get them to the right place and get them the right treatments without delays in their care.”
Dr. Tan is happy that the Stanford Children’s Health practice staff have continued building deep and lasting connections with their patient families as the network has expanded. The organization now has 200 providers, more than 65 pediatric and specialty locations across the greater San Francisco Bay Area and Monterey, and more than 15 strategic hospital partnerships.
“Stanford Children’s Health lets our practice maintain its identity. When patients call in, they still speak to people in our office and not a call center,” Dr. Tan said. “We find patients really like knowing that when they’re calling, they are speaking to someone who they’ve seen in person, someone in our office who they’ve met, who can actually talk to the doctor on their behalf if they have a question. It keeps the care local, which I think the patients appreciate.”
Having offices located convenient to the homes and workplaces of the families is an important goal of the network, Vance said. Over the last 10 years, the organization has strategically expanded to offer a Stanford Children’s Health practice within (roughly) 10 miles of most Bay Area families—from the North Bay down the Peninsula to Monterey and across the East Bay.
Because of this, the network can help offices like LPSR expand their practices to better support the growing needs of the community without sacrificing quality. “Whichever office you come to, you know you are going to get the same care,” Dr. Basi said. “If I’m not available and my patient sees another doctor in my practice, there’s the same quality care across the board, which happens when you’re in a bigger supportive organization, such as Stanford Children’s Health.”
Dr. Basi also noted that her patients have been happy to be part of the Stanford Children’s Health family. “Our patients are very pleased by everything that the organization has to offer, especially with the ease of access to specialists. There’s been lots of positive feedback in terms of us being part of this organization.”