2014 Report to the Community: Better Health, Better Care, Better Cost

How We’re Achieving the ‘Triple Aim’

A Passion for Better Medicine defines us at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). To provide better medicine for you in this new health care era, we must produce three things: better health, better care and better cost. We call our focus on these areas the Triple Aim, adopted from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The Triple Aim will guide us as we evolve as a health network.


We create better health for the people of our community by being accountable for the overall well-being of our entire population. We’re expanding the reach of our care to help more people. We’re also making it easier for you to find our wellness facilities, and we’re continuing our deep commitment to community health.

We provide better care by striving to give you an exceptional experience at every touch point within our health network. Our team of more than 13,000 health care professionals works hard to keep you at the center of everything we do. We opened new locations and services to make care more convenient, embraced new approaches to care, and are preparing to launch a user-friendly and transformative electronic medical record.

We achieve better cost by embracing the fact that quality care costs less. We are recognized nationally for excellence and innovation. We’re investing in tools to identify people who are at risk for developing illnesses. We’re also spreading the word about our surgical expertise, which helps you get the right care at the right time.

Better Health

We are accountable for the overall well-being of our population. We accomplished this in 2014 by:

– 41 providers at 21 Lehigh Valley Physician Group—Hazleton practices.

– LVHN Fitness members: 4,040

  • Adding Health & Wellness CentersLooking for a place to get a brisk workout? To help you, we renamed facilities that include a fitness center and health services. We have such centers in Hazleton, Bethlehem and Allentown.
  • Administering 14,101 free flu vaccinesWe distributed them during our annual drive-thru flu shot clinics. Community members donated more than 18,000 pounds of nonperishable food at the events, which were held at Dorney Park in Allentown and Coca-Cola Park in Bethlehem. Food was accepted on behalf of local shelters.
  • Partnering with our community – We accomplished this in numerous ways:

– We’re providing athletic training services to student athletes at 16 local middle schools, high schools and colleges. As the exclusive medical provider for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference (EPC) championship series, we’re providing physician and athletic training services and medical supplies at EPC playoff events.

– A multi-year $375,000 grant from the Foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry will keep the Miles of Smiles mobile dental van on the road to provide free dental care for children who need it most.

Children who have received free dental care from Miles of Smiles since 2009: 7,000

– Get Out! Lehigh Valley, a healthy outdoor activity program courtesy of LVHN and the Wildlands Conservancy, provides fun, safe activities for people of all ages.

Get Out! Lehigh Valley participants: 542

– We hosted the LVHN Via Marathon, which includes a marathon, half marathon, relay, walk, 5K, and kids race. The flat and fast course winds through Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, and is a Boston Marathon Qualifier.

LVHN Via Marathon participants: 4,216

Better Care

We strive to provide an exceptional experience at all of our touch points. We accomplished this in 2014 by….

  • Making care more convenient We opened numerous new facilities and services, including:

– LVHN-Tilghman, our first campus dedicated to orthopedic care. It offers convenient, accessible care for total joint replacement, spinal surgeries, outpatient surgery, ExpressCARE, and on-site pharmacy and physical therapy services.

LVHN campuses: 5

Joint replacement surgeries performed in the last 10 years: 20,047

– The Health Center at Bangor, which brings several services to one convenient location for Slate Belt residents, including cardiology, ExpressCARE, laboratory services, digital mammography, physical therapy, diagnostic testing and home sleep studies.

Health Centers: 12

LVHN testing and imaging locations: 80 (including 45 Health Network Laboratories Patient Service Centers)

Total LVHN outpatient encounters: 633,296

– And we expanded ExpressCARE, a fast, cost-effective place for you to receive care instead of going to the ER. Without an appointment, you can get care for sprains and strains, cuts and lacerations, poison ivy and rashes, seasonal allergies, flu symptoms, bronchitis, ear infections, sore throat and fever, and more.

ExpressCARE locations: 10

ExpressCARE visits: 43,399

  • Pioneering new approaches to care These include:

– Our six Community Care Teams. They help high-risk patients better manage their diseases and link them with the resources and support they need. This keeps patients well and allows them to manage their disease at home while preventing unnecessary hospital stays or ER visits.

– OACIS (optimizing advanced complex illness support), which can help streamline care and provide calm in the midst of confusion. OACIS, LVHN’s palliative medicine program, received the 2014 Circle of Life Award from the American Hospital Association. It recognizes innovation in palliative and end-of-life care. 

  • Beginning our transition to a transformative electronic medical record – We’re preparing for the 2015 launch of Epic. Using Epic’s secure patient portal – called MyLVHN – you’ll be able to access your personal health information, schedule or cancel an appointment, communicate with doctors’ offices, review medication lists and request refills, view immunization records, get health maintenance and appointment reminders, and review and pay medical bills.   
  • Standardizing LVPG physician practices names – By renaming Lehigh Valley Physician Group (LVPG) practices in Hazleton – and including in the name the specialty services each practice provides – we’re aligning LVPG physicians with our health network and making it easy for you to identify the practices that share our passion. In 2015 we also will rename LVPG practices in the Lehigh Valley. 

Lehigh Valley Physician Group:
Physicians and advanced practice clinicians: more than 1,000

Practice locations: more than 140

Specialties: 45

Visits (includes Lehigh Valley Physician Group—Hazleton practices): 1,945,764

Better Cost

We embrace quality, because quality care costs less. We accomplished this in 2014 by:

  • Achieving unprecedented national recognitionU.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals list is one of the best ways to identify a hospital that provides quality care. In 2014, Lehigh Valley Hospital ranks among the nation’s top hospitals in 10 specialties (cardiology and heart surgery; diabetes and endocrinology; ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology and GI surgery; geriatrics; gynecology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology; and urology). It’s the 19th consecutive year we made the list.
  • Earning high grades in patient safety – By providing safe care, we reduce the costs of caring for conditions that could have been avoided. Lehigh Valley Hospital and Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg received “A” grades in The Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Score, the highest grade in patient safety. The score is compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is administered by The Leapfrog Group, an independent industry watchdog.
  • Providing leading-edge stroke care – Lehigh Valley Hospital is recertified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. This recognizes the significant resources in staff and advanced training that comprehensive stroke centers must have to treat complex stroke patients.
  • Embracing technology to help you curb illness We’re partnering with Optum Labs to develop tools that will help us identify people who are at risk for developing a chronic health condition. This will help us be proactive and provide care sooner, so you can potentially ward off potential future health problems and avoid unnecessary health care costs.
  • Displaying our surgical excellence – Experience matters when it comes to complex surgeries. LVHN performs 70 percent more surgeries than anyone else in the Lehigh Valley region. Surgical excellence is achieved at LVHN by a team that has performed more than 4,000 robotic surgeries (since 2007), 12,300 neurosurgeries (since 2005), 16,000 cardiac surgeries (since 2005) and nearly 1,000 transplant surgeries (since the program’s inception).
Michael Pasquale, MD, explains how the expertise of our surgical team leads to healthier patients.

Pancreas and liver surgeries: more than 100

Pediatric surgeries (since 2005): 26,328

Bariatric surgeries (since 2005): 3,075

Patients who received burn care (since 2005): 6,007

2014 by the Numbers

  • Total community benefit: $353,504,911

– Direct patient care: $302,157,808

Professional and patient education and research: $35,919,785

Community partnerships and support: $9,839,765

Community education and prevention:  $5,587,553