Headquartered in Kansas City, Saint Luke’s Health System spans the state line that divides Kansas and Missouri, along what was once America’s western frontier. In this Midwestern region, the Kansas City metropolitan area has a dense population of 2.3 million people. But drive outside the metro area, and the landscape quickly turns to the Northern Plains. In fact, 97 percent of the state of Missouri is primarily classified as rural.
As a health system with its first hospital based in the urban core, it is easy to focus on providing exceptional care to patients living in the metropolitan area. However, our faith-based roots require us to look outward to deliver the same excellent standards of care to our rural patients. With 16 hospitals based in primary and secondary markets throughout the region, we are continually identifying new and innovative ways to provide care to rural patients where they live, and deliver world-class care to the population living in rural America.
How do we assess the need? Saint Luke’s closely monitors the transfer patterns from several regional locations in relationship to:
• Available resources in their home community
• Average daily census in the local facility
• Travel distance to the next level of care
• Wait times for the next available appointment
At Saint Luke’s a team of physicians, administrators, legal and accounting professionals determine if the available resources meet the immediate and anticipated needs of the patients in rural communities. Then we consider telemedicine.