Health care of the highest order2023-11-20T17:00:34+00:00

Health care of the highest order

We will continue to expand and transform health care delivery, promote an inclusive culture, and build programs of excellence.

For nearly a decade, the University of Rochester Medical Center has been guided by an evolving, five-goal strategic plan that leverages its teaching, research, and patient care missions and its history of excellence in basic, applied, and translational biomedical research and practice to build the national reputation of the University of Rochester. The plan acknowledged tectonic shifts in the health care and research landscape and built pathways to growth and stability.

Those pathways now provide an advantage for meeting the daunting challenges sparked by the pandemic and the social justice movement. In fact, the plan’s original themes are as relevant as ever: expand and transform our health care delivery system; create an inclusive culture; build programs of excellence that span research, education, and clinical care; and accomplish all of this while maintaining fiscal discipline. The following is a synopsis of the interconnected goals of the URMC Strategic Plan.

Achievement of this goal

  • Enhance the University of Rochester Medical Center as a national health system of choice for faculty and staff, patients, and potential partners
  • Allow us to become a national leader as an equitable, just health care provider and employer.
  • Create conditions that promote research addressing current and emerging issues that will affect society and will also expand the ability to recruit and retain extraordinary scholars who engage in this pursuit.
  • Position the University of Rochester as a model for collaborative, multidisciplinary biomedical research.
  • Allow us to achieve National Cancer Institute designation.

Strategic objectives

Despite two decades of successful expansion, UR Medicine remains a comparatively small health care network. To compete as health care’s economic model changes, care shifts to nonacute settings, and the industry consolidates, URMC’s growth strategy will pivot to nontraditional partnerships with larger networks and payers. These partnerships will extend the University’s brand, earn new opportunities to participate in value-based contracts, and make us a national leader in quaternary and tertiary care.

We will demonstrate superior value by deepening the cohesion of our inpatient, ambulatory, behavioral, long-term, and home care settings; further enhancing quality outcomes, cost-efficiency, and patient satisfaction; embracing technologies that make data-driven care more accessible to the patient; and doubling down on workforce development to counteract the effects of the pandemic. Simultaneously, by identifying and addressing social determinants of health, we will become a national exemplar of equitable, inclusive patient care.

URMC’s strategy of investing in multidepartmental, interdisciplinary Programs of Excellence (POE) that span research, teaching, and patient care has proven successful. We attract high-caliber faculty and students, capture more research funding, and are translating discovery into everyday patient care. Nationally distinguished research, education, and health care programs for cancer, RNA biology, orthopaedics, immunology, and neuroscience are our signatures.

We will seek to expand the POEs to bring breakthrough thinking to emerging areas—taking advantage of experts throughout the University. This will require new investments in facilities, core technologies, and faculty. Research collaboration is a hallmark of URMC’s strategic plan and philosophy and aligns with the overall University’s commitment to research as outlined in our Research Excellence and Global Reputation goal.

The University of Rochester’s School of Medicine and Dentistry and School of Nursing serve dual roles as sources of both upstate New York’s health care professionals and national thought leaders in academic health care. Building on long-standing reputations as innovators in education, each program within our schools is developing formal strategies to give us the edge in maintaining affordability, achieving greater diversity and inclusion, and producing graduates equipped to lead in a metric-driven, team-based, inclusive, and anti-racist environment.

For both schools, this challenge is ripe for cross-campus collaboration. We aim to motivate, support, and spread innovation to transform clinical learning environments where students, residents, and fellows pursue training in their specialties or subspecialties.

As an employer, educator, and care provider, URMC approaches equity and social justice from many angles. The Equity and Anti-Racism Action Plan (EARAP) is a roadmap for diversifying our workplace and transforming our culture and is closely linked to our Wellness initiatives, which build resilience necessary for career fulfillment and longevity. Improved workforce culture, in turn, forms the essential foundation as UR Medicine aspires to be a national model for equitable, culturally humble care for all.

Our newly formed Office for Health Equity Research helps us understand the gaps in our current care delivery, while provider teams are using this knowledge to develop solutions to mitigate intractable problems of unequal access, social determinants, and distrust. Together these URMC efforts to build culture and address inequity propel Rochester toward a healthier community with greater economic opportunity for all.

The bedrock of the URMC strategic plan has been financial integration, with support for education and research factored before reporting overall margin—evidence of our commitment to the University’s tripartite mission. Today, joint operating committees with representatives from all divisions make collective operational/financial decisions within service lines. This allows us to manage within a budget that yields sufficient margin for investment in capital improvements, talent, and new programs—while maintaining a credit rating that supports future borrowing.

The post-COVID-19 environment has dealt strong financial headwinds to health care providers, particularly to academic medicine. Fortunately, to date URMC has avoided posting the hundreds-of-million-dollar deficits, layoffs, and slashed capital spending that our national peers have experienced, thanks to a recovery strategy composed of a series of closely monitored “levers.”

Measures of success

Objectives and metrics reflect the Medical Center’s tripartite missions: research, graduate education, and clinical care. Definitions of measures of success will be coordinated to create consistency and increase transparency. Detailed metrics for each of the following areas will be available via dashboards and updates on our Progress page at the end of our first year.

  • Research
  • Graduate education
  • Clinical care
  • Culture

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