AMITA Health Saint Francis Hospital Evanston Receives 2019 Vituity Acute Care Practice of the Year Award

Published October 01, 2019

Chicagoland hospital recognized for its ongoing commitment to practice excellence and care delivery innovation

EMERYVILLE, Calif. (Oct. 1, 2019) — Vituity, a physician-led and -owned multispecialty partnership, recognized the emergency department (ED) at AMITA Health Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, Illinois, as the 2019 Acute Care Practice of the Year for its extraordinary commitment to enhancing practice culture and delivering several innovative acute care services.

In less than three years, AMITA Health Saint Francis Hospital launched an integrated acute behavioral health solution to reduce the hospital’s patient length of stay (LOS), implemented patient care navigators to arrange appropriate follow-up care for patients, and deployed Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in the ED to combat the opioid crisis.

“Vituity is excited to recognize AMITA Health Saint Francis Hospital for its adoption and implementation of innovative emergency medicine programs that have a significant impact on patient care experience,” said Gregg Miller, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Vituity. “AMITA Health Saint Francis stands out in the community both for its thriving team culture and because its care delivery programs have resulted in truly outstanding treatment outcomes and operational results.”

Vituity recognizes one practice each year that shares in the organization’s mission of raising the standard of patient care and bringing joy to the practice of medicine. The AMITA Health Saint Francis Hospital ED team recently completed a successful pilot program designed to close the gap in behavioral healthcare, using strategies such as early risk stratification and treatment with the latest generation of antipsychotics.

The program goals were to reduce patients' LOS and to develop an early medication protocol, in part to make the ED safer for providers and staff. Both goals were achieved within six months. Average LOS for non-intoxicated behavioral patients dropped from 400 minutes to 150 minutes, and risk stratification allowed providers to assess patients more quickly and determine medication doses sooner as well as prescribe medications that cause less sedation. A staff survey post-implementation indicated that the majority of providers and staff agreed that they felt safer at work following the initiative, and a majority perceived an improvement in patient satisfaction and care.

The award was presented at the annual Vituity Partnership Meeting’s award ceremony, and Justin Yee, MD, Medical Director at AMITA Health Saint Francis Hospital, accepted the honor. “The team at AMITA Health Saint Francis Hospital has worked hard to cultivate a strong culture while keeping our focus on improving the lives of the underserved community in the greater Chicago area,” said Yee. “We take enormous pride in being able to offer new services and partnering with community organizations to expand access to cost-efficient care for patients suffering from substance use disorders and behavioral health conditions.”

“It is an honor for one of our hospitals to be recognized for its commitment to practice excellence. In a short amount of time, we achieved significant operational and practice efficiencies, including some of the largest turnaround time to discharge reductions in our health system, while at the same time improving the daily quality of care to all patient populations,” said Kenneth Jones, President of AMITA Health Saint Francis Hospital. “Under Vituity’s stewardship, the AMITA Health St. Francis Hospital ED has become a model of high engagement and collaboration, yielding significant benefits to patient outcomes and provider well-being.”

About Vituity

As a physician-led and -owned multispecialty partnership, Vituity has proactively driven positive change in the business and practice of healthcare for nearly 50 years. Our more than 3,500 doctors and clinicians provide a wide range of integrated acute care expertise. Serving over 6.4 million patients annually at more than 300 practice locations, our footprint continues to rapidly expand across the country as we partner with and support hospitals, health systems, clinics, payers, and employers. Vituity’s acute focus and compassionate care are the driving forces that have placed us at the heart of better care.

Our services span the entire Acute Care Continuum, including emergency medicine, acute psychiatry, acute neurology, hospital medicine, critical care, anesthesiology, acute care surgery, telehealth, post-acute care, and outpatient medicine.

About AMITA Health
AMITA Health ( is a joint operating company formed by AdventHealth in Altamonte Springs, Fla., and St. Louis-based Ascension. AMITA Health is the largest health system in Illinois, comprising 19 hospitals and more than 230 sites of care. The health system has 900 providers in its medical groups, more than 26,000 associates and 7,000 physician partners and serves over 6.6 million residents in the greater Chicagoland area.

Partnering to improve patient lives

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