by Alison P. Smith
At a time when hospitals and physicians are struggling to survive, one institution envisioned a new definition of community hospital care that was dependent upon more collaborative relationships with its physicians. Northwest Community Hospital (NCH) created the Northwest Community Hospital Physicians Cooperative, a unique membership group offering access to professional liability insurance, joint venture investment opportunities, and other physician practice support services. The â€œpriceâ€? for membership is a cooperative relationship. The scope of this cooperation includes adherence to clinical best practice and safety guidelines, adoption of information technology for patient care management, collaboration with hospitalists, and service in leadership and planning activities for clinical programs.