Principles of Operation

I. Focus on accountability and responsiveness to community needs
The Partners In Health Network agreed that a community-focused, cooperative approach to improving the health status of the population is imperative. The Partners In Health Network members committed to be responsive to individual community needs, keep community health focus as the paramount objective and measure the ultimate outcome improvement of the health status. Essential to this principle is the philosophy of putting patients and communities at the center of attention and emphasizing prevention and minimizing illness.

II. Organization of the delivery system into a seamless continuum of care
The members recognized a need to provide the population with an integrated, seamless continuum of care. To achieve this vision, the members realized it would be necessary to create linkages with other providers and to develop community care networks that cooperate and coordinate to manage care within fixed resources. Part of this vision also requires the Partners In Health Network members to take the lead in their communities in creating a common interest to restructure the health system and realign the incentives that govern decisions about the use of resources. Inherent in this vision as well, is the critical need to retain a quality primary care base in the local communities.

III. Commitment to excellence
The Network will dedicate itself to providing the highest quality, lowest cost healthcare services at the most appropriate and most convenient location possible to the consumer. In addition, all agreed that, in order to achieve this, an atmosphere of continuous quality improvement must be maintained.

IV. Integrated management system
Community care networks developed will be responsible for integrating and coordinating care across the continuum, participating in inter-organizational planning and establishing common practice guidelines. Integrated systems (information, clinical, etc.) that collect and report comparable data aid in population-based and regional planning, and assist caregivers in coordinating care that will eventually be necessary.

V. Shared control and a collective sense of responsibility
The Partners In Health Network members, in providing care to West Virginians, commit to share control, power and risk for the good of the Network vision. We trust each other to do the right thing, maintain integrity and a sense of compassion, and collectively take the responsibility for the success of the Network. This entails abiding by the principles outlined here and sharing this vision in the local communities.