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Along with Better Traffic Flow, Better Healthcare Flow

Between Essen, Bluebonnet, Perkins and I-10 in Baton Rouge, there’s a whole bunch of health clinics and medical facilities – including Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, Baton Rouge General, The Baton Rouge Clinic, and Pennington Biomedical. 

Chances are you'll get stuck in traffic when you drive through that corridor. 

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation has set out to address that problem by creating a new Health District that would not only mean you sit through fewer traffic lights, but that health care is delivered more efficiently. 

John Spain, Executive Vice President of BRAF, suggests that the healthcare facilities in the corridor today operates in silos.

“We have some of the best facilities in healthcare, but they are largely independent organizations that don't work together very well, in fact they are competitors at times.”

He says the idea is to get these institutions working together on issues like obesity.

“Can we take Pennington's basic research, expand the clinical trials we do there, and then actually create something new, a national Diabetes Obesity Center, that is the vehicle where we bring everybody in the medical corridor together around a single issue?" Spain asks. 

That sort of connectivity, Our Lady of the Lake's CEO Scott Wester explains, could also address the strain on Emergency Rooms, which Baton Rouge residents use to a greater extent than the national average.

“Let's say 'Scott Wester' has been visiting the emergency room six times, but may have used three different emergency rooms. We may not have identified him internally as a frequent flyer, but as an aggregate they are."

In other words, hospitals within the Health District could begin to share patient information.

The final plan for the Baton Rouge Health District will be delivered to BRAF in January 2015.