18. Partners HealthCare System

Thomas H. Davenport

Partners HealthCare System (Partners) is the single largest provider of healthcare in the Boston area. It consists of 12 hospitals, with more than 7,000 affiliated physicians. It has 4 million outpatient visits and 160,000 inpatient admissions a year. Partners is a nonprofit organization with almost $8 billion in revenues, and it spends more than $1 billion per year on biomedical research. It is a major teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Partners is known as a “system,” but it maintains substantial autonomy at each of its member hospitals. While some information systems (the electronic medical record, for example) are standardized across Partners, other systems and data, such as patient ...

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