For the media

Offering The Sharp Experience wherever patients may be

By The Health News Team | June 29, 2023
Beth Catton of Sharp HealthCare in London, UK

Expert traveler Beth Catton, vice president of Global Patient Services and the Out of Network Department, enjoys the sights in London.

The Sharp Experience is Sharp’s philosophy of care in action. It is not one thing Sharp does, but rather everything the health care organization does to ensure it provides its patients and their families an extraordinary level of care.

According to Beth Catton, vice president of Global Patient Services and the Out of Network Department, such care is not just provided within the walls of Sharp’s acute care and specialty hospitals, affiliated medical groups and other facilities. Sharp is actively working to ensure its patients get the individualized care they need, even when the care is being provided in a non-Sharp facility, whether it's located in San Diego or across the globe.

Ensuring excellent extended care

Catton, who recently celebrated her 15-year anniversary with Sharp, was part of the team that founded the Sharp Extended Care Program in 2012. The purpose was to improve the quality of care for Sharp medical group patients being cared for in skilled nursing facilities outside the Sharp system. Under Beth’s leadership, the program was able to place patients in a few carefully selected, highly rated skilled nursing facilities; bring down hospital readmission rates; and decrease the average length of hospital stays — all while ensuring patients continued to receive The Sharp Experience while in the nursing facilities.

“We are dedicated to knowing our members and their needs,” Catton says. “This means we also manage and support their care outside of Sharp in contracted skilled nursing facilities. Our Sharp doctors and nurse practitioners go and provide care in the facilities on an ongoing basis, proving we’re committed to extending The Sharp Experience to our members beyond their treatment at Sharp, which is key to successful outcomes.”

Providing exceptional care outside Sharp’s walls

In 2010, Catton took the reins of Sharp’s Out of Network Department. The department originated in 2006 and provides the single point of contact for outside hospitals to notify Sharp of Sharp patients in their facilities. The primary purpose of the department is to repatriate Sharp members back to the Sharp contracted network of care facilities. In addition, the Out of Network Case Management team also monitors the status of Sharp patients receiving specialized care outside of Sharp.

“We promise our patients we will provide care for them when they need it,” Catton says. “This includes when they need specialty care that Sharp does not provide, such as a bone marrow transplant. Our team follows patients at the hospital where they're being treated and ensures they are receiving the necessary care. We work to support safe and effective discharge planning and coordinate care transitions to the next level of care, while also communicating with their Sharp physicians and medical group case management teams.

Offering The Sharp Experience beyond the San Diego community

Additionally, Catton steers Sharp’s Global Patient Services Department, which coordinates specialty care and medical evacuations for patients from around the world using Sharp providers. Catton’s bilingual team have extensive experience working with a variety of international providers that include travel insurance companies; international payers; ground and air ambulance providers; cruise lines; and government agencies.

Her team is a liaison between patients, their families, Sharp providers, insurance plans and others who may be involved in the patient’s care — delivering personalized assistance and support every step of the way to patients from around the world. Currently, through Global Patient Services, Sharp provides care and services to cruise line employees; patients from U.S. territories and commonwealths, such as Guam and Saipan; and U.S. embassy and consulate employees.

“As a health care organization, we believe we provide the very best care in the universe,” Catton says. “We have people from outside of our city — and outside our country — contacting us to see if they can get care within the Sharp system. It's pretty powerful to be part of this organization and see the impact you can have, not only on serving your community but also on the community at large.”

Catton, an expert traveler, values the importance of preparing to travel. She encourages everyone to do the same before traveling.

“There are some excellent resources already in place that are supported by health insurance plans and the government, such as the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). So while we don't try to take the place of existing resources, we have the key to unlock that door of knowledge to connect travelers to these resources and help their travels go well.”

Sharing a mission, vision and values

According to Catton, each of these programs allows her to fulfill her passion for continuously helping others and finding innovative ways to do so. She says she appreciates this is only possible because she works for Sharp.

“While I’ve worked for Sharp for 15 years, I've had my health care at Sharp for 35 years,” Catton says. “I chose Sharp. The mission, vision and values of our organization align with my personal ethics and standards. At Sharp, we always do the right thing. When you follow that principle, your path is always going to be a good one.”

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Beth Catton of Sharp HealthCare

Beth Catton


Beth Catton, RN, MSN, is the vice president of Global Patient Services and Out of Network Departments at Sharp HealthCare.

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