On Tuesday, February 21, the Hardin Memorial Health Board of Trustees approved the healthcare system’s strategic plan, continuing a focus on physicians, facilities and services as well as further implementation of population health, a healthcare model that emphasizes keeping people healthy and out of the hospital.
“This has been and remains the vision for HMH’s future,” HMH President and CEO Dennis Johnson said. “The aggressive strategy this board set in motion five years ago has fueled the dramatically increased volumes and success we see today.”
Under this new three-year plan, HMH will continue to recruit physicians to meet the region’s demand for primary and specialty care. In the last five years, the number of providers available to care for patients in the 10-county service area has grown to 413, with 193 providers starting since the beginning of 2012. In addition to family care practitioners, these providers include ear, nose and throat specialists, neonatologists, intensivists, hospitalists (inpatient physicians), a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and more.
The strategy also prioritizes the expansion and enhancement of HMH facilities. Potential future projects include adding operating rooms, medical office buildings, expanding the Intensive Care Unit and Cancer Care Center as well as completing the plan to offer inpatients and their families private rooms.
“We’ve built an incredible team of physicians and staff and we must continue to ensure they have the facilities and technology they need to deliver high quality care. And our patients and their families deserve the best environment for healing,” Johnson said.
A little more than five years ago, just 25 percent of patient hospital rooms were private, leading some patients to seek care elsewhere, Johnson added. With the opening of the North Tower and other renovations, 85 percent of HMH rooms are now private.
In the coming years, HMH will also continue to develop services in oncology, orthopedics, neurology, cardiology and more.
“Today we can provide patients a full range of specialty care at HMH, and this strategy will help us make sure we have what it takes to continue to meet the health needs of this growing region,” Johnson said.
Signaling a commitment to keeping patients healthy, HMH’s new strategic plan identifies population health as a core priority. The healthcare industry is moving to the population health model, in which all providers collaborate and patients take an even more proactive approach to their care.
“Population health is about keeping people healthy and preventing expensive hospital stays,” said HMH Vice President and Chief Population Health Officer Dr. Jody Prather.
Successful population health efforts rely on fully integrated electronic health records, telemedicine programs that improve patient access and partnerships with other healthcare providers and employers throughout the community, Prather noted.