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MMH continues to find ways to grow PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kyle Arnoldy   

As Melissa Memorial Hospital continues to seek a rural residency program, building a strong staff and community connection remains a top priority.

At the Monday, March 24 East Phillips County Hospital District board meeting, hospital administrator John Ayoub pointed to a number of opportunities MMH is taking part in that will aid in finding qualified help, improving efficiency and developing beneficial relationships with the area the hospital serves.

One step being taken for MMH to more easily connect with physicians involves an agreement with Banner Health.

With Banner Health agreeing to advertise on behalf of MMH for open employment positions, the likelihood of reaching hopeful candidates is greater. Ayoub noted that Banner Health is a large organization with close to 30 hospitals in multiple states.

“They do a lot of this and are quite good at physician recruitment,” Ayoub said. “I think if we tie in with them, it will benefit us in the long term.”

Ayoub mentioned his plans to meet with the dean of Rocky Vista University in conjunction with a lecture to their health policy fellows. He noted that it is a great opportunity to speak with students who are interested in what is going on in rural areas of the world.

As an update from last month’s announcement that MMH was close to finalizing the addition of a new physician and compliance officer, Ayoub announced that physician Alison Lauber has officially signed her contract.

Megan Sprague has also joined the MMH staff as the new compliance officer. Sprague was on hand at Monday’s meeting for a formal introduction to board members.

MMH has also recently secured a deal with Seaboard Foods. Through an agreement, MMH will provide physical therapy treatment for those injured on the job.

“This is a great opportunity for us to be partners with them. I think it is great on their part to keep their services local and to utilize, what I consider to be, a great organization right here in their backyard,” Ayoub said.


Actions taken to improve health care experience

Improving provider productivity was pointed to as an area of focus during the meeting. Ayoub stated that in the past, poor tracking and an inability to dive down into great detail were both cited as obstacles that hindered efforts.

Determining the amount of time patients spend waiting and with their provider is one way that was identified to determine where inefficiencies exist.

Beginning April 1, in an attempt to improve the patient experience by reducing wait times, patients will be given stopwatches and asked to time their clinic experience from the time they are checked in to when they leave. Results will be shared at every medical staff meeting so providers can see how they stack up against their peers.

“If there is anything that drives physician behavior, good-natured competition is definitely on the list,” Aboub said.

Ayoub also took time to inform board members about the success of the March 22 health fair. In total, 609 blood draws were recorded, including 26 at the health fair.

Ayoub noted that at a population of 3,000 people­—a number greater than Holyoke’s actual population­—roughly 20 percent of the city took advantage of the service. The 609 blood draws was actually more than all of the draws performed in Logan County. With over 200 people attending the event, Ayoub said he was proud of the product the district produces each year.

“It’s not like we make money,” Ayoub said. “The more people that take advantage of the service, the more we lose. It’s a trade-off. There is a return on our investment and that is a healthy community.”


Other business

In other business March 24, board members:

—announced that an audit report will be made at the next board meeting.

—held three executive sessions at the close of the March 24 meeting. Two dealt with the sale of property and one was a topic required to be kept confidential. The three sessions lasted for a total of nine minutes.

—set the next board meeting for Tuesday, April 29.

Holyoke Enterprise April 3, 2014