1. What are the great strengths of your healthcare system? Methodist Hospitals is truly a leader in delivering specialized healthcare services and offering high-level complex acute care as a result of the number of trauma cases that we treat, and the large population of high-risk patients that we serve. This is reflected in Methodist being the first in Northwest Indiana to offer many specialty services including:
• Implementing an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system hospital-wide;
• Investing in The Gamma Knife which is considered the gold standard for treatment of brain tumors and other conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia also known as facial pain;
• Investing in technology and medical expertise to extend the window to treat stroke from three to as much as eight hours so that individuals are able to survive and recover from stroke, and achieving Silver, Bronze and Gold and Gold Plus Awards from the American Stroke Association for their Get With the Guidelines Program for Stroke;
• Offering three-dimensional mammography technology enabling us to provide earlier diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer, and the first in NWI to receive accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers;
• Offering a Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery program to individuals who are morbidly obese and unable to lose weight;
• Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy for the early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer;
• Our Oncology Institute has been accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer since 1974;
• Computer-assisted navigation surgery suites for orthopedic, spine, urology and neurosurgery providing surgeons with greater accuracy and offering increased safety to patients.
2. Where is the growth of your business going to come from near-term? Because of our strengths, we will be offering new services and offering them to not only our primary market, but also to secondary service areas and markets. We are attracting experienced, skilled and highly trained physicians from across the country because of our technology, services and clinical expertise. We have recruited over thirty new physicians this year and are on target to increase our Methodist Physician Group network to include over 100 physicians in our primary and secondary market. I also see growth opportunities in new facilities in expanded markets, growth in our teaching capabilities and partnering with larger institutions to broaden our service capabilities to the markets we serve.
3. What are the most important strategic investments and innovations you are making in your business right now that will pay off in the future? Methodist Hospitals will continue to invest in technology, infrastructure and clinical innovation to meet the specific demands of the markets we serve to prepare for the ever changing healthcare environment. We will continue to invest in our employees to assure they are trained and have the opportunity to develop in the areas of process improvement and to assure they have the tools to provide the best patient experience. The patients are at the center of everything we do and all decisions that are made. We are collaborating with other high quality healthcare organizations on best practices and creating a data driven environment focusing on patient outcomes. We will continue to use evidence based medicine to drive higher quality outcomes. Physician collaboration is critical to future success and is our most important initiative. We are focused on partnering with physicians in numerous ways, creating an integrated model that includes an accountable care organization, joint ventures, and formalizing a clinical integration strategy. These will provide a framework for continued development of physician partnerships. Co-management of service lines such as orthopedics, cardiology, etc. will benefit the patients, physicians and the hospital.
4. What do you consider your most important achievement in the past 3 years? Methodist Hospitals is the only hospital in Northwest Indiana to be ranked among the Top Hospitals in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Hospitals rankings. Methodist ranked 13th among 175 Indiana hospitals and 30th among 119 Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana hospitals. This prestigious recognition is a direct result of our commitment to be Northwest Indiana’s leader in specialty care. This ranking was preceded by the financial turnaround of Methodist Hospitals in 2012.
5. What is your biggest challenge/opportunity coming up in 2014? This is an extremely challenging time for health care, perhaps the most challenging this industry has ever faced. As the many aspects of the Affordable Care Act take effect, the most critical challenge for hospitals to successfully respond to the competing pressures to improve quality, to improve our use of technology, and to improve service, and at the same time to improve efficiency and bring down costs. However, it is an exciting time as with challenges we see new opportunities because it is just this intersection of great pressure and great uncertainty that fosters innovation.