Released October 20, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ted Chapin, Chief Executive Officer
Yadkin Valley Community Hospital
Telephone (336) 679-6706
Cutting and Polishing ‘a Diamond in the Rough’
Yadkin Valley Community Hospital Redefining its Role in Health Care for Yadkin County
On May 1, 2010, Hoots Memorial Hospital in Yadkinville took on a new name–Yadkin Valley Community Hospital–and a new owner, Kansas City, Missouri-based HMC/CAH Consolidated, Inc.
HMC/CAH had been managing Hoots Memorial for Yadkin County since April 1, 2009, when Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center ended its 15-year-long operating lease agreement with the county.
As part of the purchase agreement, HMC/CAH pledged to build a new hospital within five years, projected to cost between $12 and $15 million, financed by the owner at no expense to taxpayers. Until the replacement hospital is built, HMC/CAH is leasing the existing 67,000-square-foot facility from Yadkin County.
“Right now, this hospital is a diamond in the rough,” said Ted Chapin, who has worked for HMC/CAH as the hospital’s chief executive officer since April 2009.
“But we’re not waiting for the new building to start making and moving forward with some pretty ambitious plans. Well before we break ground for our new facility, we’ll have implemented a number of strategies and lined up a good many of the resources we need to turn Yadkin Valley Community Hospital into a real gem.”
The Transition to Independence
Chapin spent much of his first year as CEO reestablishing Hoots Memorial’s independence from Baptist Medical Center.
“After 15 years, Baptist’s roots had grown very deep,” said Chapin. “Our CEO and CFO as well as some of our department managers and key personnel were Baptist employees, and the information technology systems, including billing, were being done through Baptist. Our employee benefits and insurance, group purchasing agreements, the blood bank–even our laundry was being handled by Baptist.
“We’re still depending on Baptist for support in several areas, but we’re looking forward to finishing the transition and bringing all our essential operations back home to Yadkinville in the very near future.”
Defining ‘What We Want to Be When We Grow Up’
As the transition to independence concludes, Chapin and his locally-based administrative team are undertaking a comprehensive strategic planning process to redefine and direct Yadkin Valley Community Hospital’s leading role in providing health care for the county.
“Right now we’re deciding exactly what we want to be when we grow up,” Chapin said. “As a privately-owned, for-profit hospital, we intend to be a financially sound, tax-paying corporate citizen, offering the best possible mix of health care services for our community, given our size and mission as a Critical Access Hospital. The plans we’re working on will be our roadmap to guide us from where we are to where we want to be.”
Chapin said for now, services offered by the hospital remain relatively unchanged. “All we’ve been offering—24-hour emergency services, our primary care practice, our laboratory services, x-ray and other diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation therapies, including pulmonary rehab, surgery and our palliative care program—all that is still in place.
“But while we’re offering the same services, we’re reviewing how we do things around here and developing better, more standardized processes to improve quality, efficiency and safety throughout the hospital.“
In the immediate future, Chapin and his staff are broadening patient admissions criteria and identifying opportunities to expand and develop more outpatient services, based on currently available resources.
Longer term, guided by admissions and referral data now being tracked, the hospital will make strategic investments in additional equipment, staff development and physician recruiting to allow it to provide health care services for even more patients.
“It’s no secret, during the 15 years of management by Baptist, Hoots Memorial’s primary economic value was as a source of patient referrals,” said Chapin. “There wasn’t much incentive to provide services locally when it was easier and more profitable to send them to the larger hospital in Winston-Salem. From a management perspective, it was just good business.
“But as a result, we’re in the habit of referring patients, including some we’re perfectly capable of caring for. So we’re taking a fresh look at our capabilities and tracking our criteria for admitting patients and realizing we can admit a number of patients who routinely would have been sent to Winston-Salem a couple years ago. By acquiring the right equipment, specialized doctors and staff, we know we can admit and care for many more.”
Besides admitting more patients, Chapin expects the hospital to expand outpatient services in the coming months as well.
“In most Critical Access Hospitals, for every inpatient being treated on a typical day, there might be 20 or more outpatients coming in for services like surgery, x-rays and other diagnostic imaging, lab tests, physical therapy and respiratory therapy. So the potential for expanding our outpatient services is even more significant than opportunities to increase admissions,” he said.
Architectural plans for the new hospital will reflect the emphasis on outpatient services as well. “Our company specializes in buying and replacing small, outdated Critical Access Hospitals with new facilities,” Chapin said. “Although we tailor the plans for each community, we’ve found what usually works best is to build a smaller, more space-efficient replacement hospital.”
‘No Compromises on Quality of Care’
“Of course, whether for outpatients or inpatients, there can be no compromises on quality of care,” Chapin emphasized. “We fully expect to continue referring to larger, more specialized facilities whenever it’s in the patients’ best interests.
“But we also expect, as part of our strategic planning process, to identify cases where we’re confident we can provide care as good or better than a patient would receive anywhere else. We’re committed to identify and start caring for more and more of those patients because as long as the quality of care and customer service are there, most patients and family members would much rather stay closer to home. It’s more convenient and less stressful for everyone involved.”
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