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Keeping Pace with Changes in Health Care

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The year 2014 is the 77th year that Greene County Medical Center has provided health care to our community. We are proud of our history, but we’re more focused on the future. Our future requires change. In fact, no other industry surpasses health care in rapid and consistent changes demanded by the consumer or required by the government.

Changes involving bricks and mortar are always the most visible. And nothing speaks louder than our current expansion and renovation project. While this is the largest and most extensive project in the medical center’s history, much more is required to keep pace with the many changes in health care.

Historically, health care has focused on making the sick well. Today, health care has pivoted to a focus on making patients healthy and then keeping them healthy long after their illness. To be successful, “care coordination” has to be at the center of all we do. Care coordination requires a network of services and providers working together toward the same outcome – a healthy patient who stays healthy. By 2015, our reimbursements for Medicaid and Medicare will be based on how well we do that.

Greene County Medical Center has spent the last couple of years updating numerous procedures and processes so we are meeting or exceeding requirements and regulations, all while continuing to provide the best outcomes for our patients.

The medical center’s board of trustees has strategically been working to prepare the medical center for future success with the continual strengthening of our partnership with UnityPoint Health, which initially began in 1988 when it was known as Iowa Health Systems. Over the years, this partnership has provided countless benefits to the medical center. It has provided access to a vast set of resources, such as shared contracts and services, with financial savings of over $790,000 in 2013 alone. Also, medical center staff have hundreds of training opportunities, both individually or collaboratively. Many medical center employees now sit on committees at UnityPoint Health.

The medical center has also done significant work to partner with other providers and professionals keeping the focus on programs that can meet the needs of those we serve.

Current partnerships include those with 21st Century Rehab of Nevada, Iowa, and Square Waveform Anesthesiology of Knoxville, Iowa. Both of these have added patient services and increased accessibility. Both our Advanced Women’s Care clinic and West Central Orthopedic clinic continue to be successful additions to the medical center. And our partnership with Western Iowa Surgery has brought high quality, professional surgeons to the county.

Most recently the medical center has entered into a partnership with UnityPoint Clinic. This partnership will allow our network of care to include UnityPoint Clinic physicians practicing in Jefferson. Ultimately this will help us improve and strengthen our care coordination efforts, providing a consistent continuum of care, making sure that the right care is provided at the right time in the right place.

As is the case for many rural health care facilities, we have had to switch gears to meet the new needs of our patients. Chronic diseases such as diabetes and COPD have increased in staggering numbers. Outpatient needs continue to increase and inpatient stays continue to be shortened.

The medical center is focusing its services and programs to address these changes. Additionally, our long-standing services such as public health and our Long Term Care nursing facility are continually being improved and strengthened.

Many of the changes made at the medical center – big and small – have had a significant positive impact to our growth and financial picture.

Together, our expansion and renovation project and the internal improvements and partnerships will allow us to offer Greene County and the surrounding communities patient-centered, physician-driven care coordination from the beginning of life to its end – something we’ve been doing for over 75 years. We will also be positioned to do this for decades to come.

Our commitment requires that we stay focused in creating a sustainable medical facility and a health care system that meets the needs of our patients today and far into the future.

Indeed, we are “Investing in Tomorrow’s Care.” We hope you’ll be a part of the energy we feel for health care in Greene County.