Good Samaritan Highlights 2018 Achievements And Presents Plans For 2019

Good Samaritan held its last Board of Governors meeting for 2018 on Thursday evening. Senior leadership presented information about the hospital’s successes over the past year, the outlook and budget for 2019, and the unveiling of a new mission, vision, promise statement and slogan for the organization.

With only a slight, one-word change, the hospital’s new Mission will be: Provide excellent health care by promoting wellness, education and healing through trusting relationships. Rob McLin, President and CEO of Good Samaritan, said that adding the word “education” to the mission was important for the future growth of the hospital. “Good Samaritan has always understood the importance of continuing education in health care,” he said. “Our employees and providers are continuously looking for ways to become more educated so they can provide better care to our patients. With our residency program beginning in July 2019 and our Foundation’s ongoing campaign for construction of the Dr. Charles C. Hedde M.D. Health Education Center, it was imperative that we signify the importance of education to our organization by adding it to our mission.”

The hospital’s vision statement also received a small makeover. The vision will now be: To be the regional center of excellence in health care to support the communities we serve. By adding an emphasis on community, the Vision of Good Samaritan now reflects the importance of patients and their families to the hospital’s future and growth. “The communities we are fortunate to serve are the backbone of our organization,” said McLin. “Our vision is still to be the regional center of excellence; however, we want to make sure that the decisions we make throughout our journey are not only supporting Good Samaritan, but are also benefiting those in our communities.”

This past year saw many successes for the organization. Focusing on the Triple Aim of Health Care, a framework developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement used to optimize health system performance, Good Samaritan continues to work toward better patient outcomes. The serious safety event rate decreased from 0.56 at the end of 2017 to a rate of 0.1 at the end of November 2018; there was a significant downward trend in hospital-acquired infections, due to the addition of the Moonbeam disinfection technology; the hospital star rating remained at four stars; and there was a 20% increase in employee participation in the Culture of Patient Safety Survey by clinical staff, illustrating an increase in employee engagement.

The hospital also transitioned to a new patient experience survey from Press Ganey to NRC Health this past April. This change brought real-time surveying with emails and automated phone calls to 100% of patients. Scores in all departments, both inpatient and outpatient, illustrate high patient satisfaction with a majority of the scores being classified as “good” or “great.”

Growth also continued for Good Samaritan in 2018 with the addition of numerous physicians and providers. Eleven new employed physicians came on board this year and 14 new employed, credentialed allied health professionals. “Recruiting providers to rural areas can be challenging for community hospitals,” said Adam Thacker, Chief Operating Officer of Physician Network. “We are fortunate to have amazing employees, a great facility and a supportive community that providers are excited to join and begin to practice medicine.”

After reviewing the hospital’s accomplishments for 2018, administration then presented their outlook and goals for the future. Some key initiatives Good Samaritan will focus on in 2019 will be: continue focusing on improving patient safety and quality, as well as the patient experience; increase employee and provider engagement; increase community outreach and health initiatives; and control costs.

Good Samaritan hopes to control costs throughout the organization, while also increasing revenue in areas with expected volume increases. Next year’s budget is set to reflect a 2.45% operating margin for the year, based on increased outpatient volumes and reduced costs. The budget is developed to support the 2019 strategic plan that will focus on growing the organization’s days of cash on hand, reducing capital expenditures, and changing the process of budget development.

Good Samaritan will see an increase in revenue due to the increased productivity and patient access of the Samaritan Center. “Good Samaritan’s budget for 2019 is based on positive outpatient growth,” said Thomas Cook, Chief Financial Officer. “Because of the physician and advanced provider additions in 2018, we are anticipating an increase in our outpatient volumes.”

Another piece of the budget includes a 2% wage increase for employees. “We are optimistic that 2019 will be a year of strong patient experience and high employee engagement,” said Dean Wagoner, Vice President of Human Resources. “Our ability to make cost effective changes to enhance revenues and control expenses is critical to our continued success.”

The result of the increase in wages is an additional total wage increase amount of $2.370 million added to the wage and salary expense. “The commitment of our employees to Good Samaritan and the communities we serve is endless,” added McLin. “Through these uncertain times of health care, our employees have remained dedicated to providing world-class health care to our patients, and they deserve to be rewarded for their efforts.”

In order to remain price competitive, Good Samaritan also announced an average rate increase for services at 0.84%. “Although there is a small increase for services in 2019, our costs are still lower and more affordable than other facilities similar in size,” said Cook. “We recognize the effects of high health care costs on our patients and will continue to keep our services affordable for our community.”

“Every year it seems like the future of health care becomes more uncertain,” said McLin. “Governmental changes are still up in the air, yet hospitals are forced to predict different potential outcomes. As an organization, we strive to remain on the forefront of these changes by improving our practices and becoming more efficient. We are extremely fortunate and blessed to have a team of employees, providers and volunteers who are dedicated to providing excellent patient care and improving the lives of our community. It is because of our team and their passion to do for others that we will remain the number one choice for health care in our region.”

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