The chief executive officer of Hutcheson Medical Center delivered the State of the Hospital Address Thursday to a crowd consisting of hospital employees, members of the regional Hospital Authority, volunteers and Hutcheson Foundation members.
This year Stewart plans to continue the makeover of Hutchesons public image. From interior design to dress policies and a code of conduct, Stewart plans to do it all.
In order to improve our external public image and customer service, we have to start from the inside out, he said.
This year Hutcheson implemented its Employee Behavioral Standards, which aims to foster pride, leadership, respect and superior customer service in hospital personnel. They are now also holding employees accountable for their successes and failures by linking an annual performance review to wage increases.
Its fair because it rewards those who put forth the most effort. It gets every employee working at their highest level, Stewart explained.
Stewart also acknowledged that the plan for new uniforms, color-coded by department, has caused a lot of controversy at the hospital.
There is no way to distinguish visually the different levels and roles of staff in our organization, he said. It is a problem continually noted by the board, patients, the community and physicians.
Hutcheson is also developing a three-year capital plan to update facilities. Patient and public areas are of particular interest to Stewart, who said they will soon be hiring an interior designer to help bring a professional color scheme to the hospital.
On the financial side of things, Hutcheson seems to finally be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. They posted a $5.4 million turnaround in the 2006 fiscal year and are currently ahead of budget, operating in the black for the first time in six years, according to Stewart.
Also new this year on the insurance front, Hutcheson will offer a 25 percent discount on billed services to the uninsured.
We shouldnt expect people who have no insurance to be able to pay for the highest level of healthcare, Stewart said. Its just not fair.
Hutcheson is also forging ahead with new technologies and the only inpatient pulmonary/intensivist program. The majority of the hospitals new techno-gadgets for the medical set are used for diagnosis or monitoring. These include stereotypic biopsy capability, nuclear medicine scans, a bronchoscopy system and a tiny camera that can fit into your intestines and send digital images to a TV for your gastroenterologist to monitor.
We have a lot of work ahead of us, Stewart admitted. But I believe we have a momentum at Hutcheson that will continually move us toward our vision of being the best medical center in our region for patients to receive care.
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