Garden City Hospital: Dr. Gary L. Moorman, Vice President & Chief Medical Officer

by HCE Exchange on August 19, 2010

The community hospital of Garden City, Michigan can trace its origins to 1947 and the current facility opened its doors in 1960. It is a 323-bed hospital with about 375 physicians on staff. Services offered run the full spectrum of care, and include an inpatient/outpatient surgery center, hyperbaric wound care services, and a rehabilitation unit.

“We are an independent hospital, not part of a large system,” says Dr. Gary L. Moorman, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Garden City Hospital. “We have a friendly culture at the administrative level and at the service level, and I think we do a great job, overall, with patient care and patient safety.”

The hospital has been recognized several times as one of the best places to work in the Detroit area. It is ranked as a top-100 teaching hospital, nationwide, for hospitals with more than 200 acute care beds.

Efficiency in Operation

Length of stay, clinical quality, patient safety, and patient satisfaction are at the top of Garden City’s agenda. “We are very committed to making sure the patient experience is excellent,” says Moorman.

The hospital has tracked hundreds of issues related to patient safety in the past year and a half, for instance, and the majority of these issues have been resolved. “Some of them take time and capital dollars,” says Moorman. “We try to stay very sensitive and fix the small things quickly. We are making an impact. We’ve completed an annual culture of safety survey of our employee group and have seen, year over year, improvements.”

The hospital has recently developed a Board level quality committee, which includes Board and physician members and the elected chief of the medical staff. They participate with the Leapfrog Group for patient safety, as well as the Michigan Health and Hospital Association’s Keystone Program, which has been on the forefront of addressing quality initiatives for a number of years now.

“There’s been a statewide Keystone initiative related to intensive care unit standardization for caring for patients and decreasing complications. We’ve been very active in that process,” says Moorman. “We also have a central line infection prevention process improvement program in which we’ve been participating with excellent outcomes.”

Three new Keystone projects include a surgical care improvement project designed to standardize and double check all information prior to a patient undergoing surgery, an obstetrics improvement project, and a project related to emergency department care.

Capital Dollars Spending for a Small Hospital

Recent improvements, beyond typical facility upkeep and renovation, include an inpatient/outpatient surgical center. There is ongoing need for diagnostic imaging equipment to be upgraded and replaced, as well. They are working on the process for implementing electronic medical records so that they may qualify for federal stimulus dollars. Moorman looks for the health records upgrades to take up a significant portion of capital spending in coming years.

On the human resources side, Moorman says he doesn’t imagine they are any better or worse off than their competition. “It’s been a general challenge in that area. Our nursing leadership, in conjunction with our human resources department, have put together some relatively innovative ideas that have helped us,” he says. “We have created some internal programs that have helped to decrease outside agency use. Our inpatient volume fluctuates up and down a fair amount, which continues to create staffing issues, but we are certainly trying to manage those on a proactive basis.”

Opportunity for the Healthcare of Tomorrow

“I think that in healthcare today—especially in southeast Michigan—there are challenges. We, as an organization, are up to facing those challenges and we have an opportunity to make significant changes in a number of processes as we go through the implementation of an electronic medical record,” says Moorman. “We have the opportunity, as well as the challenge, as we continue to adopt and implement information technology systems into the hospital to closely examine the work flow and process.”

“I believe that we have efficiencies to gain using some of this technology and it will require a lot of time, effort and innovative ideas. It will make us more efficient and actually improve, ultimately, the care that patients get, and make it safer while maintaining and improving the quality of care that each patient receives.”

-by T.M. Simmons

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