Although a $21 million new hospital project is lying in wait, The Memorial Hospital administrator George Rohrich is turning his attention to a more immediate need.
"Right now, I believe my focus is really not the new hospital project, but I think physician recruitment," Rohrich said.
"We cannot grow until we have the right mix of physicians."
Rohrich discussed a variety of topics with board members Thursday during a special work session in the boardroom of the Holiday Inn. The board made no decisions during the meeting.
In the past, TMH administrators used a "shotgun" strategy to recruit new physicians, Rohrich said.
From now on, he told the board, expect efforts to attract new doctors to be more concentrated.
Rohrich said he thought recruitment efforts failed in the past because of a "breakdown in follow-through." He also said the hospital had too many recruitment companies advising it of potential candidates.
"We had a sloppy operation," said Rohrich, who in March assumed responsibilities as the lead administrator at the hospital.
By fine tuning recruitment strategies, there is no reason why TMH can't attract qualified doctors, Rohrich said.
"We're not in a dark hole where nobody wants to live," he said. "We're going to attract a lot of attention."
Board members went on to agree Thursday on a building block of goals and objectives. At the top of the list is providing quality service to patients.
"We probably all agree that quality (service) is the driving force of what we think about," board member Melton Sullivan said.
"We'd like to have the very best we can for the community."
Rohrich said changes stemming from the renewed emphasis on customer service won't happen overnight.
"Service excellence is a cultural change," Rohrich said. "It takes preparation and time. ... So does recruitment."
The board of trustees is considering having additional planning and discussion sessions, similar to Thursday's, in the future. Perhaps, they said, once per quarter.
Josh Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or firstname.lastname@example.org.