TMH officials enthused by increased market share

Physicians leaving TMH:

Officials at The Memorial Hospital in Craig have begun searching for a new family practitioner and plan to begin looking soon for a new obstetrician and gynecologist, Chief of Organizational Excellence Jennifer Riley said.

Dr. Kathleen Keating will not be extending her contract with TMH, according to a report Chief Executive Officer George Rohrich presented to the hospital board at its meeting Thursday. Her contract is scheduled to end in early September. “We really like Dr. Keating,” Riley said of the obstetrics and gynecology specialist at TMH Medical Clinic. “She’s an excellent physician. Her patients love her.”

Dr. Troy Phillips, a family physician who also practices at the medical clinic, is not renewing his contract, which ends in August. THM officials will begin recruiting for Keating’s position, and the search for Phillips’ replacement is underway, Riley said.

Quotable

“It was just so exciting. We were like, ‘Wow, this is big.’”

— Jennifer Riley, chief of organizational excellence for The Memorial Hospital in Craig, about recent data that shows the hospital’s market share is on the rise

George Rohrich beamed Thursday night as a graph flashed on the projector screen.

The sharp peaks and valleys, followed by a steadily rising line, charted The Memorial Hospital’s market share, a metric that, in simple terms, gauges how many people locally are getting their medical care at TMH.

To Rohrich, the hospital's chief executive officer, the graph told the story he and other hospital officials have waited to hear.

“We’re winning them back, and that has been our top goal,” he told hospital board members at their regular meeting Thursday.

The numbers, which are based on inpatient discharges, reveal how many people from the hospital’s primary service area are going to TMH and how many are going elsewhere, like Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs.

From 2005 through 2009, TMH market share rose and dipped from as high as 52.8 percent to as low as 47.1 percent.

In 2011, though, market share reached an apex at 57.1 percent, nearly 4-percent higher than 2010.

The upswing is a sign TMH is providing services that patients want and need, Riley said.

“They’re having babies here,” she said. “They’re having surgeries here. They’re getting the care that they need here.” But the numbers also point to employees who work with patients every day.

“It’s great because it’s representative of the hard work that all of the staff does,” she said.

With that thought in mind, TMH officials called an impromptu meeting with staff members Friday morning.

In 2011, employees could receive up to a 3-percent raise based on whether they met a variety of goals.

While the staff qualified for and received portions of the raise for reaching a number of benchmarks, earlier market share data indicated the hospital wouldn’t reach its growth goal for 2011.

All that changed, however, when TMH officials received the most recent data early this week.

“Today, we got to tell them not only did we meet our goal, (but) we exceeded it,” Riley said Friday.

As a result, the nearly 150 employees eligible for the raise — full- and part-time TMH employees who were employed in 2011 — will see some extra money on future paychecks.

“It was just so exciting,” Riley said. “We were like, ‘Wow, this is big.’”

The news, as well as what it meant for the hospital, was welcome to Keith Velardo, TMH financial counselor.

“I was excited that we had met the growth (goal) and that the hospital was doing so well,” he said. “It’s good to know that people are starting to more and more … trust and come back to our hospital.”

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Comments

OyveyCraig 2 years, 1 month ago

Well TMH, get ready to lose that growth with the loss of the physicians mentioned on the left. I was like, " wow, this is a big loss."

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bump_in_the_road 2 years, 1 month ago

I never claimed to be too bright, but the numbers quoted mean nothing to me. Is it 57.1% of total Craig population or of those seeking medical care? What is the benchmark? You know what they say about statistics... But, the real story is the sidebar. Three doctors leaving within six months? (One of which was voted best doctor in Craig - Dr. Phillips.) Director of nursing fired? If I were on the Board of Directors of TMH, I would be asking lots of questions of the CEO and Quorum. Let him "beam" about those statistics!

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OyveyCraig 2 years, 1 month ago

Well said, bump_in_the_road. They can say whatever they want with statistics, but they can't argue with the reality that TMH is losing great staff from all areas. Losing 3+ physicians in 6 months time plus countless other staff (nurses, EMTs, techs, etc) is reflective of that.

Who do they think has captured their beloved market share? Patients don't go to TMH because of a nice building or because of self-congratulating egotistical administrators. Patients go where they get the best care, and they will go elsewhere when TMH loses the staff and physicians that provide that care. I'm guessing the 2012 "market share" will reflect that, but then it'll be too late.

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David Moore 2 years, 1 month ago

I'll try here. The market share is of those people who reside withing the market of TMH. Simply put, 57.1% of those living in our market area choose TMH for their care. Going even simpler, TMH has regained a lot of what was lost to other hospitals, not just local competing ones. Foe example, TMH keeps more critically ill and injured people now due in part to the hospitalist program, they don't have to be flown out to another facility, we can handle it here. You will have to call and talk to someone to know the logistics and boundaries of our market, I suggest calling Jennifer, she will be happy to explain it to you. We have two pediatricians coming to the hospital this year which will ramp up that market share even further, from what I have heard so far they are both bright, friendly, knowledgeable doctors that will be a much needed addition to our community.

I very much like Dr. Phillips and Dr. Keating, it has been a pleasure and a joy to work with both of them and I am truly saddened by their departure, I consider myself lucky to have assisted them both in surgery and will truly miss their mentorship, positive attitudes and outstanding patient care. I will truly miss them both. But....life goes on, unless you are inherently involved with people like the two of them, you don't know anything about why they might be leaving. I am not going to go into that but I can assure you it is not what everyone thinks.

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OyveyCraig 2 years, 1 month ago

But will they keep these "bright, friendly, knowledgeable doctors"( as well as other great TMH staff members)? Probably not.

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David Moore 2 years, 1 month ago

The doctors that are on TMH staff are all under contract, if they choose not to renew their contract when it is up, that is their choice. Face it, Craig is a very tough place to live. Both of them are young with families and may just be looking for more than Craig can offer, not just medically but in other arenas...such as education, infrastructure, recreation, etc. Not every person living in this town is a ski bum or hunter and if there were private, higher education offerings here, my kid would be going there too. The act of taking call is another issue, especially in the case of our doctors and even more so when there are only one or two of them to share the load. Imagine yourself on call for 15-18 days out of each month, and that is if there are two of them taking call. I have been on call for 22 years; back in the day when I was a budding Respiratory therapist, there were only two of us, that sucked. No vacation, no planning of anything and many, many, many long hours, even days spent in the hospital caring for sick patients. Fortunately in my case now in Surgery, there are 5 of us who split up the call rotation, 6 days a month, makes it all more bearable. Not so in the case of many of our physicians, it's called burnout and the rate is high in the medical field, particularly when there is no other alternative or relief. Craig is just to rural and too far behind the times for some people, in other words, sometimes the glove just does not fit. Then you only have one choice, seek and find that glove which fits you best.

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Cole White 2 years, 1 month ago

Dave,

You make some good arguments, but spend just five or ten minutes talking to the people that leave TMH and you will find that its not the town, its not the location, its not the hours or the work load. Spend five minutes with anyone who has left voluntarily or been fired and you'll find out quickly who the problem is. Market share means nothing if you devalue the people who work for you or that you serve. Market share based on inpatient discharges is actually not a good indicator of hospital performance because hospital services are becoming more and more an outpatient business. Primary care doctros, outpatient surgeries, labs, and radiology make up a larger and larger portion of hospital business every year. The fact that TMH is keeping more patients that come into the ER instead of transfering them does not show that people are choosing TMH over the competition it just means TMH is keeping them when quite possibly they should be shipped out. Does that equate to better care or better patient safety? Only a more indepth study of patient outcomes would answer that question. But basing overall performance based on inpatient discharges isn't anything to get excited about. I find it hard to believe that TMH is winning people back when YVMC has their largest presence in Craig than they've ever had before. I constantly hear people (more so now than ever before) say they go to Steamboat for care. Yes they may use the ER here in times of emergencies, but that has more to do with the great staff in the ER and drive time than it does anything else. I am sure many of those ER visits turn into inpatient stays but that has more to do with logistics than patients choosing to use TMH for that type of care.

Simply put running a hospital is more than just good business decisions. When the person you've been seeing for for care for four or five years leaves because the hospital is being run poorly, every one of those patients know exactly why. When the person you are getting your Mamo-gram from for the last decade is let go for phelonious reasons and you have to go to some guy who's just there temporarily, you know the reason why, and when your OBGYN leaves because of poor leadership and dwindeling physician relationships, the patients know why. Providing good healthcare is much more than just making good business decisions on paper, its about caring, and compassion, and consistancy. The hospital disregards their doctors and medical staff because they feel they can and the only thing that can change that is a change in leadership.

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Taxpayer 2 years, 1 month ago

When you own a business, you are on call 24/7 and while that is a decision a person makes owning a business, most of us don't have a lot of sympathy for those you make a career and then complain about the hours, on-call time, etc. it appears all of the employees will get larger paychecks from "improving" at the hospital by getting more patients. I wonder why we keep losing such good physicans, and from the comments here, it appears that those who "monitor and control" are those causing the problems. Interesting way to run a County owned hospital. Does anyone check up on this allegations? Or are the ostrichs still in charge?

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Jason Phillips 2 years, 1 month ago

I guess an optimist could argue that the increased market share is a sign that progress is being made.

But I am a pessimist. It would seem that a hospital in a rural county seat, where the next closest hospital is over 40 miles away, should boast a much higher market share. The fact that it doesn't leads me to believe there are still significant trust and staffing issues.

Further, my own personal trust in the hospital has been further eroded over the past year due to some anecdotal stories from friends whose experiences were less-than-stellar. So while I can't speak for everyone, I have actually noticed quality of care headed in the opposite direction.

I guess I'm just not ready to pat that establishment on the back yet. Seems like they've got quite a ways to go to bring that place up the curve. Maybe they're on the right track? Hard to tell.

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moffat1 2 years, 1 month ago

Well stated highway 1340. I have to back his statements. Both doctors who are leaving came here to raise their children and embrace the community.

I would love to know who we're the two leading medical providers in the last 3 years for the hospital and clinic. Could it be the two doctors noted on the left? Have to say those were my two doctors the last 3 yrs and the only reason I didn't have my daughter elsewhere. They are two amazing doctors who build relationships with their patients.

I posed the question to a TMH official who "monitors and controls" what they when we loose such great doctors? I was told "we will replace them.". Good luck with that and good luck with keeping local patients such as myself.

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