Hospital Spotlight – Q&A with Skip Putnam, CEO of Northside Hospital-Forsyth

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Hospital Spotlight – Q&A with Skip Putnam, CEO of Northside Hospital-Forsyth

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | July 01, 2015
From the June 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

SP: Yes. Recently, we added three more operating rooms to bring our current total up to 18. We’ll also be adding 64 more beds in the hospital. This will take about 18 months or so before those beds are in service. We’ll be adding several more floors to the hospital while the OR will go into spaces that we have already set for expansion. We’ll go up to eight stories — the hospital is currently at five — and we started at three.

HCBN: In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing health care?
I think the “biggest challenge” is trying to reduce the cost of health care to the patients while maintaining, or increasing, the quality of care. Efficiency and quality need to stay.

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HCBN: How should health care evolve to face those challenges?
I think there are a lot of things there, starting with the evolution to more outpatient care. We’ve made tremendous strides in reducing the amount of time patients spend in the hospital. I remember my grandmother being in bed for weeks after cataract surgery with pillows around her eyes. For cataract treatment today, you can be driving a day or two later.

We’ll need to do a more precise job of determining the appropriate level of care at the right time – helping people navigate through the health care system. I think it’s a great time to be in health care. The challenges are great, but I think there’s great opportunity to make an impact. And we have the chance to provide real benefits to our patient population.

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