by Sean Ruck
, Contributing Editor | May 11, 2018
From the May 2018 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
HCB News: The “fast facts” about the hospital mentioned substantial investment in the physical infrastructure. I know there was an $8 million renovation of your medical surgical unit in the Cooke Building. Is there anything else currently in the works or planned?
We’re planning to continue the internal renovation of the inpatient medical units, and we’ll continue as capital funds become available. We believe the institution will look very similar from the outside looking in but will look very different from the inside looking out. We’re providing amenities that enhance the experience for patients coming here. Over the past four years, WMCHealth has invested tens of millions in the infrastructure, advanced clinical equipment and technology, and the all-new inpatient care area. A lot has occurred here in a very brief period of time.
HCB News: Another noteworthy distinction is the extensive telemedicine program under WMCHealth. In a way, it seems like a supplement to your workforce. Does that supplement come with a cost — either per use or monthly — or is it all held within the WMCHealth overall budget?
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It’s within the WMCHealth overall budget, and I think it’s a significant technological improvement. We want to make sure patients understand that they can get advanced personalized care and continuous clinical monitoring from WMCHealth specialists miles away through a telemonitor, but that it’s a supplement to their care, not a replacement of the quality care they get from the dedicated healthcare teams here at MidHudson Regional. It’s another level of security that patients should feel comfortable, knowing that they’re monitored 24/7.
It’s additive rather than a replacement. WMCHealth has made a significant investment in telemedicine. Patients have benefited from this. We have it in our ICUs and behavioral health. Advances are being made all the time. I think we were the first hospital in New York State to be able to implement telemedicine in behavioral health.
HCB News: Telehealth has been lauded as a potential way to improve value-based and outcome-based healthcare. Have you seen it paying off in that way?
Yes we have. We monitor outcomes on a regular basis, and the numbers indicate that we’re providing some of the best care and outcomes in the region. Everything is data-driven. We’ve noticed that, and it’s reported out at our quality committee on a regular basis.
HCB News: What are the biggest challenges for MidHudson Regional?
I think it’s very important to take advantage of advances in clinical care delivery. This involves making a significant commitment to capital investments. For instance, acquiring robotic surgical units that will enhance outcomes with less pain, faster recovery, and shorter stay. We’re continuing to make those types of advances. It’s something we’re very sensitive to and interested in providing. We also work to improve staff skills to train for the future.