Singing River Health System (S.R.H.S.) is seeing a shift of focus onto their hospitals, and off of satellite units. With that new focus comes some cuts, but leaves room for improvements as well.
S.R.H.S. employs 2,400 people in its two hospitals and eight clinics, but for the system, Medworks Clinic, just minutes from Singing River Hospital, was no longer an effective tool for patients. Larry Shoemaker, M.D., Interim Chief Operating Officer for S.R.H.S., says, “We made really a strategic decision to close that, based on the fact that we really want to focus on our core businesses, which are the hospitals and their other functions.”
Tightening budgets may have played a part in the decision, but Dr. Shoemaker says they are constantly assessing themselves to provide the best care. The system is confident Occupational Health Clinics, a company out of Mobile, will do a good job taking over. Since the new company is utilizing Singing River's old equipment and supplies, there will be little change for employees or patients. Shoemaker also says, “And they're actually hiring some of our employees, so from the standpoint of industry, there will not be any lack of services or break of services.”
Cutting the Medworks Clinic means allowing for growth in other areas. An example of this can be seen in the system's recent recognition of its care with heart attack patients. Terry Cook, Manager of Cardiovascular Services, says, “Our goal is to reduce door to balloon times for patients having heart attacks, so that's where the recognition lies and hence the reason for the collaborative effort.”
Hospital officials say their ability to get patients to the cardiac catheterization lab in less than 60 minutes made them the best candidate for the Mission Life Award. Laurin St. Pe, Director of Cardiovascular Services, says, “The national goal is under 90 minutes. Here at Singing River Health System, we're consistently below 60 minutes.”
As S.R.H.S. continues to redistribute resources, their focus is still to best serve patients.