Hospital Case Studies
Muskogee Regional Medical Center
Muskogee Regional Medical Center in Muskogee, Oklahoma, is a shining example of how Capella Healthcare follows through on its commitments, significantly enhancing resources and improving the level of care available in a community.
Serving the community since 1922, MRMC was publicly-owned by the City of Muskogee and the Muskogee Medical Center Authority. Like many mid-size independent community hospitals across the nation, MRMC was struggling to operate in today’s ever-changing healthcare environment – due in large part to limited access to capital resources and specialized management expertise.
On April 1, 2007, Capella entered into a 40-year long-term, pre-paid lease of MRMC with the Hospital Authority. The pre-paid lease payment of $120 million was used to create a Community Foundation that today funds important programs related to healthcare and other community needs on an ongoing basis. With a mission to make a real difference, the City of Muskogee Foundation was established to develop, support, promote, and improve programs and facilities relating to education, arts, culture, community revitalization and beautification, social services, health care, economic development, infrastructure, housing, and recreation for the City of Muskogee and surrounding areas and to improve the quality of life of residents of Muskogee. To read more about how the City of Muskogee Foundation is making a real difference, visit their website at www.CityofMuskogeeFoundation.org
Additionally, as part of the agreement, Capella made commitments including, but not limited to:
- The funding of future capital expenditures;
- Assurances that all patients in need of care will be treated regardless of ability to pay for services received;
- Maintain service levels offered;
- Adoption of existing contracts;
- Employment all active employees;
- Highly competitive employee benefit package;
- Adoption of the existing Medical Staff Bylaws, subject to legal review; and
- Ongoing physician recruitment, etc.
Today, the operation of MRMC resides in a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capella that enjoys all of the benefits and protections of the well-capitalized and financially strong parent company.
First Six Months Accomplishments
After just six months, MRMC had completed or was in the process of completing the following:
- Leadership Team – When Capella assumed operations, MRMC was without a Senior Management Team. Capella quickly conducted a nationwide search to identify qualified candidates for the positions of CEO, CFO, CNO and COO, for consideration by the Board of Trustees.
- Technology, Systems & Process Assessment – At the outset of Capella’s partnership with MRMC, we spent a lot of time assessing the current operations and technology processes and assets of the hospital to determine what should continue, and what could be augmented by Capella’s systems.
- Physician Recruiting Plan – Based on a thorough physician needs assessment, MRMC created a plan – alongside the medical staff and Board of Trustees – to recruit 50 physicians over five years. The plan focused on the following specialties: internal medicine, interventional cardiology, general surgery, neurosurgery, vascular surgery, OB/GYN, pediatrics, neurology, ENT and orthopedics.
- Consolidation of Outpatient Services – In response to physician interest in selling physician-owned outpatient service centers, Capella acquired an imaging center and an MRI center. This brought the services performed there seamlessly under MRMC ownership and operations.
- Development of Cardiac Services – Already equipped for diagnostic services related to cardiology, growth of cardiac services was an immediate opportunity for MRMC. Within months, Capella was able to add a triple board certified interventional cardiologist and initiated cardiac catheterization services.
- Increased Purchasing Power – As a Capella hospital, MRMC was given immediate access to HealthTrust Purchasing Group (HPG) for the procurement of supplies and equipment. In the first year, MRMC saved significantly on the same supplies they would have purchased through their former GPO, VHA’s Novation.
- Community Involvement – Capella adopted all of MRMC’s local charitable and community relationships. In addition, in August 2007, Capella presented a $25,000 donation to partially fund the new Muskogee Parks & Recreation Swim & Fitness Center, to help promote community wellness.
One Year Accomplishments
At the one year mark, MRMC had completed or was in the process of completing the following:
- Physician Recruitment – Capella invested $1.5 million in physician recruiting over the first year, resulting in 10 new physicians of the following specialties: hospital medicine, obstetrics & gynecology, psychiatry, interventional cardiology, internal medicine and pediatrics.
- Nursing Recruitment & Local Partnerships – MRMC signed 30 newly recruited nurses in Year One. In response to the local nursing shortage, MRMC also established (or strengthened) relationships with area nursing schools.
- Most notably, MRMC initiated an innovative local partnership with Bacone College, whereby MRMC funds 20 annual nursing scholarships and staffs the Chair of the Department of Nursing at Bacone. In exchange, the Chair serves part-time at MRMC as Associate Chief Nursing Officer, while recipients of the scholarships commit to full-time employment at MRMC for a period of time upon graduation. This creative partnership received national attention within the healthcare industry.
- Equipment & Technology Investment – Capella identified an overall need for upgrades to MRMC’s diagnostic technology, allowing for faster and more accurate diagnostic imaging. The investments made in Year One and Year Two in this area include: MRI, a 64-slice CT scanner (twice as fast as the previous version) and a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS), which converts x-rays into a digital format.
- Technology, Systems & Process Integration – During the first year, management was focused largely on systems integration, making sure all MRMC departments were equipped with what they needed to seamlessly connect with Capella and sister hospitals. This involved months of not only on-site physical installation of technology, but perhaps more importantly, the necessary training courses and tools for employees and physicians to learn the processes.
- Emergency Department Improvements – One key issue at MRMC was overcrowding and wait-times in the MRMC ED, which saw 37,000 patient visits in 2007. To address this issue, Capella re-opened ER South and implemented new processes that helped the MRMC ER team to drastically cut length of stay times in half to 2 hours, 10 min (2007 National Average: 4 hrs, 5 min and Oklahoma Average: 3 hrs, 23 min)
- On-site Air Transportation Services – In the spring of 2008, MRMC added onsite Air Evac helicopter services for its ER, in order to serve a range of 400 miles.
- Facility Improvements –
- In Year One, Capella completed the $35 million, 78,800-square-foot West Side Expansion, which was begun and funded in 2004 prior to the Capella lease.
- Capella also invested $5.2 million in infrastructure improvements, such as a fire suppression sprinkler system and two-pipe to four-pipe heat/air conversion.
- In spring of 2008, with the help of the MRMC Auxiliary, a Memorial Healing Garden was created and dedicated for patients and visitors at the entrance of the hospital.
- Managed Care Contract Negotiation – Capella was able to improve payment rates from several managed care payers, including exclusivity provisions. With that, we focused on strengthening relationships with payers that were previously adversarial and turned them into partnerships in improving quality care and reducing out-migration of business.
- Creation of MRMC Women’s Center – To meet the growing need for women’s services in the Northeast Oklahoma region, Capella recruited a new OBGYN to open The Women’s Center at MRMC, a single-care obstetrics / gynecology facility providing comprehensive medical expertise from birth to menopause to female aging issues.
- Active Auxiliary – Building on a long tradition of giving, the MRMC Auxiliary continues to have a tremendous presence and impact on MRMC and its patients. In 2007-08, the 172 active members raised $106,902 and spent $84,195 on nursing scholarships, new electric transportation vehicles to assist patients and visitors to and from the parking lot, children’s play centers for waiting rooms and wheelchairs.
- First Annual Report to the Community – In the summer of 2008, MRMC hosted its first ever “State of the Hospital” event. The purpose of this public event was to give a report on our progress at MRMC since the time of acquisition (much of which is listed above) and to give the community an opportunity to ask questions. In attendance were important stakeholders of the hospital, including physicians, employees, Board of Trustees, local and regional elected officials, community leaders, etc.
Muskogee Regional continues to make outstanding progress as part of the Capella Healthcare family. Recognizing their significant accomplishment in 2011, the hospital has been awarded a HealthStream “Excellence Through Insight” award for improvement in physician satisfaction. And they’ve just been invited to be a part of Oklahoma State University’s Community Hospital Rotation. The goal of the program is to immerse medical students in a more rural setting, exposing them to a variety of specialties, in an effort to encourage them to practice in these areas after medical school. Muskogee Regional was a chosen as a facility in which the OSU medical students could get high-quality training says Vicky Pace, Program Director. “Our students must be able to do a lot and see a lot. And when we visited with (MRMC’s) physicians, they were excited about this opportunity. It takes more than one doctor, and Muskogee Regional has a variety of specialists available as well as enough volume to give the students the hands-on experience we require. Muskogee Regional has a lot to offer,” she said.
To learn about the most recent achievements, all you have to do is check out some of their most recent news, which includes:
Building on a long tradition of service, the EASTAR Health System Auxiliary and Volunteers continue to have a tremendous impact on the hospital, its patients, visitors and the community. In the past, they’ve provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in nursing scholarships, purchased new electric transportation vehicles to assist patients and visitors to and from the parking lot, and built children’s play centers for waiting rooms and wheelchairs. They helped build and now maintain the Memorial Healing Garden at the entrance of the main campus, dedicated to patients and visitors. In 2012, the Auxiliary gave 24,615 hours of service, including more than 2,300 from the Junior Volunteers.
The Auxiliary also recently presented the 30th annual “Let’s Play Hospital” program for approximately 800 first-graders. The program is designed to alleviate fears of children who would need to come to hospital for surgery. To read more about this and see photos of Well Wabbit, the hospital’s mascot, check out this article in the Muskogee Phoenix.
The hospital also continues its impressive community involvement and support. Check out these latest newspaper features:
Learn more about their new leadership by visiting the news section of their new website where you’ll also read about their new mission and direction, in the words of their Board of Trustees, medical staff, volunteers, and employees.