Growth Stability Quality Patient Care Highlight Cullman Regional Annual Report

by | Jan 25, 2018 | Business, Images, Videos

IMAGES Cullman Kiwanis Club Pancake Day 2017
Growth, Stability, Quality Patient Care Highlight Cullman Regional Annual Report

In years past, Cullman Regional Medical Center has held their annual ‘State of the Hospital‘ address in January. On Wednesday, the hospital conducted the 2018 edition of this essential yearly report in the Colonel Cullman Room on the Cullman Regional campus.

This year, there was one subtle, unmistakable difference in comparison to years past.

That difference was hiding in plain sight. It was the title of Cullman Regional President James Clements‘ presentation, entitled the ‘State of the Healthcare System.’

Gone was the old title ‘State of the Hospital’. Cullman Regional has rapidly evolved in recent years from merely a hospital to now a comprehensive, full-service regional healthcare system.

One single slide from Clements audio-visual presentation explains things graphically and simply:

As you can see, Cullman Regional is now a complex healthcare system with patient care at the center of the operation with all other departments and agencies involved in enhancing that core focus.

The Annual Report

While this year’s annual report did not have blockbuster announcements like last year’s 5th floor, 30-bed hospital expansion, the 2018 edition of the ‘State of the Healthcare System’ focused primarily on the positives that have accrued recently across the Cullman Regional ecosystem.

30-BED EXPANSION

The 30-bed Expansion (aka the 5th Floor Project) has made remarkable construction progress this year. Dennis Richard, Chair of the Physical Facilities Committee of the Board of Directors, led the project team to accomplish the tallest of tasks expertly.

The vertical expansion project necessitated construction above the existing 4th floor with 2,000 holes required to be drilled in order to anchor the 5th-floor to the top of the building.

The patience of nurses, physicians, and the community was tested throughout this project.

Fortunately, the anticipated completion date will be in February of 2018.

A Grand Opening celebration is to be held on Tuesday, February 27 at 2 pm.

CULLMAN REGIONAL URGENT CARE CENTER

The new Cullman Regional Urgent Care Center is nearing completion.

The facility will be located directly en route to the existing Emergency Room on the campus northwest corner.

This project is scheduled to be complete at the end of April. The new facility will enable Cullman Regional staff to care for patients currently coming to the emergency room for care.

In December of last year, the Emergency Room volume exceeded 5,000 visits for one of the first times ever. Data shows that approximately 20 percent of visitors actually needed urgent care.

The urgent care hopes to relieve some of the extra volumes from the Emergency Room.

WHY GROWTH AT CULLMAN REGIONAL IS NEEDED

Cullman Regional has seen a growth in market share from 53% to 60% in Cullman County over the past four years. CEO James Clements believes this increase is a testament to the quality and service delivered by his healthcare team.

Over the past four years, Cullman Regional has also experienced a 15% increase in the local community choosing the hospital as their healthcare provider: whether as an inpatient, outpatient and community screened.

Also, Cullman Regional has seen a 22% increase in admissions and a 5% increase in outpatient visits.

Over the past year, 105,000 customer encounters occurred at Cullman Regional. That is over 287 patients per day.

COMMUNITY SCREENING PROGRAMS

Disease prevention and early assessment are fundamental to Cullman Regional’s mission.

Their community screening program formally began in 2015. The overall goal of the program focused on helping their community members detect a potential health issue before it becomes a health crisis.  

In 2017, Cullman Regional provided over 4,000 screenings with almost 1/3 of those needing to engage follow up visits with their Primary Care Physician. 5% of the screenings resulted in emergency health care needs!

HOW THE COMMUNITY HAS BENEFITED FROM THIS GROWTH

CEO Clements spent a fair amount of time discussing Cullman Regional’s upgraded equipment and technology:

New CT Imaging System – has processing capability two times that of current technology which expands ability to include CT cardiac testing

New MRI – faster and improves “open” feel for customers

3D Mammography – newest technology in breast imaging is now available

These benefits of growth have helped create a 25% increase in inpatient capacity as well as improved employee benefits to keep their best team members here in Cullman.

Most people are not aware of it – but – Cullman Regional is a not-for-profit organization. As a result, Clements pointed out that Cullman Regional reinvests in people and systems of care. Instead of paying dividends to shareholders, they reinvest in improving the quality of care.

The Alabama Hospital Association estimates a $200 million local economic impact from Cullman Regional!

QUALITY PATIENT CARE

Clements was adamant about the importance of patient care throughout his presentation.

“Providing Top Quality Care to our community is one of our most important goals.

 

One way for us to measure our success is to compare ourselves to other hospitals from around the country. We can showcase these achievements through quality award recognition. Our quality awards have increased from 3 in 2013 to 7 in 2017.

 

Most recently we were awarded the Heart Failure Accreditation from the American College of Cardiology.”

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Clements pointed out that in 2017 Cullman Regional welcomed more than 8,000 people to their campus to enjoy Halloween and receive free health screenings.

“We created our Trunk or Treat Event as a way to open up our campus to the community for a fun event in which we could also provide FREE health screenings. The event has surpassed our expectations and has become a new tradition for Cullman Regional and the community.”

COMMUNITY BENEFIT

As one of the largest employers in Cullman, Clements said the hospital and employees are proud to give back and support many valuable programs each year generously:

“Our community benefit is a calculation that is determined by the federal government and has increased from $12.7 million in 2013 to $15.6 million in 2017.

 

Our contribution, for example, includes:
• Those who are unable to pay for their care ($12,000,000)
• Support of schools ($250,000)
• Support of The Good Samaritan Clinic ($1,300,000)
• Underpayments from the State Medicaid program ($4,700,000).”

FINANCIAL TURNAROUND

Perhaps the most prominent achievement CEO Clements outlined during his address involved Cullman Regional’s impressive financial turnaround in recent years.

This newly created financial strength has allowed the healthcare system to move forward with hospital expansion projects, bring jobs to the Cullman area, and greatly improve access to patient care. These attributes were just not possible due to monetary constraints in past years.

Clements explains:

“If our financial position had not improved since 2014, none of these existing projects we are talking about today would have been possible. Our financial situation has changed dramatically for the better from 2014.  

 

We have moved from having almost $20 million more debt than cash to our position today Today. Cash reserves well exceed our liabilities. We’ve received upgrades from both of our primary rating agencies, Fitch & Moody.

 

Our conservative financial approach has led us to fund our expansion internally and increase cash and decrease debt simultaneously.”

Growth Stability Quality Patient Care Highlight Cullman Regional Annual Report

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Cullman Regional

Growth Stability Quality Patient Care Highlight Cullman Regional Annual Report

Timothy Collins

Originally from Asheville, NC, Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at cullmantoday@gmail.com and/or (256) 615-8260.

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