6 month check-up for MGH – Duke LifePoint

It has been about six months since Marquette General Hospital became part of the Duke Lifepoint system.  Tonight on ABC 10 News Now, hear what hospital officials have to say in a “6-month checkup.”

In a press release from the hospital, Marquette General Hospital CEO Gary Muller today spoke about the progress made at the regional medical center since its September acquisition by Duke LifePoint Healthcare.

“Broken down into four categories of significant progress, it is amazing how far we have come as an organization since MGH was acquired by Duke LifePoint last fall,” Muller said. “Our expectations have been greatly exceeded and it is important the community we serve be kept abreast of the depth of activity that has taken place and will soon take place.”

The 2013 Strategic Plan for Marquette General includes a four‐pronged approach to measuring progress, broken down into the categories of Quality, Physicians, Financial and Facility.

Defining and measuring quality standards in alignment with Marquette General’s sister Duke LifePoint hospitals was a crucial first step in the transition process. Those hospitals include Danville Regional Medical Center in Danville, Va.;  Maria Parham Medical Center in Hendersonville, N.C.; Person Memorial Hospital in Roxboro, N.C.; and Twin CountyRegional Healthcare in Galax, Va.

Marquette General can now compare itself to its sister hospitals by using quality measurement and benchmark accountability tools through the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), which rates hospitals in the following areas:

Communication with Doctors

Communication with Nurses

Overall Hospital Rating

Pain Management

Responsiveness of Hospital Staff

Quietness of Hospital Environment

Cleanliness of Hospital

Discharge Information

Percentage of Domains Meeting National Median Score

Recommend the Hospital


“These quality measurement tools must be accompanied by action,” said Muller. “The first step of which is identifying priority areas of improvement.”

Early stage priority areas at Marquette General for this year include:


Access to care/case management

Process improvement

Hospital-based services

Physician engagement

Improving patient experience


Another top strategic priority for Marquette General is broadening the base of Superior Health Partners, and the depth of the multiple UP affiliated hospital approach to combating patient outmigration from the region. Helen Newberry Joy Hospital recently became the eighth SHP affiliate hospital, and a ninth hospital announcement will soon be made.

A major joint quality initiative, to include SHP hospitals and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, has been in the planning process over the past several months, and will be rolled out at all SHP hospitals this spring.

SHP is contracting with Baptist Leadership Group, a national patient/customer service firm, to implement a multiple year internal cultural journey aimed at defining patient customer service excellence in the Upper Peninsula. This initiative involves a train‐the‐trainer template that will be implemented both collectively and at each individual SHP hospital facility, and will be applied to and embraced by all staff at all levels. Duke University hospitals in North Carolina recently contracted with Baptist Leadership Group to implement this program at its facilities.

Physician recruitment is also a high priority for Marquette General. Tens of millions of dollars have already been allocated to aggressively pursue physician placement in key strategic plan service lines and in the service lines that ultimately support the overall strategic goals and initiatives.

More than a dozen new physicians have been added to the Marquette General Medical Staff since the official acquisition closure in September, and many more are in‐process. More than $1.3 million was spent on physician recruitment in just the first four months following the September final acquisition of Marquette General by Duke LifePoint.

Additional capital expenditure by Duke LifePoint is expected to be some $300 million over the next 10 years. And many tens of millions of dollars have already been expended in the first few months in Marquette General’s life as a Duke LifePoint hospital.

Muller added that the investor-owned status of Marquette General as a Duke LifePoint Hospital will result in a significant community tax base increase.

“While the final amount Marquette General will pay to several municipalities in the Upper Peninsula in the form of taxes has not yet been determined, it is clear that virtually every aspect pertaining to quality of life in the region will be vastly improved,” said Muller.

Marquette General will also be updating its facility, ranging from cosmetic facelift to major brick and mortar construction projects. Several months of extensive planning have resulted in detailed recommendations to spend almost $20 million in facility upgrades in 2013. A detailed facilities plan and timetable are expected to be approved this spring.

Several other strategic priorities have been planned, such as creating one destination for all cancer services; creating a comprehensive chemo/infusion center; and exploring the Duke Oncology Network to develop a cohesive, consistent brand, enhance clinical development, enhance education and research, and develop telehealth programs with Marquette General’s outlying clinics.

“The past several months of careful planning and deliberation have already borne much fruit, and lay the ground work for long‐term goal achievement,” said Muller.

Stay up-to-date on all progress Marquette General makes by visiting its website at www.mgh.org, and clicking on the “Duke LifePoint Progress” icon.

That story, plus other news of the day, sports with Jerry “JT’ Taylor and weather with Meteorologist Adam Claibon, at 5:30 p.m.