St. Luke’s strategically plans for hospital’s future

Published 9:18am Monday, August 5, 2013

Commitment to our mission has helped us for the past three years to achieve a small profit despite difficult economic times. Our improved financials enabled us to seek bank financing to begin construction of a six-bed patient wing. Our Building on Excellence campaign has been successful in seeking contributions towards a $2 million fundraising goal to support the $5.6 million construction project.

Through contributions to the St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation from businesses, individuals and other charitable foundations, it’s obvious we have the community’s support in ensuring future access to local healthcare. Projected to open in late December, this new wing, with private baths, larger patient rooms and a state-of-the-art therapeutic gym, is vital to St. Luke’s growth and sustainability.

But challenges remain. Every day, we are faced with declining reimbursement, increasing payroll expenses, drug shortages and the skyrocketing costs technology. We feel the impact of sequestration, Medicaid funding restrictions, bad debt reductions and capital outlays to meet federal guidelines for electronic medical records.

With an annual budget and a five-year forecast as our road map, a strategic plan is our GPS, our navigation system. Recently, members of our board, our medical staff and the senior leadership team began meeting to determine where we need to position the hospital for the future and how we will set the course to get to that point. We are looking at demographics, services, healthcare trends and projections. We are considering St. Luke’s current abilities, our strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. There’s a review of market and population changes as well as legislative, regulatory and reimbursement challenges.

Quite frankly, this global view can be a scary picture, not only for our community hospital but for all healthcare providers. With knowledge of what the industry is facing over the next five years, St. Luke’s Hospital’s leadership is challenged to consider how we currently deliver healthcare and challenged to consider changes in ways we deliver that care.

Looking toward the future, we expect to face more challenges in meeting the healthcare needs of our community, but with strategic planning as our GPS, we will navigate these obstacles and remain committed to provide exceptional care, close to home.

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