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    Adapting to Healthcare’s Changing Landscape with the Next Era of Excellence Initiative


     The landscape of American healthcare is changing, shifting from a model of curing the sick to a model of keeping the population well. As patients demand more cohesive and convenient care, it’s becoming increasingly important for hospitals and healthcare providers to keep up with patients’ needs, as well as the needs of the communities in which they live. As these changes in healthcare sweep the nation, our community is rapidly growing. Pullman Regional Hospital CEO, Scott Adams, is helping develop a Next Era of Excellence initiative to address these changes in the community and healthcare at large. 


    A Focus on Wellness


    For decades, American healthcare has developed a reputation of being the best in the world for “fixing you when you’re broken.” However, there isn’t much emphasis given to overall wellness and prevention strategies that would keep individuals from becoming ill or reduce the impact of illness once it hits. Recently, wellness initiatives have become more prominent in our society. Patients are looking to physicians for help staving off illness and maintaining healthy lifestyles. In order for hospitals to keep up with patient demands, care needs to start to include these proactive approaches.



    The Demand for Convenience


    We’re living in an on-demand and instant gratification world, and patients have come to expect that of their healthcare providers. This is particularly true of two growing communities: the elderly and millennials. “Nationwide, the elderly cohort is growing faster than other segments of the population,” says Adams. “We have to understand their unique needs and provide services in a more comprehensive, convenient, and efficient way.” Because young people know they can receive on-demand care, they’ve come to expect it. They want medical attention to be coordinated in a way that integrates well with their other commitments.



    Creating a Cohesive Experience


    The millennial generation has also become frustrated with the fragmented nature of healthcare, in terms of both medical care and the siloed way health information is stored. “We need to get to a state where if you see a doctor in the Emergency Department and a specialist for a follow-up, they both have access to the same information,” explains Adams. “We need one integrated system that provides patients and doctors with a more complete picture of patients’ overall health and next steps.” 



    The Next Era of Excellence


    In response to evolving patient desires, we have developed the Next Era of Excellence initiative.


    “The Next Era of Excellence is a vision for how we can address the opportunities in our community to expand and reshape how patients experience healthcare delivery services,” states Adams. “Our goal is to bring together as many healthcare services as possible into a single location and digitize medical records so we can create a centralized repository of information that doctors throughout our community can access.” One of the many elements of the Next Era of Excellence initiative is a 45,000 square-foot pavilion that will physically connect all buildings on campus. Not only will the various medical providers be connected electronically, but patients will no longer need to go in and out of buildings to receive various services.



    Involving the Community


    With the proposed plan, implementation of the digitized records would occur in 2020 and pavilion construction would begin in 2021. The entire project would likely be completed by 2023.


    “In our discussions with the community so far, which have included formal surveys, one-on-one meetings, and community gatherings, we’ve heard a lot of enthusiasm for this plan,” notes Adams. “We now turn to the community for a portion of the funding. While we’ve already raised some capital, we need help from the community in order to deliver these new healthcare services.” Per Adams, the health system will be proposing a tax plan to help fund the Next Era of Excellence in April 2019. 




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