Healthcare Close to Home
Q&A with J. Perry Mustian
SGaMag: What are Archbold Medical Center’s strengths, and what are some of the challenges the hospital is looking to overcome?
Mustian: Clearly, our greatest strength is our people. Every day, I have the pleasure to work with a talented and motivated team that is focused on providing the best patient experience possible. Yes, we have state-of-the-art technology and unique facilities. But our physicians, nurses, other clinicians and support personnel make things happen here—and at a level consistently recognized for excellence nationally, in Georgia and locally. As we look to the future, we see many challenges on the horizon—rising costs of healthcare, declining reimbursements, changes in the way healthcare is delivered—but I feel confident we’ll be able to face those challenges with success because of our people.
SGaMag: What are some of the goals and projects that Archbold Medical Center has established to help move forward?
Mustian We have a strategic plan that guides us through our path for the next few years. It’s designed to ensure we’re providing the best care in the region, and that we’re a destination for those who seek care. Big picture—we’re looking to optimize our clinical services and programs, improve operational effectiveness, work on population health management and value-driven care initiatives, ensure a strong medical staff, and ensure our health system is vibrant and provides care for many years to come. There are well over 100 action items within the plan that keep us very busy! On a smaller scale, a very meaningful meeting I attend is our morning huddle. Every morning, about 40 members of our clinical and administrative leadership team meet for a status update on our nursing floors and other key areas of the hospital. It’s a highly structured stand-up meeting where leaders report on staffing, census, quality and safety data, daily schedules and areas requiring assistance. It’s had an impact because it’s helped us lower our length of stay, continue to focus on quality, improve communication and reinforce how we all connect to each other. We also started a journey several years ago to hardwire excellence throughout our health system, adopting best practices in the things we say and do. It’s really a blueprint for doing things the right way for our patients, visitors, and colleagues in every interaction. I believe it’s helped make Archbold an even better place to work and practice medicine, and in turn, an even better place to receive care.
SGaMag: What is Archbold Medical Center doing to recruit and retain a viable healthcare workforce?
Mustian: There’s a nationwide physician shortage, both in physicians-in-training as well as those available to hire. We’ve taken several steps to enhance our physician recruitment efforts, both in staffing and in tactics. One of the things I think we do really well is take the approach of recruiting the whole family, not just the physician. It’s really a highly personalized process. If a physician has a family, we make the effort to ensure everyone in the family feels welcome and that making the transition to a new community isn’t simply about the job, it’s about finding a sense of place. We connect families to individuals and groups who would make a good fit, and it works. We also try to nurture home-grown talent, identifying those who want to have a career in medicine further upstream and actively engaging them as they progress towards a career in medicine. We’re using our medical staff to reach out to their contacts, from med school to present day, to help as well. Our relationship with Florida State University’s College of Medicine has been beneficial for us, too. We’ve hired a number of physicians from that program.
SGaMag: How does Archbold Medical Center stay in the forefront of the healthcare industry?
Mustian: Part of our job is understanding and adjusting to the environment around us—nationally and locally. This includes participating in relevant hospital associations and partner organizations, attending conferences, keeping up with health media sources and listening to our medical staff and community. I’m the former chairman of Vizient Mid-South, and serving in that role provided many opportunities to learn and share with peers. It also really reinforced that we’re all basically in the same boat, experiencing the same challenges no matter where our hospitals are located. We’re also blessed to have a Board that is highly educated and focused. They share the things they learn at trustee conferences, seek information from a variety of sources and provide helpful input.
SGaMag: What would you consider to be the top issues Archbold Medical Center is facing?
Mustian: Archbold is experiencing what most hospitals are experiencing across the country, and especially in this region: The landscape of healthcare is changing. The changes that are now taking place in healthcare are driving the most profound and fundamental restructuring of the financing and delivery of care in the past 100 years. Healthcare is moving from payment for volume to payment for value. Risk is being transferred to consumers and providers, and the government continues to reduce reimbursements. Those challenges, when compounded with rising costs, decreasing operating margins, little population growth and large amounts of uncompensated care, mean that hospitals must continue to innovate and grow.
We also must reduce costs and operate far more efficiently at every level of our organization, and we’re committed to doing that.
At the end of the day, it’s all about our patients. Everything we’re trying to do is about ensuring our patients have access to a sustainable local model of comprehensive and sophisticated care now, and decades from now. When you belong to an organization that’s been considered a leader for over 90 years, it really puts things in perspective. Those before us have made Archbold a regional healthcare leader and outstanding place to receive care, and we owe it to current and future generations to carry on that legacy.
$707 million in revenue for the local and state economy and contributed more than $565 million to the local economy
Awards and Recognitions
- Archbold Memorial Hospital and Grady General Hospital were the only hospitals in the region to receive a “double 4-star rating” by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for Overall Rating and Patient Experience;
- Archbold Memorial Hospital earned the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval® for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for healthcare quality and safety in hospitals;
- Archbold Memorial Hospital earned the Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award;
- Archbold Memorial Hospital was given the Platinum award by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration for its efforts to educate staff, patients, visitors and community members about the critical need for organ, eye, and tissue donors;
- Archbold’s Lewis Hall Singletary Oncology Center awarded re-accreditation by the Commission on Cancer; and
- Archbold Memorial Hospital was awarded the Gold Seal of Approval by the American College of Radiology for MRI.