B U S I N E S S + C U LT U R E 23 management, chiropractic care and therapy services in one convenient location. On the horizon are many projects, including a replacement facility for Cook Medical Center in Adel and a new patient tower and emergency room at Tift Regional Medical Center in Tifton. We want to capitalize on Tift Regional’s success and continue to develop into a true network of care for South Central Georgia. We are transitioning from a hospital authority to a traditional 501(c)3 not-for-profit healthcare institution. This corporate restructuring will allow us to expand our geographic footprint and develop the necessary scale to meet future regional needs. As we move toward population health management, Tift Regional has established a Medicare-approved accountable care organization. At present, we have 18 physician practices which have earned top recognition as a patient-centered medical home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. This unique model of care uses a team approach in enhancing health and wellness for patients. To reduce hospital readmissions, we have embedded physicians in high-volume nursing homes. A transition clinic is available for recently-discharged patients who may not have timely access to follow-up appointments. Our case management team rounds on all patients who make a return visit to the hospital in order to determine a root-cause and develop a plan to prevent future readmissions. We continue to seek ways to improve access to both primary care and specialty care. The Tift Regional Medical Center Foundation is also purchasing a mobile healthcare clinic which will help assist us in outreach to medically-underserved areas. SGaMag: What is TRHS doing to doing to recruit and retain a viable healthcare workforce? Dorman: Recruiting and retaining physicians, advanced practice providers, and allied health professionals is a top priority for Tift Regional. Offering competitive compensation, incentives and benefits are important, but we also want to foster a work environment in which these professionals can thrive and find career fulfillment. Our board has also invested more than $1.5 million in tuition reimbursement for staff members who choose to continue their education and earn advanced degrees. To cultivate interest in healthcare at a younger age, Tift Regional has partnered with the Tift College and Career Academy at Tift County High School, which offers tracts in the medical field. We also provide support to nursing schools and technical programs at local institutions such as Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Southern Regional Technical College. SGaMag: With healthcare technology continuing to change, how does TRHS stay at the forefront of technology and service capabilities? Dorman: Patient outcomes are better than they’ve ever been at hospitals around the country, and that’s largely due to advances in technology, surgical techniques, medical imaging and information systems. At Tift Regional, we have a five-year capital plan developed with our board to stay on the forefront of technology. Some examples include recent MRI and CT upgrades in our radiology department. Our oncology center recently expanded and added a new state-of-the- art linear accelerator. This advanced modality delivers high-energy electrons to the region of a patient’s tumor more precisely, sparing the surrounding healthy tissue. We continue to invest in telemedicine technology, including connections to school-based clinics and access to specialty services such as psychiatry, stroke intervention, and pediatric subspecialties. We strive to provide the latest operating room technology for our surgeons, such as the da Vinci robotic system for minimally-invasive procedures. Tift Regional recently converted to a new electronic health record system, powered by Cerner, which allows our healthcare professionals to electronically store, capture and access patient health information in both the acute and ambulatory care setting. This new information technology will result in enhanced workflows which will improve the speed and accuracy in which Tift Regional provides patient care. An integrated technology platform will enhance the patient experience by driving enhanced communication and coordination between patients and their care teams. www.tiftregional.com