NORTHERN HILLS — Officials from Regional Health announced today that the health care system would join the Mayo Clinic Care Network in January.
The network is a collaboration of hospitals throughout the country that share the knowledge and expertise of the world-renowned Mayo network.
Additionally, Regional Health will change its name to Monument Health in January.
“We’ve already begun to change within our health system,” said Paulette Davidson, president and CEO of Regional Health. “We’ve improved our quality, we’ve improved our performance, we’ve recruited some incredibly amazing physicians … if you were to look at us two years ago, we’re different today and it’s a new day for us.”
Davidson, who was officially named president of Regional in September 2018, said the name change is all part of the reinvention of the health system and an integral part of moving forward.
“Medicine is changing all the time, and the ability to have this clinical collaborative relationship allows (physicians) to stay connected with changes and be part of best practice and share that locally in our areas,” she said.
The collaboration will afford Monument Health doctors and caregivers the ability to confer with colleges at Mayo Clinic, one of the top research medical facilities in the country, and bring their knowledge and expertise to patients in the region.
“So really, our Monument Health physicians have just extended their team by the 4,900 additional physicians at Mayo Clinic,” Davidson said. “You can get that Mayo care in the Black Hills.”
Davidson said Regional Health has been undergoing an extensive evaluation process by officials from Mayo for several months.
“They evaluated all of our clinical practices, our business practices, they looked at our quality outcome, they looked at our safety performance, and once they looked at everything they presented to their board of trustees the recommendation that we be included in their care network,” she said.
Davidson said the additional access to information between physicians will generate no additional cost to patients, but will be invaluable as a clinical tool to better serve them.
“If you’re a patient you can maintain your relationship here with your Monument physician, but you have the ability to tap into Mayo Clinic’s resources without traveling there,” she said. “The physician here will present the case to a team at the Mayo Clinic and that team is a multidisciplinary team…. and together they put together the perspective treatment plan.”
Joining the Mayo Clinic Care Network will also benefit the physicians at Monument by broadening their expanse of knowledge and enriching their career experiences in the Black Hills.
“(Our) physicians have that ability to tap into Mayo Clinic’s worldwide knowledge,” Davidson said.
Providing medical professionals with highly desirable opportunities like collaborating with Mayo Clinic physicians serves a practical purpose from a business standpoint as well.
“I think everything that we’re doing including our rebrand and our name change, all the investments we’re making are important and as we continue to recruit and retain hopefully retain those people we recruit, we will have fewer and fewer of those travel nurses or those physicians coming in to help,” Davidson said.
Two years ago, Regional began consolidating the record-keeping system across its more than 20 facilities. The new EPIC system allows patient records to be shared throughout the network seamlessly, which expedites care at all its hospitals and clinics. The mayo Clinic also uses APIC to share information, which Davidson said will make the file sharing process that much easier.
“APIC basically has allowed us to have the same information regarding a patient in all of our hospitals and clinics,” she explained.
“As soon as Mayo Clinic pulls up (a) name … in their system, our information will automatically flow.”
Although both healthcare systems already share information the same way, Davidson said there’s still quite a bit of work that needs to be done before the network will be ready to launch in January.
“When you’re going to give a new tool to hundreds of physicians to use … it requires training,” she said.
As for changing the name to Monument Health, Davidson said the name truly represents what the local network of hospitals and clinics strive to become.
“Our name is now representing the strength of our health system and what we’re becoming,” she said.
Robin Zebroski, vice president of strategic marketing and communications, said that they landed on the name “Monument” because of the symbolism it brings to the ideals the health system wishes to maintain.
“We’re really focused on growth and permanence and those are two things that really connected in with the word ‘monument,’” she said.
Davidson said even after the new collaboration with Mayo launches, Monument will remain true to the standards and commitments the network has built over the past 40 years.
“Monument Health will remain a separate organization. Our commitment to care for our communities for generations to come will remain as is,” she said. “We’ll start answering the phone as Monument Health, our signage will change, (and) our name badges will change. It will be a gradual transition.”
Davidson said she’s very excited to be bringing such a substantial resource to the Black Hills and is looking forward to the next several months, continuing to build the best health care system in the area.
“Some of this is already established, but some of this requires testing and making sure that we don’t have problems,” she said. “Because it’s the patient; at the end of the day, we want to make sure we meet their expectations.”
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