Bill Bradel, president/chief executive officer of Northern Arizona Healthcare (NAH), announced plans Tuesday for a major strategic effort to unify the hospital system and align Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC) and Verde Valley Medical Center (VVMC) into a comprehensive, integrated healthcare system and company.
In order to remain competitive, lower costs and provide the best quality healthcare that the communities NAH serves have come to expect, the organization has begun taking the necessary steps to fully integrate VVMC and FMC into a single healthcare system in Northern Arizona. Rather than operating as two separate organizations, this positive transformation will allow the organization to better meet the needs of Northern Arizona residents in a seamless and integrated fashion.
"As leaders of this organization, my senior executive team, Barbara Dember, executive vice-president of Northern Arizona Healthcare and president/chief executive officer of Verde Valley Medical Center, and Irv Bloom, interim executive vice-president of Northern Arizona Healthcare, and interim president/chief executive officer of Flagstaff Medical Center, and I have been tasked with taking a hard look at NAH. With an eye towards continuous improvement and high-level patient care, delivered in the most cost-efficient way, system-wide changes are necessary to keep us competitive with hospital systems throughout the state," Bradel said.
NAH has consolidated some of its system services and has established four system service lines: Oncology, Cardiovascular, Rehabilitation, and Behavioral Health - each of which represents highly strategic initiatives for NAH. These new system-wide service lines will share common leadership, standard clinical and operational protocols, and continuity of care throughout the system, and - more importantly - will ensure that patients know they are receiving value and getting the best possible healthcare available.
As part of this realignment, nine administrative positions have been eliminated: four at the vice president level and five at the director level. These were position-driven decisions that will promote integration of the system and drive greater efficiency and value. Certain positions have been expanded with various responsibilities being shared among VPs and directors. While the number of positions eliminated is relatively small compared to the more than 3,000 employees of Northern Arizona Healthcare, these changes signify something far more important: a new way of operating and managing the organization under common system leadership. The standardization that naturally will occur will create far greater synergies between all departments and functions at NAH, which in turn will create greater value for our patients and communities.
"We strongly believe these changes will drive much improved quality of care, enhanced customer service, greater engagement of our valued physician partners and employees, and greater efficiency and value throughout NAH, allowing us to streamline processes, realize savings through greater integration and cut overall costs - without any negative impact on patient care," Dember said.
"We are now clearly on a path to being one integrated healthcare system with locations throughout Northern Arizona with high-quality patient care," Bloom said.
According to Bradel this realignment is critical to ensure the ongoing success of NAH in this very competitive, complex and rapidly changing healthcare environment.