West Branch Reflects on First Year of Affiliation

April 2019 marks the first anniversary of MidMichigan Medical Center – West Branch joining the MidMichigan Health family. Construction of an innovative Emergency Department on the campus of the Medical Center is just one of many accomplishments since joining MidMichigan nearly a year ago. In the last 12 months, significant progress has been made in the Medical Center’s transition to the health system.

“Our partnership with MidMichigan Health has strengthened our Medical Center,” said Bob McGrail, president, MidMichigan Medical Center – West Branch. “Our hope with the affiliation was to increase services, bring new physicians to the region, and improve our quality of care. I am happy to report we have made great strides in all three areas.”

In addition to these areas of improvement, according to McGrail, the community and patients are benefiting as a result of our partnership. Benefits include the addition of hospitalists and new Emergency Department physicians, new specialists offering services locally, access to specialists across the health system including those from Michigan Medicine, as well as new services.

Several internal milestones were also reached in the past year, including: policy alignment, contract and integration savings, leadership programming development, employee health and wellness clinic expansion, student scholarship access and the institution of Daily Safety Briefings. West Branch’s affiliation with MidMichigan Health has also recorded expense savings and assured consistent and strategically relevant capital reinvestment into the community.

“Since our partnership began, the benefits MidMichigan Medical Center – West Branch is experiencing are in large part a result of the hard work of our integration teams. Leaders from both organizations have worked tirelessly to integrate our systems, technologies, and staff,” said Diane Postler-Slattery, Ph.D., FACHE, president and CEO, MidMichigan Health. “Their passion for excellence wasn’t just to ensure our partnership succeeds, but more importantly to ensure our patients receive the high-quality care they deserve.”

In addition to the progress made in the past year, MidMichigan Medical Center – West Branch will also transition to Epic, MidMichigan’s electronic medical record (EMR) system, in September 2019. The new system will enable each patient to have one comprehensive medical record shared across the MidMichigan Health-employed providers and facilities who deliver their care. This will result in faster, more accurate communication, streamlined processes and cost-saving efficiencies. The project will also bring MidMichigan Health-owned facilities onto the same platform for registration, scheduling and billing.

“The new EMR system would have been out of reach for us as an independent rural hospital,” said McGrail. “Both our patients and employees will greatly benefit from this technological advancement and the seamlessness in care it will bring.”

In the coming months, MidMichigan Medical Center – West Branch plans to add additional services such as a pain management program. Other services currently under consideration include obstetrics. Recruitment efforts in 2019 will focus on practitioners in cardiology, family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery and pediatrics.

“Our future is bright as part of the MidMichigan Health family,” McGrail said. “I think employees, physicians, volunteers and the community can say they have seen great improvements at the Medical Center this past year and they are looking forward to even greater things to come.”