As I hope you are aware by now, the former DeKalb Medical Hospitals became part of Emory Healthcare on September 1, 2018. Much of the visual change has occurred – the signage is almost complete and our badges read Emory Healthcare. Our employees are now receiving their pay and benefits plans from Emory Healthcare and some of the corporate support functions are beginning to shift.
If you are a member of the DeKalb Physician Hospital Organization (DPHO), I hope you were able to attend the DPHO meeting last month. Information was shared about the Emory Healthcare Network (EHN) and the DPHO staff is now working hand-in-hand with the EHN staff making great progress towards a win-win in terms of a local clinically integrated network.
As for our hospitals, we will now begin developing a strategic plan for our operating unit which encompasses Emory Decatur Hospital (EDH) Emory Hillandale Hospital (EHH) and Emory Long-Term Acute Care (ELTAC). The DeKalb Medical Physicians Group is now officially part of the Emory entity known as Emory Specialty Associates and is working through their integration.
Our strategic plan will be focused on the next five years. While our operating unit will roll into Emory Healthcare’s five-year strategic planning process, we are undertaking an immediate strategic planning process – slightly off cycle – that will get us started on our path to growth and improvement.
Once our strategic plan is complete, the tactics necessary to fulfill that plan will be defined and translated into operational timelines and goals. The timeline for development of the plan is five months, beginning this month. The steering committee includes several physicians, including Dr. Nairn Shaheed, Dr. Scott Steinberg, Dr. Mark Stern, Dr. Chip Clifton and Dr. Tina Thompson. We are supported by Emory’s Strategic Planning department and additional physician input will be included via interviews by the department.
We recognize that there are some immediate needs that are more operational than strategic, and we will begin addressing them now, rather than waiting until the strategic planning process is complete. Emory is making a significant financial commitment into our institutions and we’re being very thoughtful about how those resources are prioritized, but are tending to clear and obvious needs such as replacements of beds, elevator replacements and clinical priorities that need to be addressed now.
I am extremely enthusiastic about our future and thank you for all you do for our patients and community, and for the support you give our hospitals as we begin this part of our journey. We are a team and couldn’t do what we do every day, without each of you! As always, please reach out to me with any concerns or opportunities for improvement.
Jim Forstner, Jim.Forstner@emoryhealthcare.org.