Huggins Hospital has been fortunate to have a low medical staff turnover. Being a small, critical access hospital, primary care turnover affects the community in a significant way. In 2008 Huggins was faced with the need to recruit two primary care physicians. They quickly realized the environment was changing when very few candidates were presented who were interested in practicing traditionally. It seemed that two tracks had replaced one: inpatient or outpatient, not both. This prompted hospital administrators to begin discussions with their medical staff on how to preserve primary care in their community for the long term. After a year of discussions and researching different options, they came to the conclusion a Hospitalist program was necessary.
Due to immediate outpatient recruitment needs, Huggins decided to get the program started before they would be able to recruit the Hospitalist team. In January of 2009, Huggins Hospital’s administration team met with Medicus to discuss a partnership for launching a Hospitalist program. After a few discussions and meetings, Huggins Hospital and Medicus entered into a partnership and the Hospitalist program officially launched on March 23, 2009.
“The Medicus physicians worked in conjunction with our local providers to ensure 100% coverage of the schedule,” states Dave Tower, hospital president. “Over the course of the first 3-6 months, many changes took place with the structure of the schedule, how we integrated Medicus physicians into the system, established policies and procedures and integrated the Hospitalist program into our system and with our patients.
Medicus offered one point of contact who handled all of the staffing, scheduling and overall management of the program. The Medicus team played an active role in the credentialing process by supporting our Medical Staff team with a lot of the leg work that takes place. By partnering with Medicus, we didn’t have to work with multiple companies to secure the coverage we needed.
We anticipated Medicus would provide coverage for the first 9 months, but we actually needed a few more months to complete our full time recruiting strategy. By March 2010, Medicus started to phase their physicians off the schedule and by June 2010, Huggins Hospital was fully staffed. To this day, we rely on Medicus to provide vacation and holiday coverage.”
Dave Tower, FACHE – President
Huggins Hospital – Wolfeboro, NH