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Sharing Services to Improve Healthcare

Hospitals across the country are striving to reduce costs while maintaining high-quality care to meet the demands of their communities. For Penobscot Valley Hospital (PVH) and Millinocket Regional Hospital (MRH), two critical access hospitals 35-miles apart, that means enhancing service offerings while achieving economies of scale through shared services.

“Over the years, we have shared many specialists with area facilities including orthopedics, otolaryngologists and urologists. Today, PVH and MRH share many key positions including a health information management director, registered dietitian, social worker and an orthopedic surgeon,” states Gary Poquette, FACHE, CEO at Penobscot Valley Hospital.

“Because of our small, rural status, these positions can be more efficient when shared. It may not be feasible for one hospital to employ all of the full-time specialists, but when we share these employees, we improve access to high-quality care in both of our communities,” adds Bob Peterson, CEO at Millinocket Regional Hospital.

Patients benefit from these shared services as it means less time traveling to and from healthcare appointments. Since so many people live in one community and travel for work in the other, it is nice to have options to provide care to them, from the same provider, in whichever location they prefer.

Another benefit from these joint agreements is the ability to offer more services to the community than each hospital could offer individually. Orthopedics are one example of a service that was added in the Lincoln community in 2016 and the service will be enhanced with additional days in the PVH Specialty Clinic and Operating Room in May 2017 as Millinocket Regional Hospital has recently hired a second orthopedic surgeon to meet the increased demand in the two communities.

In thinking globally as partners and not competitors, PVH and MRH are setting a great example of two hospitals working together to meet the healthcare needs of their communities.  

 

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