Midland Memorial Hospital Finds Opportunities for Cost Savings

The Midland Reporter-Telegram reported that Midland Memorial Hospital has found many opportunities to increase efficiency and reduce costs while keeping the organization's focus on quality patient care. This article summarized the news article and outlines some of the new initiatives underway at the hospital.


New Patient Tower

In late January, the Midland Memorial Hospital Board of Directors' approved a $88.5 million guaranteed maximum price on its new seven-story patient tower, expected to create a $1.29 million savings from budgets. A guaranteed maximum price, or GMP, compensates the contractor for actual costs, but the contractor, in this case McCarthy Building Cos. Inc., is responsible for any cost overruns. Any savings are returned to the owner, in this case MMH. A groundbreaking ceremony for the tower is scheduled for Feb. 25 with construction taking about 30 months, including renovations.


"We've been able to be under budget and feel very confident where we stand," Vice President of Support Services Cory Edmondson said. The slumping economy is the reason for the price drop on construction.


The new tower will have seven floors of patient care and be considered a LEED-certified building. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, meaning it is designed to use less energy and is environmentally friendly. The project includes moving labor and delivery, postpartum, nursery and pediatrics from the West Campus to main campus.


Because of the cost savings, $6 million in changes were added including two operating rooms, five post-anesthesia care unit beds, a cystoscopy suite where urologists primarily do outpatient procedures, healing garden, dialysis in all intensive/critical care unit rooms and steel structure support for patient lifts and booms so patients can be turned, for example. This is meant to lessen the strain on medical staff.


President and Chief Executive Officer Russell Meyers said the donor- financed healing garden will feature a fountain with a granite wall on which the names of million-dollar donors will be etched.


New Beds

As part of the improvements, the board approved purchasing $3.149 million in beds. They were budgeted for $3.154 for a savings of $5,288, according to information from MMH. Current beds are 20-25 years old and Edmondson said buying new ones has been put off for three or four years. Some 160 medical/surgical beds, 49 intensive and critical care unit beds, four bariatric beds with 1,000-pound capacity and six labor and delivery beds will be purchased from Stryker and HillRom. These are the only two medical bed manufacturers in the nation. The med-surg beds will feature alerts to nurses if a patient tries to get out of bed, low position, night light, automatic weighing of the patient and interconnection with a to-be-purchased nurse-call system.


Laundry Cooperative

Midland Memorial is joining with other Healthcare Coalition of Texas members to create a regional laundry facility. The estimated $11 million facility was developed in conjunction with Medical Center Hospital in Odessa and Hendrick Health System in Abilene.  The service will go live in October or November of 2010 and be located in Abilene. Texas Healthcare Linen will be the name of the service. Initial cost to the hospital to purchase laundry services from Texas Healthcare Linen will be 53 cents a pound, more than 10 cents less than what is now being paid to the current vendor, Alsco in Lubbock. The hospital projects it will take two years to pay back the $325,000 investment


New Equipment

Purchasing a 438,746 Globe Trotter Neonatal Transport System from Drager Medical. This will be used to transport sick, intubated newborns from labor and delivery to the nursery to be stabilized.


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