You shared. We listened. And now we are embarking on a community master plan to strengthen our entire health ministry based on voices from across Mercy.
Through 28 community roundtable meetings, some common themes began to emerge, shaping our road map and helping us to focus on our continual and relentless pursuit to get health care right.
Seven Strategies to Strengthen Our Communities
“We need more doctors in the outlying communities.”
Over the next eight to 10 years, Mercy will expand care.
- We serve in more than 200 communities today.
- The plan across Mercy calls for expansion to 58 more communities, adding 114 new facilities aligned with regional hospitals.
- The expansion will open new access points for care, including approximately 35 retail or urgent care sites, creating health care settings in retail space and schools.
“We don’t go to doctor appointments, sick or well, because we can’t afford it.”
Unfortunately, there’s a stark economic reality in our communities: People are foregoing necessary treatment and medicine each day. Our plans address key areas where the need exists and include:
- Medicaid and charitable clinics
- Project Access, an initiative to identify patients with multiple ER visits who have chronic conditions that can be managed more effectively through a primary care physician
- Mobile services
- Retail clinics
“I like seeing the vision of Mercy, but we need a full-time radiologist in our town … now.”
To compensate for the shortage of physicians in several of our communities and to form a true medical home for those patients, Mercy plans to add:
- 500 new primary care physicians in five years
- 300 specialty care providers
- Nurse practitioners, physician assistants and care managers
“We need to think big, and we need big help.”
Part of the challenge to think big in community planning was to have a very clear understanding of health care needs today and projected needs tomorrow, beyond acute, preventive and restorative care. Our specialty care services will be very focused on the overall patient experience.
Specialty care services include orthopedics, oncology, cardiovascular and others. Our service also focuses on five experience attributes: comprehensive (nothing falls through the cracks), easy (complexity has been simplified), personal (you are attended to and feel valued), professional (confidence and a sense of trust), and vibrant (lively and energetic).
“Mercy could be the catalyst to improve the health of our children and our community.”
Over and over during the planning process, there has been a recurring theme of providing the best health care for our children. While this remains a top priority, it has also created opportunities for Mercy to map out an exciting direction related to pediatric care. We are looking thoroughly at our children’s services from a local, global and virtual perspective.
“Virtual medicine will be a leap of faith … but it’s the right thing to do.”
Perhaps one of our most open frontiers in improving health care is in telemedicine. It is a key solution to the declining supply and rising demands for physicians. Our Center for Innovative Care will help conserve precious medical resources and make them available to every community across Mercy. Telemedicine service areas include:
- Virtual radiology
- Pediatric cardiology
- High-risk pregnancy
- Psychiatric and mental health services
- Post-op follow-up
- Remote disease management
- Telestroke and teleneurology
- Direct Internet access to primary care services
“Thanks for caring about our community and asking us to be involved.”
Modern, quality health care is not only better for residents’ quality of life, it often helps a community attract and retain jobs, fostering a healthy economy. Mercy remains committed to the communities we serve, and our plans are equally focused on existing facilities – large or small – and building a new model of care through:
- Campus expansions and renovations
- Improved care settings
- Replacement hospitals in some rural communities