WHS Industry Partner NetworkxHealth helps small hospitals keep doors open

Washington-based hospital services industry partner NetworxHealth specializes in helping small, rural hospitals find interim leaders who possess a rare combination of management skills and healthcare knowledge, as well as which do not appear on most CVs. These include pragmatism, flexibility and a willingness to work alongside hospital staff, sometimes literally, to get things done.

When Virginia Mason, now part of Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, recognized a growing need for interim C-suite managers in small community hospitals, healthcare operations expert Tammara Gibbons was asked to develop a solution. sustainable. NetworxHealth was launched in 2017 to place interim senior staff in rural and critical access hospitals — a federal designation given to hospitals providing emergency and acute care in remote areas — in the Northwest region. of Virginia Mason, which includes Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon.

Because small rural hospitals are sometimes the only acute and emergency care provider in their community, “keeping the doors open” can become more than a business objective. Staying financially sound and operational allows hospitals to serve local residents who would otherwise need to travel for hours to get to a big city. Too often, those without access to a local hospital forego necessary care altogether.

To help hospitals succeed, NetworxHealth seeks leaders who understand all aspects of healthcare operations, from finance and nursing to ongoing critical tasks like maintenance and environmental services. NetworxHealth believes small hospital leaders should be culturally sensitive and able to read the personality of everyone in the room to help people feel safe.

The good interim leader brings hard-earned leadership expertise while taking a genuine interest in the community and its residents. NetworxHealth is looking for potential leaders who embrace the opportunity to make a real difference in a small community.

According to NetworxHealth, small hospitals need someone who enjoys participatory management, someone who can do assessments of an organization, its management and its management team. These leaders must have a real desire to have an immediate connection with the community. Often these are people who have retired from a long career in healthcare, but aren’t quite ready to hang up their shoes yet and are looking for an adventure. They can have more adventures than they want.

As NetworxHealth began to fill interim leadership positions, smaller hospitals began to make additional requests for assistance with project work, from information technology to operations management. NetworxHealth is very agile, flexible and strives to help hospitals thrive in a challenging environment.

With a deep healthcare network and extensive operations experience, NetworxHealth can also help solve the impact of supply chain issues on small, remote hospitals. Recent projects include reengineering a client’s supply chain policies and workflows and helping a hospital in Alaska overcome geographic and logistical supply chain hurdles to keep its warehouse stocked.

When small hospitals need to quickly resolve IT issues without interrupting care, NetworxHealth can assemble teams of experts in the blink of an eye. This year, NetworxHealth was called in to work on a MEDITECH pharmacy implementation that went wrong the week it went live, and within a week the team had an expert working on a solution.

The main projects for 2022 aim to help small hospitals plan and prepare for the future. Ongoing work with WSHA includes mock facility surveys and quality and safety projects. Since many hospital boards seek help with strategic planning, NetworxHealth is also developing a list of resources to guide boards in creating their annual plans.

Even as NetworxHealth expands its slate of offerings, its goal remains unchanged: to help rural hospitals remain sustainable and provide quality care to the communities they serve.

For more information about NetworxHealth or the Washington Hospital Services Industry Partner Program, contact Ed Phippen at [email protected] or (206) 216-2556.

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