Phoebe aiming for top 10 percent

John Culbreath, chair of the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital board, right, calls a special called meeting of the body to order Thursday evening while Dr. Steven Wolinsky looks on. The board met with the medical staff leadership for the purpose of setting a course for quality improvement.

John Culbreath, chair of the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital board, right, calls a special called meeting of the body to order Thursday evening while Dr. Steven Wolinsky looks on. The board met with the medical staff leadership for the purpose of setting a course for quality improvement.

ALBANY, Ga. -- In a unique gathering comprised of the board of directors at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and the hospital's medical staff leadership, an exchange of ideas was put into motion in the hopes of plotting a course for quality improvement.

The two groups met together in a special called meeting of the board at Doublegate Country Club on Thursday evening for a discussion that officials hoped would prompt further talks of that nature down the road.

"It is to mutually set the course, at least for the coming year, in pursuit of a higher quality of care," said Dr. Doug Patten, senior vice president of medical affairs at Phoebe.

This was something that came forth as officials with the hospital strive for Phoebe to become among the top 10 percent of hospitals in the country.

"There continue to be new goals, but as you get closer, it can be harder to get to those last few yards," Patten said.

With the medical executive staff embracing this notion, its contribution to the meeting was to share its plan on how to lead the hospital toward meeting that benchmark while the board also shared its thoughts on how to get there, Patten said.

"We want this to be an interchange," he said just before the meeting.

For this purpose, the body went immediately into closed session after the meeting was opened. No action items were on the board's agenda.

The meeting was held late in the day to allow for a larger number of voices to be heard, Patten said.

"We felt it was important to have as many people here as possible," he said. "It was the best time for everyone."

With the strategies put in place as a result of Thursday's meeting in terms of what it would take to meet quality measures, the foundations are now set to open up ideas for deeper discussion at future board meetings, Patten said.

Patten also noted that while board members and Phoebe's leadership interact with each other on a regular basis, this was the first time so many board members and medical executive staff members had been brought together in such a manner.


tocar 2 years, 7 months ago

Unless Phoebe does something about the unsanitary conditions and negligence of staff this will not ever happen.


Trustbuster 2 years, 7 months ago

Yes, I understand your comment. My wife had to enter the Phoebe emergency room in Sylvester several years ago for treatment from an injury. We were shocked to find that blood was still on the floor from a previous emergency room visit. Needless to say when I received my hospital bill it was filled with a lot of charges for the visit. I contacted the business dept. and informed them of the conditions of the emergency room and the lack of sanitation regarding care. After several minutes on the phone the billing clerk reluctantly decided to reduce the medical bill by several hundred dollars. I later tried to contact the CEO in Albany to air my complaints but only received voice mails from his secretary. So much for hometown commitment!


Sister_Ruby 2 years, 7 months ago

At least there's no place to go but "up"

Phoebe: Here's a suggested slogan for your program - "Worst to First". It has a nice ring to it!


Royalstar 2 years, 7 months ago

This board meeting was a bunch of hot air just like the Phoebe commercial. "World class medicine." If Phoebe has world class medicine it must be third world class medicine. I can't think of the words to describe the imcompetence at every level. The healh care is pathetic. The billing handled by Practice Plus is worse than incompetent. Any business that operated like practice plus would be shut down. My wife went to phoebe family care and the treatment was so poor even one of the doctors reprimanded the nurse and resident and told my wife they were going to give her a credit for the charge she paid. For months and months she asked for confirmation she had a credit. She was ignored. She goes back for of an office visist and they tell her she has a previous balance. She asks how much and they can't tell her. She writes to them for an itemized bill, she is ignored. She just received a letter from a law firm demanding the balance but can't get a bill. Pathetic. You start at the top when you make changes. Wernick needs to be fired along with other department heads.


Cartman 2 years, 7 months ago

She tried to get an itemized bill from Phoebe? LOL !


Thurman 2 years, 7 months ago

Everyone has their own ideas of how to help Phoebe reduce cost, here's mine: Instead of paying a place such as Doublegate Country Club for these meeting, including catering, use your own cafeteria and staff. But then again, you would have to eat the same food we do. Never mind.


agirl_25 2 years, 7 months ago

I had my last "round" with Phoebe years ago (and won, rah rah rah) so don't remember who did the billing, but is Practice Plus in-house billing or outside billing they contract with? I know many years ago Palmyra made an error in billing my Tricare-4-Life (tsk tsk) and they had outside billing but one phone call was all it took and the problem was handled. As sneaky as everyone says Phoebe is, maybe Practice Plus is another side business they have.


Cartman 2 years, 7 months ago

It's a cheap PR stunt. All you are supposed to remember are "Phoebe" and "top 10 percent".


FryarTuk 2 years, 7 months ago

My wife and I have been to Phoebe numerous times in the past 5 years, through the ER, regular admission, out patient services. We have also been to Emory University Hospital, MD Anderson and Shands. Our primary concerns have been sanitation in the PPMH facilities and we took our cleaning supplies and washed down the rooms and furniture. The cleaning staff had little or no supervision and used inadequate cleaning methods (swipe and swat primarily). Treatment by the medical staff was equal in empathy, effort and follow-through to the others though admittedly expertise and equipment was somewhat less the teaching/specialty hospitals. The ER at PPMH was very good and Dr. James Black is a god send. Billing was no problem and any request for itemization was prompt and complete. They are a little backwards on sharing records but a call from our attorney to their attorney (we had to carry records to MDA) cut through red tape quickly. All in all I can live with the issues satisfactorily. Training medical students is a plus and hopefully it will mean their having to recruit fewer foreign trained professionals. They do need to spend some money on cleaning services.


wino3800 2 years, 7 months ago

I hate to say it but, the unsanitary conditions can be appalling. The staff really seems unconcerned at times. I've seen occasions when their coffee messes were disgusting. Some basic training is sorely needed.


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