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Great Plains Health: Innovation and Care

Great Plains Health
Great Plains Health

Individuals who think out of the box are the ones that change the face of history. Such an attitude also gives birth to generosity. Along with the generous mindset comes the ability to think about advancements and developments. It is this same mindset that has led humankind to construct the technological era that we live in.

Keeping the never-ending technology along with the roots of generosity alive and attending to society’s needs is Great Plains Health. The organization is on a journey from good to great and aims to provide continued excellence in the areas of people, quality, service, growth, and finance. GPHealth believes that this journey is intentional, measurable, and innovative.

This motive has led them toward the unstoppable road to success.

The intense care and such commendable services are provided under the guiding light of Ivan Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of GPHealth. With the guidance of Mr. Mitchell, the hospital never fails to succeed and innovate.

Below are the highlights of the interview with Mr.Mitchell where he reveals the recipe for perfection.

Please brief us about the company and its inception.

Great Plains Health (GPHealth) is based in North Platte, Nebraska. It is a fully accredited, 116-bed acute-care regional medical center serving Western and Central Nebraska, Northern Kansas, and Southern South Dakota.

With 90 physicians representing more than 30 medical specialties, the GPHealth system offers advanced health care, including heart and vascular, cancer, orthopedic surgery services, and women’s services, including level 2 neonatal intensive care.

The system employs approximately 1,200 employees and serves a geographic area spanning more than 67,000 square miles. The hospital is accredited by the Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality (CIHQ).

Great Plains Health, formerly known as Great Plains Medical Center, opened its doors in 1975 upon the merging of two smaller medical facilities. GPHealth serves as the region’s leader in technology and medical expertise, allowing more patients to stay at home for quality health care services instead of traveling great distances.

How is advancing technology helping to create better workplaces and increasing workflow productivity?

Technology is something that we’ve really invested in. One of the most common things that health systems have focused on is electronic medical records. It has increased productivity and gives us the ability to have a patient’s chart in multiple different hands. Telemedicine is also something that I think we’ve been innovative with. We are a rural community and we cover a large regional area of 100,000 people. There are a lot of specialties where we have the need for one or two specialists. Strategic partnerships have allowed us to bring 24/7 telemedicine coverage to specialties where we haven’t had that in the past.

What are the key challenges at workplace in healthcare, and how is Great Plains Health improvising on them?

Like so many industries, labor is the number one challenge. With the labor shortage, we have partnered with the University of Nebraska College of Nursing to bring clinical training for an accelerated BSN program to North Platte. We collaborate with our local community colleges, invest in local health science programs, and have expanded our international recruitment. We also ensure that the staff is practicing to the top level of their scope and license.

How does Great Plains Health ensure equal participation of both genders in the workplace? And what are the steps it has taken to make the workplace secure for women?

GPHealth has a leadership team representative of our workforce, which is largely women. We strive to have a just culture where processes are evaluated, and concerns are addressed. We encourage employees to escalate any issues, and we offer additional training on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our goal is to provide an opportunity for anyone of any background to feel safe and enjoy their work.

As an experienced leader, what advice would you like to give to aspiring entrepreneurs and enthusiasts who wish to venture into the competitive industry that you are serving?

Almost a fifth of the economy is based on healthcare, but profit margins are small for hospital systems. Come in with a tool that solves a problem and be able to explain how it takes the place of a current line item in the budget, increases quality, and saves money.

What are the future goals of Great Plains Health? How does it envision scaling up its operations and reach in 2022 and beyond?

Our goals are simple and stay consistent. First, we aim to rank in the top quartile in employee engagement, which we currently do, and measure through an annual survey with smaller pulse surveys throughout the year. Second, we want to hit the top quartile in patient experience, which we’re on track to do for the year. Third, we aspire to earn a 5-star Medicare rating. We are currently a 4-star facility and believe we are on track for that 5-star rating within the next two years. This rating helps us measure quality and performance. Fourth, we work to maintain an ‘A’ rating from S&P for financials. These goals highlight how we want to be a positive place to work, all while taking exceptional care of our patients and ensuring the highest level of financial stewardship.

Enlist a few testimonials from your clients or customers and awards or recognition that accurately highlight GPHealth’s position in the market.

GPHealth has been nationally recognized by the Leapfrog Group as a Top Rural Hospital for three years running. The Leapfrog Group sets high standards for health care safety and quality. We are thorough and innovative and are reaching for the best every day. This recognition is a reflection of our dedication to making GPHealth a beacon for trusted healthcare in the region.

About the Leader!

Ivan Mitchell, FACHE, MHA, MPA, is the Chief Executive Officer of Great Plains Health.

He previously served as Chief Operations Officer at Great Plains Health for six years before assuming the role of CEO in January 2022.

Before relocating to North Platte, Mitchell served as CEO at Towner County Medical Center in Cando, North Dakota; administrative director at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff, Arkansas; and radiology and cardiology service manager at Intermountain Park City Medical Center in Park City, Utah.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in nuclear medicine from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, and a dual master’s degree in public administration and healthcare administration from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Mitchell is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and certified as a Nursing Home Administrator (NHA) and Nuclear Medicine Technologist (CNMT).

He is active in the North Platte community, serving on the North Platte Public School Board, the North Platte Economic Development Committee, and the North Platte Housing Task Force.

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