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Independent Hospitals: Act Strategically in Your Market

Ryan Nestrick
FACHE, Senior Vice President

In the words of QHR Health’s Chief Strategy Officer Brendan Rokke, 

“Independent hospitals must act strategically within their markets. Well-funded and larger independent competitors are always looking to expand their markets. Smaller hospitals are advised to follow their lead.” 

Independent Hospital Support 

Pioneers Medical Center is a perfect example.  

Pioneers is a 25-bed critical access hospital located in Meeker, CO, a town with 2,300 residents about 100 miles northeast of Grand Junction. Under the leadership of CEO Liz Sellers, MSN, MHA, the hospital created a new service line, Colorado Advanced Orthopedics. 

The CAO team is led by Kevin Borchard, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with a fellowship in total joints. During his joint reconstruction fellowship at the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, he completed over 900 complex joint replacement surgeries, working with some of the top surgeons in the field.  

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Led by Dr. Kevin Borchard, the Pioneers Medical Center’s Colorado Advanced Orthopedics team has five additional doctors.

CAO’s fellowship-orthopedic team also includes:  

  • Dan Ward, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with fellowship training in total joint replacement surgery of the hip and knee, 
  • Gregg Martyak, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with a fellowship in hand and upper extremities,  
  • J. Alex Sielatycki, MD, a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon with fellowship training in comprehensive spine reconstruction,  
  • Justin Grant, DO, CAQSM, a board-certified family physician with a fellowship in sports medicine, and  
  • Mark Purnell, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with a fellowship in sports medicine.  

 

Their robust orthopedics team offers a full range of services including:

Two years after the grand opening in July 2020, Colorado Advanced Orthopedics added 4,000 square feet of clinical space to its existing 11,000 square feet orthopedic specialty clinic due to increasing patient volumes. The addition includes seven new exam rooms, more offices, storage areas, an expanded nurse station and a waiting area for sick patients with ventilation that will exhaust the air from the waiting area.

Colorado Advanced Orthopedics Results

Total clinic volume increased 65.72 percent from 2020 to 2021, and 59 percent of orthopedic clinic visits came from patients who reside outside of Meeker. As the Colorado Sun reported, more than 6,900 medical tourists “have traveled to Meeker in the past two years for treatment for their creaky knees and unstable hips.”

Patient outcomes are excellent. Stryker, one of the leading medical technology companies and the creator of the Mako Smart RoboticsTM System, released its 2021 surgical patient data for Dr. Kevin Borchard:

  • Borchard’s patient average length of stay in the hospital was less than the national average, with many of his patients going home within 24 hours of surgery.
  • 100 percent of Dr. Borchard’s patients are discharged to home and work with outpatient physical therapy, eliminating the need to spend time at inpatient rehabilitation centers.
  • Borchard’s patients were able to walk an average of 561 feet before discharge, ranking within the 90thpercentile of doctors included in Stryker’s data.
  • No patients have been readmitted to Pioneers Medical Center at the 30- and 90-day mark.
  • Borchard maintains zero orthopedic surgical site infections.

Colorado Advanced Orthopedics Marketing

Pioneers CEO Sellers knew she couldn’t depend on the old adage, “If you build it, they will come.” She invested in marketing, using print advertising in local and Grand Junction newspapers complemented by digital advertising focused on search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). “Pioneers uses sophisticated search-engine tracking on social media to keep information about the clinic up front in the virtual world and also has an extensive print and digital ad campaign.”

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Colorado Advanced Orthopedics team uses sophisticated marketing techniques to reach patients.

 

Results from March to September 2022 show her marketing investment is working.

For help determining how to act strategically within your hospital’s market, email Jen Essenmacher at jessenmacher@qhr.com.