Hospital ‘in the black’ for first time in years

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 25, 2001

Things are looking up at Natchez Regional Medical Center.

For the first time in several years the hospital is making a profit.

&uot;Natchez Regional has made a significant turn around financially, and we’re in the black ink for the first time in several years,&uot; said Jack Houghton, hospital CEO. The reason is in part due to &uot;an overall increase in business.&uot;

Surgeries have increased by at least 35 percent, and the hospital is actively recruiting new doctors, Houghton said.

Seven new doctors joined the hospital staff in 2000.

&uot;Our focus has been on service excellence, and there’s no doubt that the new physicians that we’ve recruited to the community have had a major impact on this recent growth,&uot; Houghton said.

Other improvements, such as $18 million in renovations to the Seargent S. Prentiss Drive facility, have also helped

&uot;It’s like a different place today than it was five years ago.&uot; Houghton said. &uot;That 18 million dollars has gone a long way to change the whole complexion of our facility.&uot;

The hospital has also improved its surgery department and procedures and added extra nurses to the department because of the increased business, Houghton said.

As a result, Houghton said a change in the employees has been obvious.

&uot;Our morale is upbeat,&uot; he said. &uot;I think our staff sees the increased business that is coming to our hospital and recognizes that this is positive for everyone.&uot;

In other recent improvements, the hospital upgraded a 10-year-old piece of equipment with a new spiral CT scanner last week.

The new device cuts the time to examine for internal injuries from 25 or 30 minutes to less than two, Houghton said.

And the hospital laboratory recently scored 98 out of 100 as part of the facility’s standard evaluation from the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Health Care Organizations.

&uot;When you can (receive) a score that high, it’s a reflection that people are doing great work, and it’s a reflection I think of the quality of services that we offer.&uot;

He expects profits to continue to increase in the future with the possibility of receiving federal Medicare matching funds and increased revenue from the hospital’s new short-term rehabilitation program.