The best way to provide exemplary patient access is to go to where the patients are. It seems like a simple approach, but healthcare tends to invest in communities by population density usually defined by home address. My team at Centra Health, a four-hospital, not-for-profit integrated healthcare delivery system in Virginia, took a different approach, and it paid off in ways we could not imagine. In addition to providing unparalleled patient access to services in our community that were previously inaccessible, we were able to increase job growth, create economic development and provide organizational growth. Towns that were once places to drive through became robust and thriving communities.
We wanted to grow in all four geographic directions, and in order to do so knowing that we had to build and implement an innovative strategy that would allow us to compete with big-name healthcare institutions in our area. Our methods were unconventional at a minimum; we invested $100M to place six outpatient facilities throughout the community. Population density was a consideration, but we decided where to build after studying travel patterns and where our patients worked. One of our facilities was constructed in a hay field! We built six facilities in three years, and every single facility exceeded volume by all estimations.