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Strategic Initiatives

As a not-for-profit community hospital, we feel it is important to share with our community the planning and project implementation that is always underway to bring high quality services to the area as well as a improve the patient experience for all. Below you will find summaries of our past strategic initiatives as well as quarterly updates for the initiatives being undertaken this fiscal year. Should you have any questions about these projects, please contact Atlantic General Hospital administration at (410) 641-9600.

View our Strategic Plan for 2015-2020.

Fiscal Year 2021

Infectious Disease Surveillance Program
Until blood samples and lab cultures are analyzed, which typically takes several hours, a patient’s care team must rely on symptoms and patient history to determine the immediate course of treatment. With the help of infectious disease surveillance technology, those results can be delivered electronically to the attending physician within seconds of being generated. This shortens the response time for properly isolating any patient found to have a contagious infection and allows the physician to fine-tune medication therapies, which helps reduce risk of hospital-acquired infections and strengthens the organization’s antibiotic stewardship efforts. Additionally, the technology makes it easier to detect and analyze trends in hospital-acquired infections that can be missed with a traditional manual process, better informing quality improvement efforts.

Automated Medication Dispensary When a patient is discharged from the hospital, going to the pharmacy and waiting for a prescription to be filled is the last thing they want to be doing when they are sick, tired and in pain. Therefore, having quick and easy access to a pharmacy to fill prescriptions is critical to ensuring compliance with the home care plan they made with their provider. During the typical day, AGHRx RediScripts is available to fill those prescriptions. However, during the hours when AGHRx RediScripts is closed, there are also very few community pharmacies open. This healthcare barrier is driving our strategic initiative to implement prescription vending devices (PVD). A PVD conveniently located adjacent to the Emergency Department and other outpatient services, stocked with the most common post-care medications 24/7, can serve as the pharmacy of choice in this situation.

Osteoporosis Clinic
Disability related to osteoporosis impacts quality of life, activities of daily living and ability to work. Osteoporosis affects approximately 5.3 million adults aged 50 years and older in the United States, and as the population ages this is predicted to increase in prevalence by as much as 50% by 2025. Barriers to care for appropriate prevention and intervention further complicate efforts to treat this clinically silent condition. Creating an osteoporosis clinic in Fiscal Year 2021 will eliminate some of those barriers by addressing social determinates of health and providing multiple services in one setting that patients can take advantage of during a single visit. The clinic will comprise risk assessment, bone densitometry, primary and specialty care provider collaboration, a multidisciplinary treatment plan, and nutrition and falls prevention programs.

Continuing Initiatives from Fiscal Year 2020

Primary Care Behavioral Health
Approximately half of patients seeking primary care are dealing with an underlying mental health condition that is either contributing to or complicating a physical illness. In fact, 60% of behavioral health illnesses are treated in primary care. Implementing an integrated behavioral health model will increase access to behavioral health services and help neutralize objections to care related to the stigma associated with mental illness. Working within a plan to co-locate multiple primary and specialty care offices and expand telehealth services, our behavioral health specialists will be able to consult with patients alongside the primary care providers. Integrating behavioral health into primary care settings recognizes that best practices avoid separating physical and behavioral health systems which can lead to fragmented care delivery, poor health outcomes, higher healthcare costs, and duplication of services.

Mobile Integrated Community Health
As much as every patient’s concern is valid, non-urgent calls to 911 often result in a strain on EMS crews and expensive treatment for patients who could be better cared for in a different setting. This fiscal year, Atlantic General is continuing our work with Worcester County EMS, Worcester Commission on Aging, Veterans Affairs, local police departments and the Worcester County Health Department to develop a mobile integrated health unit that will provide a home assessment with individuals who frequently make non-urgent calls to 911, coordinate care and connect them with appropriate community resources to help them attain optimal quality of life and remain at home.

School-Base Telehealth
A large number of residents in southern Worcester County – Pocomoke City in particular – face multiple barriers to appropriate health care including cost, lack of transportation and a dearth of providers. School-based telemedicine is crucial to the Pocomoke High School population. Such immediate access to health care resources will improve the health of the student body as well as overall attendance and academic outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted our progress in implementing a telehealth program at Pocomoke High School for acute care sick visits. Planning continues with the Worcester County Public Schools to bring this initiative to fruition as in-person classroom instruction resumes.