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Critical care

As the Bainbridge-Decatur County Hospital Authority realized, Memorial Hospital and Manor was at a crossroads—to go down the same path it’s been on or change direction—and quickly.

The hospital is the third leg of our economic vitality and stability—education and local governments being the other two. Lately, the hospital’s leg has been teetering, and it is critical that a new direction be paved.

The more than $2 million year-to-date losses couldn’t continue, and those losses need to be the No. 1 priority of the new CEO. Addressing those losses will require a creative thinker who is understanding of how this hospital operates and be willing to reach out to the community to ensure it is offering the best care—both for critical care and preventative care.

But providing the best care is not just about numbers crunching.

The authority and the person they chose to lead the hospital must consider how to generate revenue, and recruit and retain patients that are loyal consumers when the need arises.

The hospital has numerous challenges, including it being a 50-year-old facility.

It also receives limited amounts of tax dollars—about $250,000 from the county coffers and $553,339 in 2010—or 12 percent of the 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. The majority of its revenue is the almost $37.4 million from patients, and more than $1.23 million from other revenue such as interest from investments and gifts.

As the authority begins its process of searching for a new CEO, all new revenue sources, all new customer service tactics and all new perspectives need to be on the table.