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Physicians, APs: How is the Organization Improving Its Facility?

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We’ve been looking at a few questions related to organizational leadership over the last few posts, questions that you might want answers to before saying “yes” to a job offer. These answers may come verbally from the folks interviewing you or they may come intuitively from your impressions of those you encounter when talking and visiting with the hospital or practice.

One thing we’ve touched on is the strategic plan an organization has going forward, including its plans for the brick-and-mortar facility. Are they planning to update it? Have they already updated it? What are the goals of the facility master plan, if they have one?

After all, you’ll be the one working in the building. It helps to know what you’ll be working with.

Doug McMillan, chief executive officer at West Park Hospital (WPH) in Cody, Wyo., reviewed his organization’s facility master plan with me in an interview for Healthcare Executive Exchange Magazine last year. WPH’s plan was three-phased and designed to play out over an extensive period of time.

The first phase of the project was constructing a new medical office building. The old medical office building was literally built on stilts and had far surpassed its golden anniversary. Beyond that, its appearance was an eyesore, McMillan said.

“It was the first thing that people saw in Cody, which is a tourist community, and in the summertime we have over three million people who either go into or exit Yellowstone National Park.”

The new 60,000 square-foot medical office building was about a mile from the campus proper. Initially, the community was against the first phase, McMillan said, especially when a large portion of the building was unoccupied.

Ten years after the fact, those concerns have been answered. The building has accommodated the organization’s projected growth, and now 50,000 square feet is in use by existing and newly recruited physicians.

WPH’s story amply demonstrates how an overview of a facility’s history can give you an idea of how “with it” and forward-thinking this potential employer is going to be. Imagine being hired at a place where there is no plan to improve the facility or the plan is haphazard and unorganized.

As physicians and advanced practitioners who are looking for jobs, taking the time to find out this information during the interview process can save you a lot of stress and frustration down the road.

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