Kadlec Regional Medical Center’s two new administrators have set ambitious goals heading into the new year with the common denominator being improved patient care.
Among their priorities are reducing patient wait time, streamlining services between the hospital and outpatient care and working to become a Level 2 trauma care center.
The two new administrators joined the Richland-based Kadlec executive team last year.
Reza Kaleel is Kadlec’s new chief executive. He came to Kadlec from Grand Junction, Colorado, where he served for five years as executive vice president and chief operating officer for St. Mary’s Medical Center.
Kaleel has worked in hospital administration since 1997, beginning his career in strategic planning and finance before working his way up through various leadership roles in hospital operations.
He moved to the Mid-Columbia with his wife and their young daughter in July.
“We love it here. We keep saying it’s the perfect size; it has all the amenities of bigger cities minus the traffic and overwhelming size,” he said.
Brian Barry is the new chief operating officer for Kadlec Clinic, a network of specialty and ambulatory care clinics. Previously, he served as the regional vice president of the Ambulatory Network for SSM Health’s mid-Missouri region. He has a long career in strategic planning and business development.
He began his executive role in May. He moved here with his wife and two children because he wanted to be closer to family.
Kaleel said that they’ll be working closely to improve access and reduce wait times to specialty care services.
“One of the biggest problems we’re facing is access to our specialty areas where we have more demand than we can keep up with, like cardiology for example. We have a terrific team that is trying to keep up with the sheer volume and growth in the community, so that is definitely one of our goals, to improve immediate access,” Kaleel said.
Both Barry and Kaleel attribute Kadlec’s growth to the Tri-Cities’ growth and the need to provide services to meet the needs of an aging population.
“We’re experiencing large growth trajectories and we need to keep up with the services required to meet the needs for a bigger population — that is what we’re trying to accomplish. We have pockets of greater demand than there is supply. We need to be accountable to find out where those gaps are; we have a deliberate focus on filling the gaps that are there,” Barry said.
To alleviate some of that pressure and reduce wait times in areas such as the emergency room, Kadlec recently opened Express Care clinics in Kennewick’s Canyon Lakes area off Highway 395 and Richland’s growing Queensgate Drive area.
The new clinics allow patients to receive immediate care for less acute conditions, such as sore throat, flu, sprain, allergies or persistent cough. Appointments can be scheduled online at expresscare.kadlec.org and all standard visits cost $139.
“It has a more retail feel, providing really quick and convenient access for more routine and convenient care for lower acuity needs. We want to provide an access point to a population that just wants to get in and get out if they’re dealing with a sick kiddo or nagging flu,” Barry said.
Another goal for 2017 is to streamline services and the hand-off between the hospital, clinics and outpatient care services.
“One of the things that is really exciting about Kadlec is that is has built such a presence in the community, so I think there is a great space in terms of having all the services you need to provide for the community. A big part of my job is bringing all those pieces in more tightly so that patients can have a more seamless experience and make it easier to navigate,” Kaleel said.
“It’s important for us and everyone in health care to adopt an integrated care model so that patients have much more consistent and similar experiences as they move through a variety of points of care. We want it to be easy and simple for the patient,” Barry said.
Kaleel also hopes to begin the process this year of Kadlec becoming a state-accredited Level 2 trauma facility — allowing it to service patients suffering from serious or life-threatening bodily injuries such as motor vehicle collisions and gunshot wounds. There are no other Level 2 trauma centers in the Tri-Cities. The nearest one is Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital in Spokane.
“Becoming a Level 2 trauma center will allow us to provide services locally in a more seamless fashion and in coordination with others,” Kaleel said.
There are several things Kadlec will need to work on to earn the accreditation, from hiring surgical leadership to oversee the accreditation to specialist medical providers who specialize in trauma surgery.
“Kadlec has done a great job historically in positioning itself for the future,” Kaleel said.
Kadlec affiliated in 2014 with Providence, a not-for-profit health system comprised of 34 hospitals in five western states.
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