MARYVILLE, Mo. — Just 67 days into the transition from SSM Health St. Francis Hospital, Nate Blackford, president of Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville, spoke Friday to community members at a hospital-sponsored Lunch and Learn event about some of the hospital’s challenges and future plans including a possible connection to the Mayo Care Clinic.

“As much as things have changed, things have stayed the same,” said Blackford. “The caregivers remain the same. Providers remain the same. Staff remains the same. … Our caregivers, our local staff did an outstanding job through the transition, kept their heads, treated each other with respect.”

He said the traditional values of St. Francis and Mosaic are not dissimilar.

“Things like servant-leadership, stewardship, compassion, integrity, those are core values of both organizations,” Blackford said. “The DNA of the organization, the values of the organizations are simply not that much different.”

He explained that there have been some challenges during the transition, but overall it’s been smooth. He also put some rumors to rest.

Concerning the faith-based traditions of the hospital, Blackford said he’d heard people wondering about the chapel and crosses throughout the building and behaviors put in place through SSM Health.

Mosaic made a five-year commitment to honor all faith traditions that were consistent with St. Francis throughout its 125 years serving the community.

“When it comes to birth control related things from a clinical perspective as well as cultural traditions such as the 9 o’clock prayer, active chapel, all of those things have remained,” he said. “Those traditions will continue. … (It’s) important to me personally as well. Not only is it a commitment that we made to the organization, but it’s very important to me and our caregivers that we maintain those traditions.”

Another concern brought up by a community member is the fact that electronic medical data previously collected in MyChart will not be transferred to the online Mosaic Portal. Blackford said Mosaic didn’t purchase medical patient data.

“Therefore none of that information can legally come forward into our system because we didn’t purchase those medical records,” he explained.

Users can add the data they wish through the user interface online, and doctors and caregivers still have access to Epic Systems Corp. record information.

Blackford said a manual effort is underway to move critical patient data from the previous medical record system to the Cerner electronic medical record system.

“We’re moving those over one at a time,” he said. “The reality is, that’s not going to get to every single patient. So there are going to be some that won’t be caught through this manual process.”

Future

Moving forward, Blackford spoke about some of the hospital’s future plans including a strong commitment to cancer care, growing the orthopedic and sports medicine area, and applying to become a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

Combining the Cancer Care Center in Maryville with the St. Joseph providers is moving slowly as billing and operational systems are being integrated.

“We’re not there yet, but we are working to merge those two clinics,” he said. “We want to be the one-stop shop for cancer care in this area. We’ve got the facilities to do it. We need to integrate the providers. We are actively taking steps to do that. … We’re just not in a single facility yet. Hopefully we will be soon.”

Another opportunity Blackford sees is growing the orthopedic and sports health medicine. He said a number of orthopedic physicians will begin coming up to provide services in the coming months.

“We had a robust orthopedics program before,” he said. “We are going to have another robust orthopedics program that’s going to deliver high quality patient care.”

Women’s health and obstetrics is another area Blackford said the hospital plans to refocus.

“We have an opportunity, I think to earn the right to take care of more women who are expecting mothers than what we currently do,” he said. “We’re excited about … refreshing that program.”

With regard to the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Blackford said Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph was one of the first hospitals to join the network.

“Mayo has been very open and free about sharing their expertise,” he said. “They want to raise the health platform across, well really across the world, but especially here in the United States and they very freely share their resources, their knowledge, but it can be hard to access.”

Dr. Mark Laney, CEO of Mosaic Life Care and pediatric neurologist who trained at Mayo, was instrumental in getting that set up with Mosaic and Blackford said they’re working to get that extended to the hospital in Maryville.

A 337-page application has been submitted to Mayo for site certification at Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville. Members from the Mayo Clinic Care Network were on site about two weeks ago for a tour and the interview process.

The real benefit that would provide patients and members of the community is e-consultation with providers in the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

Should a primary care provider in St. Joseph need some insight on a medical case, Blackford said he or she can send off the relevant data and receive back recommendations for treatment or an offer for treatment to be performed at the Mayo Clinic.

“I can’t say it’s expedited,” he said. “But I can say it’s streamlined.”

He said there are a lot of different ways to plug into the Mayo network, all of which will help get more care provided in Maryville should the site receive certification.

Follow us onTwitter@TheDailyForum