"We asked ourselves what could be done to turn this around," Rogalski says. "A lot focused on growth potential and what could be generated throughout patient care. We focused on what's low cost and high return."
Rogalski says that the hospital worked to improve outpatient programs that would be attractive to the local community, such as expanded physical therapy programs. Physical therapy volumes increased 60% over a year, he adds.
Another key outpatient effort was the addition of a sleep center, according to Rogalski.
Hospital officials had projected two patients per week at the center for 52 weeks. "We finished with 180 by the end of the fiscal year," says Rogalski. "Within six months, I'd say the program paid for itself. We doubled our expectations in the first year."
The sleep issue "is a very undiagnosed problem across the country," he says. "As a country we are exacerbating the problem with the whole obesity issue; people are really having a problem."
This article appears in the January 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.