LEITCHFIELD, KY. (Feb. 27, 2012): Officials of Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center (TLRMC) in Leitchfield, Ky., and Norton Healthcare, Louisville, Ky.'s leading health care system, today announced that the two health care organizations have entered into a formal affiliation agreement.
The new agreement features these key elements for TLRMC:
- Full access by TLRMC medical providers and staff to the extensive training, education and management development services provided by Norton University. These include more than 500 free, accredited online courses in 19 distinct disciplines, including administration, clinical laboratory science, dietetics, emergency medical services, medical records, nurse aide/nursing assistant, nursing, occupational therapy, patient education, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician, physician (ethics), radiologic technology, required safety, respiratory therapy, social work, support staff, and wellness/personal enrichment. TLRMC management and staff will also have access to Norton University management and leadership development classes, offered both in Louisville and Leitchfield. TLRMC management will also have the opportunity to attend Norton Healthcare's management development conferences in Louisville.
- Development of new and existing clinical programs and services through extension of expertise and resources associated with Norton Healthcare's Clinical Service Lines and Centers of Excellence to help make that care more available in the communities served by TLRMC.
- Better coordination of continuity of care for patients who do require specialized or tertiary care and need to seek that care outside of the communities served by TLRMC. This will include resources such as enhanced use of the Norton Healthcare Access Center, which serves as a single point of resource for patients, families and physicians, to connect with physicians and services available through Norton Healthcare.
- Better position TLRMC to be able to manage the inevitable but unknown changes that are rapidly coming to the health care industry under health care reform. This includes the need for rural health care organizations to align themselves with tertiary partners through affiliation agreements of this type.
In addition to the benefits of the new affiliation agreement, TLRMC has been announced as one of three rural hospitals in Kentucky and Indiana to receive a grant to install telemedicine equipment. The grants, made by the Norton Healthcare Foundation, resulted from funding provided through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Program. Medical carts outfitted with video conferencing equipment and peripheral devices such as digital stethoscopes will connect to specialists operating laptop control stations at Norton Healthcare's five hospitals in Louisville. The medical carts provide a way for the large hospital specialists to be at the patient's bedside for examination, consultation, referrals and prescriptions. Through the video connection, the physicians can also access the patient's medical record and document their notes in the system. With an emphasis on pulmonary, cardiology, neurology and critical care, the project plans to reduce the number of patient transfers, reduce the outmigration of patients outside of their communities, and reduce the risk of transferring critically ill patients. It will also decrease the overall cost of patient care while increasing the quality of personalized care.
"As an affiliate of Norton Healthcare, Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center will enjoy the best of both worlds – access to the resources of the leading health system in Louisville, while retaining local ownership and leadership in daily operations," said Stephen Meredith, CEO of TLRMC. "As the beginning stages of this relationship, Norton Healthcare will help us build clinical and management excellence through access to the broad array of education and training courses available through Norton University. The agreement also provides the opportunity to work with Norton Healthcare to further develop our clinical programs and services. We are ecstatic to have achieved this new affiliation agreement."
"We are pleased to provide residents served by Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center with enhanced access to continuing education programs, tertiary care and other medical services to support the medical center's existing programs and services," said Michael Esposito, system vice president, Business Development, and executive director, Service Line Operations for Norton Healthcare. "Providing these services to residents in Grayson, Breckinridge, Butler, Edmonson, Hart and Ohio counties in Kentucky, is part of Norton Healthcare's not-for-profit mission to improve the health status of the communities we serve. We are delighted to have TLRMC as a new partner in improving community health."
About Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center
Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center, in Grayson County, Ky., is a 75-bed regional hospital providing inpatient and outpatient services to the residents of a six-county area with a population of more than 90,000. In 1951, concerned citizens made a commitment to serve the medical needs of the community by building the 14,000-square-foot Grayson County War Memorial Hospital. Located near the original facility, TLRMC has grown to almost 300,000 square feet, is now one of the region's largest employers, and has come to be recognized as a regional health care provider.
It is the vision of TLRMC to be recognized by the people it serves as the provider of choice for their health care needs and as a leading force for progressive change within our community. For more information on Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center, go to tlrmc.com or call (270) 259-9588.