Published on March 30, 2022

Teamwork, Trust, and Treatment - Ozarks Healthcare recognizes Physicians’ Collaboration on National Doctors’ Day

Teamwork takes place in the Ozarks every day. From baseball fields and rodeo arenas to family farms and classrooms, the people of the Ozarks use teamwork around the clock to work and play. The concept of teamwork also carries into the professional world, especially in healthcare.

Celebrated annually on March 30, National Doctors’ Day is a time to focus on the dedication and medical talent of physicians across the country. This Doctors’ Day, Ozarks Healthcare is commemorating the teamwork that is used between local physicians to treat and lead patients to a better quality of life. While some of the collaborative efforts between physicians are not always noticeable to the eye, there is always communication between physicians and their staff to ensure timely and efficient care. When seconds count in healthcare, it is this kind of teamwork that can save lives.

Ozarks Healthcare physicians from all services agree communication between physicians and all levels of staff is at the forefront of successful teamwork in healthcare.

“Communication between providers is the most important aspect of providing excellent care to patients,” Dr. Kendell Clarkston, Hospitalist Director at Ozarks Healthcare, said. “This sharing of information between physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, dietary, and other services is essential to provide seamless, efficient, and best-practice care in our hospital. This reduces errors and keeps everybody on the same page for the patient’s treatment plan.”

Weekly and often daily “huddles” are a part of life at Ozarks Healthcare, from hospital departments to outlying rural health clinics. Huddles may not be as common across larger health systems, but according to Dr. William McGee, cardiothoracic surgeon and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Ozarks Healthcare, the entire health system benefits greatly from being small enough to communicate so closely.

“Providers rely heavily on the assessments, professional skill set, and intuition of our staff to relay to us areas of the patient's care that need to be addressed,” McGee said. “These lines of communication are vital as we review and act on large volumes of data. Our nursing service has daily "huddles," as they address the immediate upcoming needs of their patients. This form of information sharing frequently includes physicians and the administrative staff.”  

The bond between physicians at Ozarks Healthcare also plays a part into patients’ full spectrum of care at the health system. Because of their close proximity to each other and dependency on each other’s expertise, Ozarks Healthcare physicians know when and how best to rely on each other.

“It is rare that a day goes by when I am at work that I will not be in some form of communication with my physician colleagues discussing the needs of one of my patients, or I may be discussing the needs of theirs,” McGee said. “This does not only occur while the sun is up – it can happen at any time. It is comforting to know that you can reach out to your colleagues at a moment’s notice and have a thorough and enlightening discussion about a problem that you may have with one of your patients.”

Having unity in healthcare means being on the same page with the use of certain platforms and technology. In a world of technology that is constantly changing, physicians at Ozarks Healthcare are constantly reviewing best forms of communication and discussing improvements that can be made for the most efficient care of patients.

“When a patient sees a specialist, he may leave with referrals to one, two, or sometimes three other providers as the assessment by the specialist determines other areas of need that must be addressed to allow for complete return of health,” McGee said. “We providers communicate with each other through multiple means, such as phone calls, electronic communications, team bedside exams, specialty conferences, and always the "curbside chat" as physicians meet each other in the hallways.”

The electronic health record (EHR) system Ozarks Healthcare providers and staff use, also known as MEDITECH Expanse, recently achieved top honors from KLAS Research, a leading healthcare information technology (IT) research firm. Medical providers and staff can see what has been done for a patient from the time he or she enters Ozarks Healthcare’s Emergency Department, receives inpatient care, undergoes a surgery, and completes follow-up appointments, in one simplified electronic system. Additional ambulatory services such as Ozarks Healthcare Wound Care, have also been added to Ozarks Healthcare’s EHR, simplifying physicians’ approach to recording and reading patients’ medical history.

“Because of the nature of their disease, some of our patients may be seen by other physicians to treat other conditions associated with chronic wounds, such as diabetes and limited physical mobility,” Dr. Magdy Giurgius, general and bariatric surgeon and provider at Ozarks Healthcare Wound Care, said. “We rely on our colleague physicians’ data to better diagnose and treat our patients’ entire wellbeing. Our consistent use of our EHR is a part of the teamwork we use every day to lead our patients to a healthier lifestyle.”

Ozarks Healthcare’s diverse group of more than 60 physicians and 30 mid-level providers have hundreds of years of collective experience from across the world. This means worldwide passions for healthcare unite every day in the Ozarks to care for Ozarks Healthcare’s community.

“For a community our size, I have never seen such a concentration of expertise and specialty in one place,” McGee said. “Not only do we get to practice at such a high standard the medicine we love in a facility with the latest medical technology; we also get to see the results of such efforts. A healthy community is more successful, vibrant, productive, innovative, culturally rich, and a happier place to live.”

Teamwork is engrained into the culture at Ozarks Healthcare. In fact, it is one of the health system’s seven core values. Along with teamwork, accountability, superior service, integrity, compassion, enthusiasm, and respect are values all employees commit to incorporating into their roles at Ozarks Healthcare.

To learn more about Ozarks Healthcare’s physicians, visit https://www.ozarkshealthcare.com/find-a-doctor/.

Ozarks Healthcare is a system of care encompassing primary care and specialty clinics, along with complete rehabilitation, behavioral healthcare, and home health services. While the 114-bed acute care hospital cares for more than 5,400 admissions, the entire health system has more than 364,000 patient visits annually in South Central Missouri and Northern Arkansas. For more information about Ozarks Healthcare, visit www.OzarksHealthcare.com.

Pictured from left to right: Dr. Kendell Clarkston, Hospitalist Director at Ozarks Healthcare, Dr. William McGee, cardiothoracic surgeon and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Ozarks Healthcare, and Dr. Magdy Giurgius, general and bariatric surgeon and provider at Ozarks Healthcare Wound Care

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