Health Care Happenings: Inside health care at New Ulm Medical Center

Integrator. Increasingly at New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC) we see that a key role for us is to be the integrator of health services for the region we serve. Each year nearly 25,000 people trust us with their primary health care and make over 100,000 visits to our medical center for a broad range of services. Our current national healthcare system has been criticized for not coordinating care well and not sharing information from one provider to another. It can lead to a less-than ideal experience and outcome for the patient. It is for this reason NUMC and Allina Health have been working to bring together as many health services as possible on our campus to serve patients with an integrated approach.

By reinvesting in current services and investing in new services we hope to reduce the need for patients to travel and ensure higher quality and more affordable healthcare. We now have over 40 physicians across many specialties at NUMC and during the past two decades have incorporated essential services including ambulance, home care, hospice, mental health, substance abuse, and home medical equipment to create one of the most robust rural provider systems in Minnesota. Last year with support from the community we reinvested in our Birth Center with a remodel and expansion to ensure this region has access to enhanced obstetrical care. In just six months since the opening of the Birth Center our patient satisfaction increased 10 percent. Another investment to expand local care was the opening of the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute in 2011. In the past few years we have experienced 30% growth to 4,947 visits in 2013 due to more people understanding all of the cancer related services available at VPCI New Ulm. Our most recent new investments include eye clinic and optical services from ophthalmologist and surgeon Dr. Natalia Kramarevsky along with a new retail pharmacy that is connected to our clinic. Both services have improved access and convenience while providing a more integrated experience for our patients.

There are services we have not been able to offer full-time in New Ulm, but we have partnered with other providers to bring them to our campus. Today, physicians from Minneapolis Heart Institute, Mankato Clinic, Noran Neurological Clinic, Institute for Low Back and Neck Care all come to our community and work with local providers to care for patients. In the next couple months we will pilot new technology using video conferencing or telehealth for cardiology and emergency services. This new relationship with physicians at Abbott Northwestern and Minneapolis Heart Institute will connect our patients and providers with specialists quickly, thus minimizing delays and travel.

In summary, we see a future where individuals who entrust us with their health will be connected to healthcare providers and services through a highly integrated model. This model will allow us to improve your healthcare through new and existing physician and system partnerships, a common electronic medical record, shared patient-centered goals across our teams, and the use of technology to connect our patients to needed specialists in the Twin Cities.

Feedback is an essential part of improving our integration and making sure our patients are getting the health care services that they need. If you have feedback at any time please contact me at newulmmedicalcenter@allina.com.


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