Liberty Hospital has been busy, and two recent announcements are a good indication of their efforts.
On the same day the hospital announced plans to explore health partnerships, it also was named once again among the safest hospitals in the country.
Last month, the Board of Trustees and leadership team at Liberty Hospital announced it would soon reach out to more than 30 local, regional and national health systems to begin discussions around common goals and a collaborative vision for growth.
The independent hospital enters this process from a position of financial and organizational strength, allowing it to explore all options to support expanding services to care for the growing Northland.
Nationwide, hospitals face sweeping movements toward outpatient services, value-based care, whole-person health and more. At the same time, the local communities that Liberty Hospital serves are growing quickly. According to the World Population Review, which analyzes state and U.S. Census data among other sources, nearby Platte County is Missouri’s fastest-growing county. Clay County, where Liberty Hospital is located, is the third fastest.
That combination of rapid industry change and community growth means one thing, says Raghu Adiga, MD, Liberty Hospital’s president and chief executive officer: “It’s time for us to expand. As an anchor of health in a burgeoning community, we are entering this partnership exploration at the perfect time.”
The future of healthcare involves becoming more connected, both to individual patients and to other providers and players across the full continuum of care. “If we are to grow into our full potential as a premier provider of health and well-being in the Northland,” explains Dr. Adiga, “we owe it to our patients, employees and communities to understand whether we can best serve them by remaining independent or by partnering with a larger health system.
Dennis Carter, who chairs the Liberty Hospital Board of Trustees, said he has full confidence the partnership exploration will illuminate the right path forward. “Dr. Adiga has worked diligently to ensure a thoughtful, inclusive process driven by independent, bright and highly experienced minds in this field,” stated Carter. “Liberty Hospital has been delivering healthcare to the Northland for nearly 50 years. We have an opportunity to position our organization for growth and to connect people to high-quality healthcare for the next 50 years. We look forward to identifying new and sustainable opportunities.”
Dr. Adiga shared that he and his team expect to conclude the exploration process and reach a final decision sometime this fall. If that decision involves a new health system partner, the partnership could begin as early as next spring. In the meantime, the hospital plans to post updates as the exploration reaches key milestones over the coming months. Anyone can follow the journey online at libertyhospital.org/herewegrow.
The same day, a national, nonprofit safety watchdog that rates how well hospitals protect patients from preventable medical errors, injuries and infections awarded Liberty Hospital an “A” grade for patient safety for its Spring 2023 term. It is the only hospital in the Northland to be awarded four consecutive “A” grades and has ranked highest among Northland hospitals for patient safety during the past three years.
“This outstanding achievement is only possible with a smart, dedicated workforce, and I am tremendously proud of our team for consistently putting patient safety first,” Dr. Adiga said. “Receiving the highest possible score is an incredible accomplishment, and I commend our team’s efforts to achieve such high standards and meet the need for premier healthcare in the Northland.”
The rating organization, the Leapfrog Group, has been committed to making hospitals safe and transparent for over two decades. The Hospital Safety Grade is compiled under the guidance of leading experts and administered by The Leapfrog Group. The score is free to the public and designed to give consumers information they can use to inform themselves and their families when facing a hospital stay. More than 2,600 acute-care hospitals nationwide are graded twice each year, and grades are based on the review of 27 measures.