PMC Takes New Steps for Physician Recruitment

New Entrance to Emergency Room



Prowers Medical Center has employed a new physician recruiting firm which has a 92% placement success rate, especially for rural areas, according to PMC Chief Executive Officer, Craig Loveless. He told the Prowers County Commissioners, the new firm was contracted in an effort to hire internal medicine providers, a priority for the hospital for the past three years.  “This will cost a little more, but should allow us better results,” he explained, adding that with the area’s aging population and rates of chronic illnesses, internal medicine doctors are a priority.  Loveless said in a response to a question he was asked several weeks ago, “The number one job I have as CEO is to recruit and to retain physicians for Prowers Medical Center.” He added that it is a time consuming facet, but a fully staffed hospital is one of the best ways to take care of a community’s medical needs.  He told the commissioners, “We pay a good salary, well above the national average and above the 50th percentile for those just out of school.  But we can only go so far in our salary range, as higher fees wouldn’t work for the community and wouldn’t make economic sense.”  Loveless said he was given one reference for a potential candidate one week after employing the firm and hopes to have another listing in the near future.

Loveless said the hospital is in the process of replacing x-ray equipment and revamping the radiology room which included raising the ceiling and purchasing a table that can automatically be raised and lowered to accommodate the physical limits of patients and staff. The newer equipment, which should be installed by July 9th, will provide better imaging from a variety of angles.  Plans also call for an update on the hospital’s MRI unit.  Injected dyes are used to observe how a patient’s gall bladder functions, while enhanced equipment can aid for cardio patients, Loveless explained.  “Right now, we can do stress echos with ultra sound and our treadmill, but a more expensive unit would perform a full heart scan,” he said, explaining that that cost would be prohibitive without sufficient patients to pay for its cost, so tests of that nature are still conducted in Pueblo or Colorado Springs hospitals which means a patient has to travel out of the area.  “We would like to have that type of equipment on hand, but we would have to perform from 15 to 20 tests a year, otherwise we’d have a negative return on investment.  Sometimes in a rural area, you do have to spend for expensive equipment for health needs of the community, and we would try to find other ways to offset the financial loss while improving the medical care we could provide,” he said.

Prowers Medical Center continues to fulfill its five year plan to upgrade the entire imaging department at the hospital. “We’ve upgraded the ultra sound unit and the CT scanner and the imaging room is underway which still leaves mammography and the MRI and nuclear medicine equipment to be done.”  Loveless said a portion of the hospital’s 40 year old, cast iron sewer line is being replaced which will have one hall in the facility off limits to patients for a couple of weeks.

The CEO said the patient portal continues to be improved. The internet-access website maintained by the hospital can offer instant access to a patient’s medical records and results of their most recent tests.  A patient has to log in and apply for access to the site.  “We’ve sent five of our staff to a conference to discuss ways to streamline the process, but we are working with two portal sites at present, one for the hospital which works very well and the one for the clinic which is being upgraded to fully integrate with the other.  Our long term goal is to offer one single electric health record system for our patients, but it will take time,” he explained.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesCountyFeaturedHealthPublic SafetyUtilities


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