NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 4, 2011

Officials say hospital in good position for change

NEWBURYPORT — Anna Jaques Hospital has seen a softening in demand for medical services this year, but a maximizing of its purchasing power and a growing reputation for quality and caring has kept the institution on solid footing.

Officials were happy to report at their annual meeting yesterday that despite "surprises" on the revenue side, brought on by enormous changes taking place within the national health care environment, the city's home-grown community health center has continued a five-year trend of ending the year firmly in the black. And with the expectation that things are going to get even tougher, they said Anna Jaques is positioning itself to reap the benefits of a very dramatic overhaul of the country's health care system, which is already sending shock waves through the health care industry.

"It has been a good period for Anna Jaques, but it is about to get a lot tougher," said Anna Jaques President and CEO Delia O'Connor.

At a meeting with 150 stakeholders, employees and community members at the Blue Ocean Music Hall yesterday, O'Connor touted some of the biggest achievements at Anna Jaques in the past year, including its ability to continue to boost patient satisfaction numbers in the emergency room and birth center, and to cut costs in simple ways that have made a significant difference in the hospital's bottom line.

"Most people don't care if the rubber gloves they're wearing are one brand over the other," said O'Connor of the "by comparison" cost-cutting measures doctors and nursing staff instituted as a means of doing their part. "They know that's money we can put back into the hospital. They want us to do well."

This year, the hospital will begin work on a major capital project, building 15 private hospital rooms in a new wing, installing a new energy-efficient power plant to replace the aging one currently in use and rebuilding the entrance to beautify the hospital campus.

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