GraniteOne Health moves forward with Dartmouth-Hitchcock collaboration

  • Monadnock Community Hospital Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/2/2019 5:43:25 PM

After months of talks, GraniteOne Health, which includes Monadnock Community Hospital, has signed a combination agreement with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health.

Both the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health and GraniteOne Health systems already encompass multiple hospitals. The GraniteOne Health affiliates, which includes Mondadnock Community Hospital, Huggins Hospital and Catholic Medical Center, will keep their names and branding, but will combine certain systems and share resources.

“Throughout this process, we have learned so much about what makes each of our organizations important to our communities,” said Rick Botnick, Chair of the GraniteOne Health Board of Trustees, in a press release issued Wednesday. “The system we are forming honors those long-standing commitments and builds on our clinical excellence, to create opportunities for all of New Hampshire to enjoy better health.”

The hospitals involved already collaborate, but have been working towards a deeper level of cooperation through a formal combination agreement for more than a year, Cynthia McGuire, CEO of Monadnock Community Hospital said in an interview Wednesday. 

“I think it’s a really great opportunity for us and for our hospital,” McGuire said. 

Between GraniteOne and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, the member hospitals have about 2,500 physicians throughout the state. Hospitals will be able to work cooperatively to expand patient access to care they may not be able to get at their own hospitals, McGuire said, particularly specialized care.

Monadnock Community Hospital patients will gain access to specialists in dermatology, pulmonology and endocrinology through telemedicine – virtually consulting doctors in other hospitals.

“As a rural hospital, it’s very hard to recruit providers for those kinds of specialties,” McGuire said. 

Eventually, McGuire said, the system will also support a single-platform electronic health record so patients who uses services at different hospitals within the system will not have to arrange for their files to be sent to various care providers.

It’s the kind of system MCH couldn’t have afforded on its own, but solves one more problem for a patient already dealing with health issues.

“It’s very frustrating for patients that their information can’t just be accessed when they’re seeking care,” McGuire said. “But it’s a big cost for a small hospital.”

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health and GraniteOne have signed the agreement, but it will still be some time before patients begin to see the fruit of the collaboration, McGuire said. The combination still has to be approved by the state’s Attorney General and federal regulators, a process which could take between six to 18 months.

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT. 


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