Healthcare Hero Finalist

There are several factors driving the need for innovation in health care, including the need to improve access, reduce costs and the desire to improve efficiency.

In addition, community integration is fast becoming an important issue for health care organizations as the industry works to make delivery of services more convenient for patients.

“Retiring Baby Boomers and the prevalence of chronic illness are overwhelming our traditional, encounter-based health care delivery model and productivity is suffering as a result,” said William Greene, CEO of Premier Gastroenterology Associates, based in Little Rock.

In the past, Greene noted, health care innovation focused on developing new medical devices, diagnostic procedures or drug therapies; areas in which the U.S. had excelled. While this has resulted in impressive results, the focus has been relatively narrow.

In the future, innovation in health care needs to produce exponential change in the delivery of services to the patient population, Greene said, which will in turn create improvement in population health and wellness and have a direct impact on local economies.

$35 million
Cost of development of Premier Medical Plaza
Anticipated number of daily patients at Premier Medical Plaza
Estimated SF of building space at Premier Medical Plaza

Preparing to open its current practice, Premier identified three primary needs requiring an innovative approach: a need to improve community access to health care, a need to improve productivity and efficiency within the practice and in the health care delivery process in general and the need for health care/community integration, resulting in an economic benefit to the local community.

Premier is engaged in a $35 million project to convert a vacant Kmart location into a state-of-the-art medical plaza that will address those needs. The building space is approximately 80,000 SF and will house a technologically advanced, ambulatory surgery center taking up 20,000 SF and a medical clinic taking up roughly the same space.

From parking to surrounding amenities, the facility will address the access and community integration problem and, projected to receive 400 patients a day, will benefit the economy of the West Village area of Little Rock.

By integrating multiple specialties and services into the new medical plaza Premier creates efficiencies and improves productivity within the practice by including services like pathology and phlebotomy. Additionally, in a new location, Premier has the luxury of utilizing an efficient new clinical pod design, which will improve efficiency of the clinical staff, enabling patients to spend a shorter amount of time in the exam room.

“Our Premier Medical Plaza development is the perfect intersection of health care and community development.”

— William Greene