Continuing Education Dept. to Help Medical Center
By Sherry Kughn
March 17, 2004 -- When Jacksonville Medical Center (JMC) decided
to improve their customer service they recently looked to Jacksonville
State University's Continuing Education Department for help. The joint
discussions led to the creation of Partners in Service Excellence, a
program that will eventually train JMC's 57 department managers in the
areas of time management, software skills improvement, and human resources
"We chose JSU's Contining Education Department because we had already
been engaging in partnership building with them," said Vikki Floyd,
JMC's director of marketing and public relations. "We are lucky to have
JSU so close, because they have the expertise we need."
The management team of the new JMC attended a seminar on Friday, March
12, entitled "Understanding Self and Others to Enhance a Productive
Environment." This was the first of many activities planned as a result
of result of the project, said Belinda Blackburn, assistant director
of JSU's Continuing Education Department. She served as a liaison between
JMC and JSU.
"Everyone went away from the meeting with a new perspective," said Blackburn.
"They seemed excited about how best to enhance their work environment
by interacting more productively with their co-workers."
JSU's Continuing Education Department seeks to help other companies
in the training of employees. "We're glad to partner with someone right
here in this community," said Blackburn. "We think that they (JMC) are
an under-utilized resource. We would love to see the community take
advantage of this great medical center right here in our backyard, and
we're happy to have a part in helping them achievement their goals."
JMC has been involved in a long term effort to be considered the first
place community members think of in terms of health care, said Jodi
Beauregard, the hospital's CEO and administrator.
Three years ago the hospital's parent company, Triad Hospitals, of Dallas,
surveyed the community for their opinions of the old hospital. In the
survey, reported in 2002, the concerns were that the building needed
an update, that technology was outdated, and that more doctors who were
specialists were needed. Since that survey JMC has added a new emergency
room and $3.2 million in other renovations. Seven new physicians with
various specialties have been added, and more than $3 million in improvements
have been made in technology.
Beauregard is proud of the report from the latest community survey taken
last year. The results showed patient satisfaction as high. "That doesn't
just happen on its own," she said.
JMC's staff is not content, though, with past improvements. Floyd said
they want to excel in customer satisfaction, such as in the amount of
time their staff spends with patients and the patient's families. That's
where JSU Continuing Education Department comes in, said both Floyd
"We feel JSU has the expertise in taking us to that next level," said
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