The following excerpt summarized John Rutledge’s presentation on our July 2018 State of the Union Call for all employees and providers.
We acknowledge that it is important for us to communicate well to all of our audiences as we continue to enjoy growth. We have a number of ways we communicate on a regular basis—our annual leadership conference, regional meetings with our directors, monthly operating report (MOR) calls, this quarterly newsletter, Tony’s Medical Director Huddle webinars, and email blasts, to name a few. Many of these, however, are aimed at our medical directors, so we wanted to have this call to make sure we communicate directly with you—the folks who are on the front lines caring for patients every day. One of the things you hear us say frequently is it’s important to us to exceed the expectations of our patients, providers and hospital partners. We recognize you are the face of APP, and we want to hear from you what we are doing well and how we can improve.
I wanted to briefly share the APP story if you aren’t already aware of it. I had been a long-time hospital and system executive who was on the client side of ED management companies. I felt they were not leading on quality, and they weren’t very good communicators. So in May 2015, I started APP with the intention of being a management company—not a staffing firm. So far I think we’ve done a pretty good job. We’ve enjoyed great growth, have a high provider retention rate, and have never lost a client contract. I recognize we are still a young company, and we are learning every day. While we don’t know it all, I think we’ve been successful in building a culture of doing the right thing and being a great partner with our client hospitals. Continuous communication with our providers and our hospital partners has been the key to our success.
We believe our Dyad Leadership model sets us apart by pairing an operations leader who has hospital experience and understands the needs of hospital executives with a regional medical director who understands the needs of our providers. This dyad team supports the medical director at each site, which is the most important hire we make. We invest the time and resources to ensure we hire the right people for this critical role. Unlike other companies, our medical directors work fewer clinical shifts so they can partake in hospital committees and lead regular meetings with our hospital partners. In fact, many of our medical directors are elected to the position of Chief of Staff in our hospitals—a true testament to their leadership.
Since we started in May 2015, we have doubled our growth each year, and we are set to finish this year with 100-110 contracts and roughly three million patient visits a year. I’m often asked if we can continue to grow at this pace and not lose sight of who we are and continue to do a stellar job for each hospital. My answer is a resounding “yes.” Because of our regional dyad structure, we can add new contracts without that growth impacting the other regions. We also don’t allow any region to grow beyond a certain size, allowing for strong relationships and regular communication between our dyad leaders and their respective provider teams and hospital partners. Not only have we added new contracts, but we’re adding larger, more diverse facilities. We currently have ties with seven residency programs, including one in Michigan that’s one of the largest in the country. We also have a number of pediatric facilities, trauma centers, and free-standing EDs. For the time being, we have lots of growth opportunities in emergency medicine and hospital medicine and don’t have any need to expand beyond those service lines.
Why is our growth important to you? First of all, growth leads to more contract stability, ensuring retention of our providers. It also allows more opportunities for us to grow our teams from within, providing a career track for our physicians from line physician to assistant medical director, medical director, and regional medical director. Additionally, as we add new states to our footprint, it allows more diversity in geographic opportunities, affording you opportunities to relocate if desired.
Overall, our goal isn’t to be the fastest-growing company—it’s to be the best. And our statistics demonstrate that we have successfully achieved our goal of being a management company, not a staffing company, that leads on quality. We recognize that we couldn’t achieve this goal if it weren’t for you, and we are appreciative of the job you do providing safe, compassionate and efficient care to every patient, every time. Thank you for all you do.