Q&A with Billy Hayes, CEO of Northside Hospital Cherokee

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Q&A with Billy Hayes, CEO of Northside Hospital Cherokee

January 31, 2017
From the January 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
• The replacement facility will have excellent visibility from major roads and thoroughfares, and there will be ample room for further expansion as the community’s needs grow. The new facility’s footprint is currently 50 acres of a 300-acre lot.
• Our patient rooms are specifically designed to hide visual clutter. The replacement facility will include in-room sleeping accommodations, storage for personal belongings, nursing boards, handrails from bed to toilet room and roll-in showers.
HCB News: Are there any specialties the hospital will focus on?
It’s important to note that the new Northside Hospital Cherokee is, in fact, a replacement hospital, meaning all specialties and services offered at the previous location will be available at the new facility. However, since the replacement hospital is significantly larger than the current one, we will be able to expand services for cancer care through Northside Hospital’s Cancer Institute, orthopedics and surgery services.

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HCB News: What is your patient demographic like?
As a nonprofit hospital, Northside Cherokee treats patients from all walks of life, regardless of financial status or background. We believe that the new facility is an opportunity to expand certain service lines for our existing patient base and also to connect with new demographics in north Georgia, west metro Atlanta and the surrounding areas.

HCB News: Is there any state-of-the-art technology — either medical equipment or health IT technology — at Northside Hospital Cherokee that you’d like to talk about?
The new facility will employ a pharmaceutical robot called ROBOT-Rx from Aesynt. It will help our pharmacists prevent medication errors, reduce pharmacy labor and lower medication inventory. It will also automate medication storage, selection, return and restocking functions, while supporting accuracy, control and compliance. Most importantly, the robot will help eliminate time-consuming tasks for Northside pharmacists, freeing time to focus on clinical care.

HCB News: How did you go about getting the new facility staffed? What’s attracting employees?
We have been actively recruiting for physicians, nurses and administrative staff. Luckily for us, Georgia and Cherokee County are attractive places to live and work, given the warm temperatures, low cost of living and easy access to the comfort of the city.

HCB News: Are there any concerns about the likely repeal of all or some of the Affordable Care Act?
Whenever administration change occurs at the federal or state level, there will always be some apprehension about future health care legislation. I am optimistic that the incoming administration understands the needs and concerns of both health care providers and patients, and will work to meet the needs of both.

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