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      Six-month checkup on Marquette General Hospital

      Six months ago Marquette General Hospital was acquired by Duke LifePoint Healthcare, and on Wednesday morning, administrators released a six-month checkup and overview of activities since the purchase.

      "Broken down into four categories of significant progress, it is amazing how far we have come as an organization since MGH was acquired by Duke LifePoint last fall," said MGH CEO Gary Muller. "Our expectations have been greatly exceeded, and it is important the community we serve be kept abreast of the depth of activity that has taken place and will soon take place."

      Officials say that the strategic plan for 2013 includes a four-pronged approach to measuring progress, broken down into the categories of quality, physicians, financial and facility. Hospital administrators said that the first crucial step was defining and measuring quality standards to compare to sister Duke LifePoint hospitals.

      "These quality measurement tools must be accompanied by action," Muller added. "The first step of which is identifying priority areas of improvement."

      The hospital now uses measurement and benchmarking tools to rate the following areas of service:

      - Communication with Doctors- Communication with Nurses- Overall Hospital Rating- Pain Management- Responsiveness of Hospital Staff- Quietness of Hospital Environment- Cleanliness of Hospital- Discharge Information- Percentage of Domains Meeting National Median Score- Recommend the Hospital

      Officials at MGH said that the early priority for 2013 includes anesthesia, access to care, process improvements, hospital-based services, physician engagement and improving patient experiences. Administrators have also been working to broaden the base of Superior Health Partners. Helen Newberry Joy Hospital became the eighth member of the partnership recently, and an announcement regarding a ninth hospital will soon be made.

      More than a dozen new physicians have also joined Marquette General Hospital since the acquisition in September. Officials said that this is a result of tens of millions of dollars allocated towards the aggressive pursuit of physician placement and recruitment. More than $1.3 million was spent on physician recruitment within the first four months of the MGH purchase.

      According to officials, Duke LifePoint is expected to make around $300 million in capital expenditures over the next 10 years. Muller added that the community will see a significant tax base increase due to the investor-owned status of Marquette General Hospital.

      "While the final amount Marquette General will pay to several municipalities in the Upper Peninsula in the form of taxes has not yet been determined, it is clear that virtually every aspect pertaining to quality of life in the region will be vastly improved," Muller explained.

      MGH plans to make facility upgrades as well as cosmetic changes, including major brick and mortar construction projects. Administrators are working on the approval of a detailed facilities plan and timetable for 2013 that could involve almost $20 million in facility upgrades.

      You can check out Marquette General Hospital's website to stay updated on the hospital's progress, or follow them here on Twitter.