Name: Scott Street
Hospital: Medical Center of South Arkansas
Education: Master’s of Health Care Administration from University of Missouri and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University
What do you think is the biggest issue facing the health care industry in Arkansas today?
Shortage of medical professionals. Access to care and wellness education close to home.
Why is that the biggest issue?
There is a lack of providers in much of rural Arkansas. Compounding this issue is a lack of education on wellness, healthy diet, exercise and preventive care.
What about next year? Five years from now?
Affordable health care will continue to be the focus next year and for the next five years. A major factor in this is cost containment that is a constant struggle with regulations imposed on hospitals in today’s environment.
How do you work towards improving physician-hospital relations?
We strive for a culture of complete transparency and encourage each physician to share their ideas and concerns. Our administrative staff has an open-door policy. In addition, we have a director of physician outreach who routinely visits with each of the area physician clinics to ensure open communication and resolve issues quickly with the proper department and administrative leadership.
What impact has the opioid crisis had on Arkansas hospitals?
Because of the demand in south Arkansas, we are opening a medical withdrawal management service line and evaluating a plan for an inpatient psychiatric unit in our hospital to address the growing crisis. ER visits for opioid-related emergencies have spiked, creating a stress on hospital ER resources. Our hospital has also reached out to our community with information about our Interventional Chronic Pain Management clinic which provides an alternative to opioid pain medication. The medical staff has ongoing education through CME classes and internal programs about dealing with the crisis on a patient-by-patient basis by managing pain with alternatives to opioids safely. These efforts are supported by the state programs available such as the Arkansas Prescription Monitoring Program and most recently, funding for community health centers for addiction treatment.