Arkansas Surgical Hospital

Arkansas Surgical Hospital

City: North Little Rock
Category: Category III (76-300 Employees)
Year: 2013

When the Arkansas Surgical Hospital opened in 2005, the group of doctors who owned it soon realized they were going to need more space.

"They did not anticipate how many patients would start requesting the facility," said Carrie Helm, the CEO of the North Little Rock hospital.

It was one of the few facilities that offered all private rooms for its patients with back and orthopedic ailments. 

It opened with 16 beds and five operating rooms and quickly outgrew its space. In 2006, ASH broke ground on an expansion that brought the facility to 51 beds and nine operating rooms.

Since July 2008, the facility has doubled the number of patients it sees annually to about 15,000, Helm said.

The total patient revenue also has been climbing. In 2012, it was $177 million, up 12 percent from 2011, Helm said.

In November, after it was selected as a finalist, the ownership structure changed. ASH decided to sell 51 percent of its company to Medical Facilities Corp. of Toronto for $36.2 million. The 14 physician-owners kept a 49 percent interest in ASH.

Helm said the move made sense because Medical Facilities Corp. owns other surgical hospitals and ASH can participate in group purchasing to trim expenses.

Helm said one of the reasons for the hospital's success was because its surgeons become involved in all levels of care that the patient receives. She also said the staff of 290 employees treats the patients like they are family members.

In addition, ASH has received a number of quality and safety awards, including recognition for having an infection rate of less than 0.2 percent compared with the national average of 3 percent. And ASH is in the top 1 percent nationally for patient satisfaction, Helm said.

"So for Arkansans to get this kind of specialized care is really exceptional for our state," she said.

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