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VOL. 128 | NO. 181 | Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Independent Growth

The Jones Clinic evolves as number of patients increases

By Michael Waddell

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The Jones Clinic is taking steps this summer to accommodate growing patient referrals, with recent hires at key positions and an operational overhaul involving conversion to electronic medical record systems.

Chief Operating Officer David B. Crislip, from left, Dr. Michael Jones and Physician Relations Manager Kristen Lane are part of the team at The Jones Clinic. 

(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)

With its competition all recently aligning with major hospital systems, The Jones Clinic is in a unique position as the area’s only remaining independent oncology and hematology clinic.

“We would like to remain where we can be focused on the patients’ problems and individualized care, and not be quite so concerned about institutional goals,” said founder Dr. C. Michael Jones, who opened his clinic in 1997 and now operates offices in Germantown and New Albany, Miss. “We want to maintain good relationships with all of the area hospital systems, so we will be able to serve patients across the region.”

The clinic is in the middle of moving forward with its Meaningful Use initiative, as mandated in the Affordable Care Act, involving conversion to electronic medical records and position order entry systems.

“Implementing a new EMR system is challenging in a time of declining reimbursement,” Jones said.

He believes the conversion should be completed by Oct. 1.

“There are many benefits, including having aggregated data to help find best patient outcomes and efficiencies,” said David Crislip, new chief operating officer for The Jones Clinic following the retirement of David Rea. “It’s a time-consuming project, but there are many benefits in the end.”

Crislip has been involved in health care since he became a Navy Corpsman at 17. He finished his bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1992, and has spent the past 14 years working for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare’s Fayette Hospital in Somerville, Tenn., as the administrator and chief nurse officer. He went back to school to get a master’s degree in business in 2007 and became a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives in 2010.

Crislip feels one of the main goals in his current position is to bring new technologies and new processes to patients to better their physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

“Working with patients is the core of what we do. We are focused on outpatient and extended-care treatment of hematology and oncology that addresses the mind, body, and the perception of self both during treatment and post-treatment,” said Crislip, who joined the clinic in July.

He points out that the clinic also stays active outside its four walls with year-round community education and involvement activity, including classes at Cordova Community Center centered around music and relaxation, and tai chi.

Kristen Lane joined the clinic in August to take over the newly created position of physician relations manager.

“We hired Kristen to find out what referring doctors need from us. We are facing a lot of competition from hospital-owned clinics, and we’re going to have to be a little more aggressive in our posturing than we have been,” Jones said.

Lane brings nearly ten years of experience to the job, including previous work with hospice pharmacies, home health and hospice care, and health care recruiting.

“After seeing the dedication and compassion of Dr. Jones and the staff toward their patients, I knew I wanted the job here,” said Lane, who travels throughout the region introducing The Jones Clinic to physicians and surgeons and maintaining relationships with established partners.

“It’s important for me to know patients at The Jones Clinic will continue to get the customized treatment and individualized cancer plans that they need and deserve,” she said. “When the patients walk through the doors here, they are treated like family.”

The clinic continues to grow, now with 55 total employees, and is currently in the process of trying to recruit some new extended-care providers to help meet more demand.

Jones hopes to hire two more physicians by next year to handle some of the increasing number of patients visiting the clinic’s two locations.

The Jones Clinic also stays extremely active with clinical trials and maintains about 20 open trials at all times.

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