Fifteen years ago, Medical Emergency Professionals (MEP) began providing service at a single facility: Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, Maryland. From that humble beginning of 12 providers at one facility, MEP has grown into an organization which provides emergency services, observation medicine, transitional care and urgent care to over 400,000 patients per year.
Several months before that beginning, four emergency physicians – MEP’s founding partners – came together to begin the process of incorporating a new business. Those discussions set some pretty simple principles for the new company, including:
- Deliver excellent care.
- Fairness in how we treated each other regarding issues such as scheduling and pay.
- Openness to challenge each other both as individuals and as an organization to continue to improve.
- Build a strong team.
These principles existed long before we had core values or cultural values for our company. Yet even today, MEP’s core culture and values are based on those original principles.
The first years of the company involved proving that we could exist as a business and survive. As we began to grow the question we had to answer is whether our model would work in different geographic settings and in different practice of settings. As we now provide service at seven different facilities in two different states the answer to that question is a resounding yes. That is the feedback we hear from our patients, our hospital clients as well as our colleagues who deliver care on a daily basis.
Our business has been successful as we have sought out best practices both in the clinical practice of medicine and in the business realm. One of our long-term strategic partners, PSR, has allowed us to bring the best business solutions to emergency medicine. The culture of any organization is defined each and every day by the large and small decisions that are made and communicated. The culture of MEP and PSR has been and continues to be consistent with our founding principles.
We faced many challenges along the way. These challenges include the expected ones of working long hours, traveling away from our families, sometimes short-staffed, and filling in shifts wherever we were needed. Our challenges also extended to the extreme and at times tragic. We faced the unexpected death of a colleague, the death of one of our founding partners and the leave of absence of our senior executive after the loss of his first wife. Overcoming these challenges have demonstrated the resiliency of our organization, not just because we overcame them, but because MEP continued to grow and deliver the kind of care that now defines The MEP Way.
What started out as a company of four founding partners has grown to 25 partners including 90 physicians and 55 nurse practitioners and physicians assistants at seven facilities delivering care to 400,000 patients in the four business lines of emergency medicine, observation care, transitional care and urgent care.
The ancient Chinese proverb, may you live in interesting times, certainly applies to those of us in healthcare. As we know we are in a period of rapid change. Organizations that are able to provide value will succeed as we move forward in this transition. Value must be defined as lowering the cost of care and utilization, and demonstrating the highest quality of care with high patient satisfaction.
From the beginning, MEP has been defined by the care that is delivered at each patient’s bedside by each of us. The uniqueness of emergency medicine is that we extend a hand to any patient that walks through our door regardless of their ability to pay or social status. Ours is an honorable profession and one where we really do make a difference every single day in people’s lives.
As we look forward to the next 15 years of our existence, may we stay true to our core values of Compassion, Excellence, Integrity and Trust. We will meet the challenges before us because of the great individuals we have committed to the common purpose of making people better. I am humbled to be one of the leaders of such a great organization and it is my commitment to each one of you that we will continue and improve upon that proud tradition for many years into the future.
- Angelo Falcone, MD (Read other posts by Angelo Falcone)