Summit Heatlh of Franklin County is expected to gain new services, medical-record software and medical professionals following the completion of its affiliation with WellSpan health on Nov. 1.
Under the affiliation, WellSpan is adding Summit’s two hospitals in Chambersburg and Waynesboro and 33 outpatient specialty and primary-care practices to its health system.
Summit Health president and CEO Pat O’Donnell said the partnership between the two systems will bring new medical professionals and technology into Franklin County.
“I do believe WellSpan will be able to bring, with the breadth of their system, specialists that Summit could not recruit,” O’Donnell said. “On a clinical side we really are looking to expand.”
O’Donnell said he is optimistic that Summit patients will begin to see more services. WellSpan has previously helped establish a neurology practice in Summit’s Chambersubrg hospital and has provided a number of other services in Franklin County.
Kevin Mosser, WellSpan’s outgoing president and CEO, said that Summit will have the opportunity to improve its analytics and medical record software, which O’Donnell said has held the system back.
“For a system our size it’s very difficult to have the population analytics and information systems and all the support that it takes to support a health strategy,” O’Donnel said.
Mosser said Summit could look into updating its software to EPIC Systems, which is the software being used by WellSpan’s hospitals and outpatient locations. WellSpan Philhaven, which focuses on behavioral health, is expected to migrate to EPIC next year.
“It’s probably half the cost to install our system in Summit and utilize that already-built system, rather than Summit buy into it,” he said.
In the coming months, WellSpan will be looking to rebrand Summit Health while preserving the name Summit has made for itself in Franklin County, according to Mosser.
No decisions have been made but Mosser said that it is likely to differ from the rebrandings of hospitals previously purchased by WellSpan. Hospitals under the WellSpan name include WellSpan Gettysburg in Adams County, WellSpan Good Samaritan in Lebanon County and WellSpan Ephrata in Lancaster County.
“Summit is different than other organizations that have become part of WellSpan because it is a health care system rather than a single hospital,”” Mosser said.
Based in York Township, WellSpan Health now operates eight hospitals and 170 patient care locations and employs 20,000 people.
As a part of the agreement announced in April, Summit’s board of directors will stay the same and four members will join WellSpan’s health board. O’Donnell will continue to lead services for Summit and will act as a member of WellSpan’s executive management team.