Arrival of the 'smart' hospital

Brentwood firm pioneering in paperless world
Healthcare Management Directions joins with docs to open Louisiana facility, looks to do others

Initially founded as a health care information technology company, Healthcare Management Directions Inc. is broadening its horizons after the successful launch of a small, nearly paperless hospital in Louisiana.

HMD, a Brentwood company founded by former Quorum execs and backed by Evergreen Investments and Management, has opened an 85 percent paperless “Smart Hospital” in conjunction with a group of physicians in Monroe, La.

HMD ( is now looking to develop similar hospitals in situations where it could own a portion of the facilities or simply conduct planning and development for other parties.

The Monroe Surgical Hospital is a short-stay, acute care hospital containing surgery, diagnostics, and 10 inpatient beds. Meg Mazzone, chief operating officer for HMD, tells that strong patient demand since the hospital’s opening on June 5 has prompted expansion plans for the facility. The typical Smart Hospital would range from 50,000 – 75,000 square feet and would contain 15 – 60 beds.

Roughly 90 percent of the facility’s square footage is designated as clinical space. Non-clinical areas such as business offices are centralized and outsourced to an off-site location. Much of the paperwork present in traditional hospitals is absent at the facilities.

For example, secure wireless technology allows for data entry in the electronic patient record from anywhere in the hospital. Computers automatically update much of the information, including vital signs. Patients are informed of their upcoming procedures through digital televisions present in each room.

The facility contains no emergency room or intensive care unit.

HMD claims that nurses working at the facility have reduced their documentation time by 40 percent, and in the midst of a nation-wide recruiting shortage, the company says it has received 1,000 applications for 59 positions.

The company uses the “greenfield” approach for the facilities, meaning the projects will all be started from the ground up, versus costly expansions and integrations needed to convert existing health care facilities into the Smart Hospital model. By the use of standardized architectural plans, information and management systems, and technology, HMD says it will create cost savings and efficiencies in the deployment and development processes.

HMD, which refers to itself as a “performance management” company, was formed in 2001 by a team led by David Joiner, the former vice president of technology for Quorum Health Group. Joiner sold his former company, Management Directions Inc., to Quorum in 1995.

Evergreen funded the company and merged it with another one of its portfolio companies, Executive Learning Inc. Evergreen co-founder and principal Doug Smith serves as chairman of HMD.