Case Studies

Mat Bradley – Titus Regional Medical Center

Facilities oversight with surgical precision

There’s no avoiding the risk of infection at any hospital. But there are ways of mitigating it.

So Mat Bradley emphasizes while going about his responsibilities as facilities director at 174-bed Titus Regional Medical Center in the Northeast Texas community of Mount Pleasant.

A hospital’s plumbing apparatus often where bacteria festers, he’s assembled a water management team that tests lines and the central system daily. He collaborates with the environmental services manager to write policies and procedures that are available to staff in English and Spanish.

Mat Bradley | Facilities Director | Titus Regional Medical Center

Mat Bradley | Facilities Director | Titus Regional Medical Center

A hospital being a 24/7/365 community, there are always multiple projects and upgrades underway that also can increase infection risk. Bradley’s formulated guidelines for contractors and enlisted a manager to oversee projects and ensure nothing jeopardizes patient safety or comfort. Impressed with the versatility of Brightly software, he’s using it to document and maintain procedures for contractors.

Meanwhile the duties of maintenance technicians have been simplified by Bradley providing them with digital and printed drawings that meet the scale of the hospital’s design and infrastructure. The location of every fire extinguisher, electrical panel, emergency lighting and what-not is pinpointed.

It’s all part of what Bradley calls doing his part to keep this Titus County-run, nonprofit hospital in peak form and even setting an industry example for health care far removed from the metropolises. All the better he says about TRMC rebuffing overtures to be merged into a for-profit chain.

“We’d rather be a catalyst for healthcare in rural America,” he says. “We’re proud to be the only standalone hospital in this part of Texas.”

Freedom isn’t free

That means undertaking a formidable challenge, Bradley says. According to the National Institutes of Health, one-fifth of the population in rural areas faces higher chances of early death from cancer, cardiopulmonary diseases, strokes, vehicular accidents, suicides and overdoses. Too often the providers in these areas are stretched thin, but he says that just strengthens TRMC’s commitment to its mission statement: “Transcend barriers to health.”

Bradley directs plant operations, coordinates emergency management, chairs the Environment of Care committee, participates as the Hospital Environmental Safety Officer on committees, updates himself on the evolving rules and regulations, and keeps an eye on the big picture.

Mat Bradley | Facilities Director | Titus Regional Medical Center

“Our mission is to lead the transformation for healthier tomorrows in our communities,” he says. “That starts today with all of us involved and doing our part to improve each aspect of the care we provide every day.”

Last year the Texas Department of State Health Services honored Titus Regional EMS for excellence in response, COVID-19 notwithstanding. Whereas in most communities an EMS department isn’t directly connected to a hospital, it is here with both entities part of Titus County. The arrangement enables EMS to essentially partner with TRMC’s emergency room and cardiology lab with what Bradley says is the fastest set-up for stent implementation.

In other areas, Leapfrog and Money Magazine deemed TRMC among its list of “Best Hospitals for Maternity Care” while the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives recognized its use of technology. The hospital registers just as high in sustainability metrics—motion-detection systems activate LED lighting and HVAC automation that adjusts heating and cooling depending on the number of people in a room. The necessity for appropriate air flow, temperature and humidity is especially important in the surgical suite, Bradley says.

An agreeable brass

Bradley and his team will also be involved as TRMC expands its orthopedics department, mulls a sports medicine clinic and brings the cancer treatment center in-house after years of leasing it to a private entity. Come July, Bradley says that latter project should be complete, which will lower the cost for treatment.

And the routine requests are promptly OK’d. Such was the case when the cleaning staff cited the need for a modest investment in equipment for intense sanitization.

“Those people with boots on the ground are recognized for the critical job they do,” he says. “We take their concerns very seriously and as a nonprofit we have the ability to make fast changes. We’re treating our families and community, not just patients.”

Bradley having achieved Certified Healthcare Facility Manager status last year from the American Society for Health Care Engineering, he recently expressed interest in the National Fire Protection Association’s program for Certified Life Safety Specialist.

Mat Bradley | Facilities Director | Titus Regional Medical Center

Bradley says TRMC is the most satisfying stop in a career that at its outset didn’t seem destined for health care. But one’s got to find a calling, he says, and his came after janitorial, facilities and host roles at the Indiana Grand Racing & Casino from 2008 to 2013; an ensuing three-year stretch as flight attendant at Republic Airlines; and a 2016 stint as a Stage Stores assistant manager that brought him down to Paris, Texas.

That move was because of Bradley’s need to assist his mother and his father, a disabled veteran. It’s worked out better than he could have imagined, Bradley meeting his wife Mandy, who is also dedicated to the healthcare field as a medical laboratory scientist—the couple now has three children.

In August 2016, when the opportunity arose for Bradley to be a maintenance mechanic in the healthcare field, he didn’t hesitate. He was promoted to facilities coordinator within a year and into his current role in January 2018.

He acknowledges serendipity’s role in his coming to TRMC, but says it wouldn’t have happened had he not worked to his fullest elsewhere. Only now, Bradley says he’s extra motivated to have a role in community healthcare and considers no job beneath him. But that might be par for the course.

“There was this one winter’s morning when the COO was shoveling snow,” he says. “She said, ‘Just because I have a title doesn’t mean I’m too good to do this.’ That’s a mind-frame I’ll always live by.”

View this feature in the Blueprint Vol. V 2023 Edition here.

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