Friday, December 31, 2010

Client News: Inova Doctors, Patients Jumping on Trend of Concierge Practices

Source: Reston Patch
Written by: Kim Underwood
Some Reston-area residents are taking part in an increasing health care trend: primary care physicians who are changing their practices to "concierge" practices.
Concierge medical practices charge a membership fee to join – which critics say makes them "too exclusive" for the average patient. However, in return, concierge doctors conduct more extensive annual physicals and testing, offer "assured appointments," detailed lab results, health risk analysis, and assessment of long-term wellness goals.
One Reston physician who has made the switch is Dr. Kevin Kelleher. Kelleher, with business partner Dr. Mark Vasiliadis, founded Executive Healthcare Services in 2004, leaving their traditional practice, Generations Family Practice, located next door.
Kelleher and Vasiliadis still own and operate Generations, but see only patients at Executive Healthcare.
Vasiliadis first heard about concierge medicine in 2001 from MD², the first concierge practice in the US, started in Seattle in 1996.
Vasiliadis' and Kelleher's family practice, Generations, had been growing very well, but they "were very busy, hurried, seeing 25 to 30 patients a day," Kelleher says.
The doctors said they were stretching to see patients earlier in the morning and later in the evening.
"We weren't able to implement fully the primary care aspects of medicine that we wanted to," Kelleher said.
They concluded that concierge medicine was a better model for family care. They could be stronger advocates for patients as their personal physicians.
"I know the people in my care," Dr. Kelleher said. "I have the time to implement the health improvement steps we have outlined, and early detection is better."
Kelleher's patients get 24-hour access to their physicians through e-mail, cell phones, pagers, and they always have a doctor on call. The doctors also make house calls, if requested. There are small perks, too, like snacks in the waiting room. An Executive Physical can take two-hours, and is more comprehensive than most physicals, says Kelleher.
Kelleher says the practice has established a relationship with specialists, offering them "the complete picture of a patient's health," and all related laboratory work and data.
Still, Kelleher acknowledges not everyone can afford concierge care.
The fees at Executive Healthcare, which are in addition to any monthly health insurance costs, start with the Initiation (and first month's) fee of $1500 (for individuals or families). Individuals then pay $250 monthly, while the first adult of a family pays $250/month; the spouse, $200/month; and any children, $50/month. Families with college-age students (18 to 25 years) can pay $150/month for their coverage.
Corporate members, meanwhile, pay $3100 annually, which includes their Executive Physical.
For any patient, office or in-house testing visits are extra, starting at $60/visit. For insurance, the practice is considered an out-of-network provider. Most of their patients do keep their health insurance and get reimbursed for some of the office visit costs.
Executive Healthcare limits the practice to about 300 patients per doctor to be able to focus on those patients. At a traditional practice, it is about 1,000 patients per doctor.
Kelleher says he has a 98 percent patient retention rate. "Patients rarely leave our practice," he said, "and if they do, they come back."
Tom and Marion Rametta, who lived in Reston for 30 years before moving to Dumfries a few years ago, have been under Dr. Kelleher's care for 25 years and said they easily made the switch to the concierge practice.
"It is fabulous," Mrs. Rametta said. "We feel very specially cared for. It makes medicine so different." They rarely see other patients in the waiting room, and they don't wait long to see Dr. Kelleher."
Meanwhile, Inova recently began a concierge medical program.
Dr. Craig Cheifetz, medical director of the Inova VIP 360 program, thinks it is "the ideal practice – it is what every patient wants."
Cheifetz also emphasized the low patient-to-doctor ratio. He says their program has about 200 patients per doctor, while the average internal medical doctor has 3,000 to 4,000 patients.
He echoed Kelleher's assessment that concierge medicine allows doctors to effectively care for and teach their patients, given more time for office visits. "We see outstanding results and they know how to implement the health plans we have developed together," he noted.
At the Inova VIP 360 program, there is reserved parking, on-site lab work and a fitness consultations. The annual cost for Inova Fairfax's program is $1,800 per person.
Concierge care comes at a price to non-concierge patients, said Arthur Caplan, Ph.D, Director at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics.
"I think there is a move toward concierge care, no doubt about that, but it is not going to become a tidal wave," said Caplan. "The costs involved are not something that most Americans can carry, or even want to carry. Most people in this economic climate don't have the money to spend three, four, five thousand dollars or more to retain a concierge physician [in addition to paying for insurance costs]. So it is an upperclass phenomenon, in my view."
Caplan sees the trend as negative for patient care for most Americans.
"The downside of concierge medicine is that for every doctor who goes into concierge medicine, it means fewer primary care physicians for the rest of the population, and there weren't that many to begin with," he said.
Caplan also cautioned against assuming that concierge doctors are superior.
"There is no evidence that doctors attracted to concierge practices are better physicians," he said. "It may mean a faster response from a doctor, less waiting time, etc., but it does not mean the best doctors are going there – that is just a marketing implication of the term concierge."

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Client News: Shannon Clinic Physicians Named Super Doctors

Source: Shannon Health Press Release

Three Shannon Clinic physicians were recently named Super Doctors® by Texas Monthly Magazine in its December 2010 issue. Ernest Charlesworth, M.D., Ty Hughston, M.D., and Denver Marsh, M.D. were recognized on the magazine’s annual list of physician specialists “highly recommended by their peers,” according to the magazine. Only five percent of the physicians in Texas were selected.

The list of 2010 Super Doctors was determined by a survey administered by Key Professional Media that polled thousands of medical professionals to nominate one or more doctors, other than themselves, from specified medical specialties based on the question, “If you needed medical care, which doctor would you choose?” In addition, the list includes other Texas doctors who have achieved special recognition from their peers or have demonstrated other indications of expertise in their specialties.

Dr. Charlesworth, a specialist in allergy and immunology and dermatology, has practiced at Shannon Clinic for eleven years and serves as chairman of the allergy/dermatology department where he combines the practice of both specialties. He has been included on the Super Doctors list since 2005. Dr. Charlesworth received his medical degree at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and completed his internship and residencies in dermatology and internal medicine at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center in San Antonio. He also completed his fellowship in allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore where he used skin as a research model for the study of allergic disease. Dr. Charlesworth is board certified in dermatology, internal medicine and allergy and immunology. He serves as a clinical associate professor of medicine in the department of dermatology at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston and in the department of allergy/immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He has served in various leadership positions and received numerous honors from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Dr. Hughston, specializing in internal medicine, has practiced at Shannon Clinic for 20 years. He received his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock and his medical degree from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple. Dr. Hughston is board certified in internal medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Marsh, a specialist in cardiology, has practiced at Shannon Clinic for 16 years and has practiced in San Angelo at Shannon Medical Center and St. John’s Hospital since 1976. He has been named to the Super Doctors list since 2004. Dr. Marsh received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in Austin and his medical degree from Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. Dr. Marsh completed his internship, residency and fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease. Dr. Marsh is also a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

Client News: Inova Alexandria Continuing a Tradition of Excellence

Source: Alexandria Gazette Packet
Written by: By Christine Candio

I look forward to what 2011 has in store for Inova Alexandria Hospital, I can’t help but look back on the many successes we had in 2010.

Last year, this column focused on our services, but did you know there is a secret to our nearly 140 years of providing quality care? The secret is our selfless and compassionate employees, physicians, and volunteers who go above and beyond to make all our accomplishments possible.

In 2010, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, the largest specialty nursing organization in the world, awarded the Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Inova Alexandria Hospital its prestigious Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence. This award is a testament to the high standards of care we deliver to our patients daily. The hospital is one of just six hospitals in the Washington, D.C. region to achieve this status.

Another area that earned notable distinction was our Respiratory Care program, which earned a two-year accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (CAP). CAP is a national accrediting organization that sets the standard for quality respiratory care throughout the country. This recognition, based on the results of an onsite survey, proves that respiratory care at the hospital is specially designed to ensure the highest standard of care for our patients.

Inova Alexandria Hospital employees and volunteers value community outreach as well. We rallied together to participate in the city’s Walk to Fight Breast Cancer in October. The overwhelming support helped raise more than $130,000. This annual event supports free mammograms for women in Alexandria who are unable to afford this diagnostic screening.

As part of our mission to improve the health of the community we serve, we provide education. Earlier this year, Inova Alexandria Hospital was named Alexandria City Public Schools "Partner in Education" for introducing iPATH, a program which encourages healthy eating and exercise among school age students. iPATH not only aligns with our mission but can ultimately save lives.

Nearly 100 women attended our annual Women’s Health Expo, another educational opportunity we offered our community, to learn more about reproductive issues, preparing nutritious meals, infant CPR, heart health and many other issues that affect women and their families.

We’ve provided just a snapshot of our hospital’s many accomplishments in 2010. We certainly look forward to continuing our tradition of providing excellent care and community outreach in 2011. Most importantly, we thank the community for their long time support.

For more information about Inova Alexandria Hospital awards and recognition visit:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Special Message From Your Friends at Unibased . . .

May your holidays be filled with joy, and your New Year abundant with health, happiness and prosperity!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Client News: Mon Health System Board Names COO Duncan as President/CEO

Source: Mon General Press Release

The Board of Directors of Monongalia Health System has named Mon General Hospital Chief Operating Officer (COO) Darryl Duncan as the new President/Chief Executive Officer of Monongalia Health System.

Duncan will succeed David Robertson as President/CEO effective Feb. 1, 2011. Robertson is stepping down on Jan. 31, 2011 to become Senior Vice President and Executive Officer for the Oklahoma and Arkansas region of the Voluntary Hospitals of America (VHA).

Duncan, 47, is a native of Charleston, WV, and has served as Mon General’s COO since June 2006. During his tenure, Duncan has spearheaded physician recruitment at Mon General, adding more than 30 physicians to its staff.

“Although we are saddened by David Robertson's departure, and certainly wish him the best as he ventures into his new position, we, the System Board, tried to be prepared for such an event,” said Patrick Martin, Chair of the Monongalia Health System Board of Directors. “When Darryl was hired in 2006 as COO, the Board's main focus was to have a viable candidate to succeed the CEO.

“Since then, Darryl has been an excellent COO often demonstrating the skills and attributes to move up and be a successful CEO,” Martin said. “He is bright, analytical, and energetic which, when coupled with his experience via his background and clinical knowledge, should serve him and our System very well as we move forward in our mission to deliver the best healthcare.”

"While we are grateful for the leadership of Dave Robertson as CEO over the past eight years and sad to see him leave, I am very pleased and happy to welcome Darryl Duncan as the new CEO of the Health System,” said Sister Nancy White, Chair of the Mon General Hospital Board of Directors.

“Darryl had a wide breadth of Administrative experience when he came to the hospital in 2006 as COO and has proven over his years here that he is very knowledgeable of the Mon Health System, especially the inner workings of the hospital,” White said. “Darryl is very dedicated to our mission ‘to deliver the best healthcare’ and I believe he will continue to work hard to move us into the future with integrity and creativity.”

“As we implement health reform in this nation, Darryl’s knowledge of Mon General Hospital, his strong clinical knowledge, and his experience in hospital operations will greatly benefit our organization,” said outgoing Mon Health System President/CEO David Robertson. “I wish him well as he leads the Health System into the future.”

“I am excited about this opportunity and consider it an honor to work with the employees, physicians, and volunteers associated with the Health System,” Duncan said. “Healthcare is about to embark on some significant change, but I feel confident we are strongly positioned to continue to provide the best healthcare to this region of West Virginia.”

Duncan has a Masters Degree in Hospital and Health Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Masters and Bachelor degrees in Industrial Engineering from West Virginia University (WVU). In 2001 he was inducted into the Industrial & Management System Engineering Distinguished Alumni Academy.

As President/CEO, Duncan will oversee the operation of Monongalia Health System, which includes Mon General Hospital, Mon HealthCare, Mon EMS, and The Village at Heritage Point. He will serve on both the Mon Health System and Mon General Hospital Boards of Directors.

In his current role as COO, Duncan is responsible for the day-to-day management of the hospital. All hospital based services, including Patient Care, Medical Affairs, and Quality and Information Systems report directly to Duncan.

Prior to his arrival at Mon General, Duncan had served as COO of Provena Saint Joseph Hospital, a 251-bed acute care hospital in Elgin, IL. While at Provena Saint Joseph Hospital, Duncan planned a $97 million hospital construction and renovation project, which included constructing a four story wing, adding 99 private patient rooms.

In addition to serving as COO at Provena Saint Joseph Hospital, Duncan has also served as COO of RML Specialty Hospital in Hinsdale, Illinois and as Senior Vice President for Oncology at Physician Health Corporation, an Atlanta based physician practice management company. He also has served as Chief Executive Officer for several smaller hospitals, including Transitional Hospital of Chicago in Chicago, IL, and Alexander Community Hospital in Taylorsville, NC.

Duncan resides in the Cheat Lake area with wife Shelly. Their daughter, Courtney is a sophomore at WVU studying biology.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Client News: Oakwood One of Nine Hospitals Nationally Chosen as Learning Lab for the Language Quality Improvement Collaborative

Source: Oakwood Heatlhcare Systems Press Release

Oakwood was one of nine hospitals nationally chosen to be a learning lab for the Language Quality Improvement Collaborative (LQIC), designed to reduce language barriers in healthcare while improving quality and safety for limited English proficiency patients.
The LQIC has concluded an 18-month study that began in April 2009. The study, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Aligning Forces for Quality, had the purpose of lifting overall quality of healthcare in targeted communities, reducing racial and ethnic disparities and providing models for national reform.
Oakwood presented its study findings and was the only hospital able to collect all of the required metrics and show proof of its quality improvements.

The Oakwood team is compromised of: Barb Medvec, CNO; Moe Rustom; Sharon Menzel; Diane Lopez; Margaret Smith and Jacqueline Mohs, MD. They traveled recently to receive the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Press Release: Unibased Receives “Best in KLAS” Recognition for the Market Segments Enterprise Scheduling and Surgery Management for Eight Consecutive Years

Unibased Systems Architecture, Inc. (Unibased) has achieved the “Best in KLAS” Awards for both the Enterprise Scheduling and Surgery Management market segments for the year 2010, reflecting outstanding product quality, system reliability and client satisfaction. With its focus on revolutionizing access to care and enhancing the patient experience, Unibased strives to improve the coordination, quality and efficiency of healthcare services for patients, physicians and providers. Achieving “Best in KLAS” as published in the annual year-end “Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards” report for the last eight consecutive years exemplifies Unibased’s deep commitment to its clients and unparalleled service and support.
“Since 1998, the objective of the ‘Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards’ report has been to help healthcare providers make informed decisions,” said KLAS President Adam Gale. The Best in KLAS distinction represents a commitment to meeting customer expectations and we congratulate the vendors making strides in every phase of customer relations—from the sales presentation to implementation to ongoing service and support.”
Unibased Systems Architecture's Resource Management System (RMS) ranked #1 in the Enterprise Scheduling category as well as its periOperative Resource Management System (ORMS) ranked #1 in the Surgery Management category in the 2010 “Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Professional Services” report. Both solutions have been the top ranked system in their respective market segments for the last eight consecutive years (2003-2010).1
Larry Covington, Unibased’s President and CEO, stated, “Healthcare providers are facing the perfect storm of increased demand, reduced reimbursement from third party payers, increases in self-pay and consumer’s portion of the bill, and a 9.5% unemployment rate. Resource productivity and better utilization of resources, including both fixed and variable costs, is critical to provider survival. For 24 years, Unibased has focused on provider efficiency, which includes software products that are lights out in availability and reliability, and easy to use and support. Our reference is our entire client list, no exceptions. We ask our clients that if we are not their best vendor, please tell us why and we will make adjustments. We are proud of our eight consecutive years as first in our market segments, and we expect to be highly competitive in 2011.”
According to the 2010 “Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards” report, KLAS evaluates 200+ vendors, 750 products, within 4,500 hospitals annually. As indicated in the annual “Best in KLAS Awards” report, for the market segments of Enterprise Scheduling and Surgery Management, Unibased competes with GE, McKesson, Cerner, Epic, Siemens, Meditech, QuadraMed and other smaller vendors as listed by KLAS.1
About Unibased Systems Architecture, Inc.: Celebrating its 24th year in the healthcare information technology (HIT) industry, and having achieved “Best In KLAS”1 for 8 consecutive years (2003-2010) in the market segments of surgery management and enterprise scheduling, Unibased Systems Architecture, Inc. (Unibased), an Amerinet supplier, markets various products that are open, scalable, integrated client/server and web-based solutions, designed to meet the unique needs of healthcare organizations and improve the coordination of healthcare services. In the HIT industry, Unibased offers ForSite2020® as an integrated solution that provides improved access management processes including scheduling, EMPI and registration, and tracking patient resource needs from pre-access through follow-up. ForSite2020 monitors the effectiveness of clinical programs, financial productivity and capacity management to improve quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare delivery.
ForSite2020 has an integrated surgery management module which coordinates surgery procedures and surgeon scheduling, pre-admission activity monitoring, surgeon preferences, suite utilization, materials management, clinical worker training and certification, perioperative charting, and surgery-based EHR. ForSite2020 improves the communication between hospitals and physicians through its physician portal, automated order creation, and business intelligence analytics. ForSite2020 impacts the revenue cycle through functions such as validation of patient demographics, patient’s current insurance eligibility checking, assurance of medical necessity compliance and estimation of the patient’s out-of-pocket expense based upon scheduled and ordered services.
Unibased solutions will increase provider sales quickly, through its physician and consumer portals as well as its call center management capabilities. They will reduce provider debt associated with patient payments and minimize claim denials associated with inaccuracies and missing documentation. Most importantly, providers realize these benefits within months, not years. All Unibased solutions are supported by integrated automatic data collection processes such as bar coding, facsimile collection and retention, optical and intelligent character recognition, and document image collection and storage – all linked to the appropriate patient and administrative records. Unibased Systems Architecture, Inc. is a private corporation founded in 1986 and is based in Chesterfield, Missouri. All Unibased products are made and supported in the United States.
1) 2003 - 2010 Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Professional Services, December 2010. © 2010 KLAS Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Client News: Florida Hospital Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon Performs Rare, Life-Saving Procedure Using a Titanium Rib

Source: Florida Hospital Press Release

Dr. Woo implants the titanium rib on 2-year-old Logan to help save his life by expanding his rib cage.
Two-year-old Logan Gould has been in and out of hospitals his entire life. He was born with a rare condition called Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome (TIS), which means his chest cavity, or thorax, cannot support normal respiration or lung growth, and can cause life-threatening breathing problems. Some of the abnormalities associated with TIS include rib fusion and scoliosis, or a crooked spine. After dozens of trips to the hospital, the Gould family came to see Dr. Raymund Woo, a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Florida Hospital for Children, who offered them the option of inserting a titanium rib to help save Logan.
Dr. Woo is one of a handful of surgeons across the United States who performs expansion thoracostomy and insertion of the Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib (VEPTR) device. The goal of this operation is to provide the rib cage and lungs more space and room to grow.
"Logan has been so sick his entire life, and his rib cage is severely deformed," said Erin Gould, Logan's mother. "We talked about going to Boston or Texas to have the procedure performed. But when we heard Dr. Woo was performing this unique procedure, we felt extremely blessed to be closer to home to get this life-saving procedure for Logan."
The VEPTR device, which is curved to fit the back of the chest and spine, is inserted vertically against the spine to help keep the chest wall expanded. The device also helps to straighten the spine and make it grow in a more normal way. As the child grows, the device can be made longer by performing a simple outpatient procedure. This is typically done twice a year until the child reaches skeletal maturity.
"Each child with TIS comes with a unique combination of medical problems but under the right circumstances, the VEPTR device can be life-saving," said Dr. Raymund Woo, medical director of pediatric orthopaedics at the Walt Disney Pavilion at Florida Hospital for Children. "In addition to getting the VEPTR device implanted, my patients also receive a multidisciplinary approach to make sure they are well cared for before, during and after their stay in the hospital. This team includes a pulmonologist, cardiologist, nutritionist, intensivist, anesthesiologist and surgeon."
The insertion of the VEPTR device does pose several risks including infection from multiple surgeries, drifting of the Titanium Rib, or weakening of skin around the incision site. But to many parents, including Erin Gould, the benefits far outweigh the risks.
"He now has the chance to live a normal life," said Erin. "His quality of life will be so much better and I am so thankful for that."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Client News: Driscoll Hires Susan Evans-Mueller as IT Director

Source: Driscoll Children's Hospital Press Release

Susan Evans-Mueller has joined Driscoll Children’s Hospital as the new Information Technology (IT) director.

Evans-Mueller started her Information Technology & Systems career as a technical consultant and technical trainer. She has more than 12 years of healthcare IT&S leadership experience and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in IT&S and business.

Evans-Mueller grew up in Corpus Christi and has spent the past nine years in Houston with a for-profit healthcare organization. Her background includes IT&S and project management.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Client News: New Oakwood Medical Center to Open on Old Montgomery Ward’s Site Opens January 3

Source: Press & Guide Newspapers
Written by: J. Patrick Pepper

Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr., Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, Dr. Mark Saffer, president of Midwest Health Center, Brian Connolly, president and CEO of Oakwood Healthcare, and Dale Watchowski, president and CEO of REDICO pose with the topping off beam at the Dearborn Town Center development in 2009 on the site of the former Montgomery Ward. Photo by Millard Berry.
A new medical center with two of the biggest local names in healthcare is on schedule to open next month in the heart of the city’s east downtown.
Named Dearborn Town Center, the $70 million facility is located at the southeast corner of the busy Michigan Avenue-Schaefer intersection, across Schaefer from City Hall.
The complex will house offices for Midwest Health doctors, administrators and support staff, as well as Oakwood Hospital specialists. Including maintenance and other ancillary positions, there will be about 500 people working at the building at any given time, development officials say.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 15 and Jan. 3 is when the place will be open for regular business.
The completion of the project marks a corner-turning for one of the city’s marquee corners. That’s because when the Montgomery Ward that formerly occupied the site closed for business in 2001, it began six years of uncertainty.
An investor first purchased the parcel in 2001 for $1.8 million and then sold it for a profit the following year. The buyers included Talal Chahine, the founder of the defunct LaShish restaurant empire who is wanted for tax evasion, and partner Kayed Bazzi.
With Chahine on the run from federal agents and city officials unsatisfied with the ideas being proposed for the site, the city bought the building for about $3.5 million in 2005. Two years later, Southfield-based REDICO was chosen to develop the property based on a proposal to build a medical facility.
Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly, who has been a vocal advocate for the project throughout, said Monday that he’s happy to see it finally coming to fruition.
“I really think this is going to be a great thing for the businesses around here, and the facility itself is in one of the few growth industries around here,” O’Reilly said.
With its brick-and-limestone facade and curved architecture at the most visible part of the building, the 125,000 square-foot structure shares some of the aesthetics of the Montgomery Ward department store.
Also like Ward, the facility’s main entrance is at the rear of the building, putting it in closer proximity to the municipal parking deck built for the project.
The roughly $11 million deck will be paid for using tax capture revenues from the new development, which is already 96 percent leased, and any shortfalls will be made up by the developer.
REDICO will complete the project in line with projected timelines, though some of the elements in the initial development proposal have been shelved because of the economy.
Those items include senior housing, which eventually is supposed to run along the residential neighborhood to the east of the property, as well as some retail suites. Development officials said these aspects would be built when the economy improves.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Client News: Gettysburg Hospital joins Campus Kitchens Project

Source: WellSpan Website

Gettysburg Hospital recently became the first medical facility in the country to be a formal partner with The Campus Kitchens Project, a national leader in community service for students and anti-hunger programs for communities around the country.

Working with Campus Kitchen at Gettysburg College and the hospital’s food service partner, Nutrition Management Services, the hospital is donating unused food to support The Kitchen’s efforts to provide hot meals to people in the local community who are economically disadvantaged.

By the end of 2010, Gettysburg Hospital will likely have donated more than 500 pounds of food items that include soups, casseroles and leftovers from various catering events to the college’s Campus Kitchen.

“The hospital’s dietary department reviews its production system to make sure it’s utilizing all food items possible. In the past, there were cases in which food was produced but couldn’t be utilized and it resulted in the item being discarded,” said Kevin Scritchfield, director of Gettysburg Hospital Dietary Services.

“There are strict regulations through the Pennsylvania Department of Health that govern how food is handled, temperature guidelines and rules related to safety and sanitation.

“Since the hospital’s dietary department meets all of these guidelines, we are able to donate unused food items to Campus Kitchen and help others in the process.”

Nationally, The Campus Kitchens Project empowers thousands of students each year to recycle food from cafeterias, turn these donations into nourishing meals and deliver those meals to people who need it most.

“While the Campus Kitchen helps families close the food gap, it also works to establish relationships that break down barriers and stereotypes. The result is the stronger, more united community. We are grateful that Gettysburg Hospital has become a partner,” said Kim Davidson, associate director of the Center for Public Service at Gettysburg College.

Students at each of the 25 Campus Kitchens around the country are responsible for running the program’s operation, including menu planning, collecting food, managing cooking and in some cases teaching culinary skills to unemployed adults.

The students also manage all records, organize fundraisers, develop nutrition curriculum and recruit new students to get involved.

The Campus Kitchen at Gettysburg College, the first in the state, began in November 2007. The project is managed by the College’s Center for Public Service and student program coordinators.

As it reaches its third year in operation, the Campus Kitchen has recovered more than 28,000 pounds of food and served more than 15,000 meals to local residents in need.

Client News: Lancaster General Health Recognized as Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania

Source: Lancaster General Health News Release

Lancaster General Health was named one of the Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania for 2010, ranking 36 among the top 50 companies in the large company category.

The recognition was announced during the Best Places to Work in PA awards ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at the Lancaster County Convention Center in Lancaster. The awards program, created in 2000, is one of the first statewide programs of its kind in the country. The program is a public/private partnership between Team Pennsylvania Foundation, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the Central Penn Business Journal.

This survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places to be employed in Pennsylvania, benefiting the state's economy, its workforce and businesses. In the past, employers were categorized based upon the number of employees they had in Pennsylvania. This year, employers were categorized based upon the total number of employees they have in the United States. This change was made to ensure the proper alignment of organizations and to avoid naming large national employers to the small/medium list simply because they have fewer employees based in Pennsylvania. This change did not have any impact on which organizations made the list, just how they were categorized.

To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

- Have at least 25 employees in Pennsylvania;
- Be a for-profit or not-for-profit business;
- Be a publicly or privately held business;
- Have a facility in Pennsylvania; and
- Be in good standing with Commonwealth agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the 100 Best Places to Work in PA. The first part of this process was evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, practices, philosophies, systems and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Client News: OSF Healthcare Holiday Cards to Benefit Children's Hospital of Illinois

By: Carin L Thumm, MFA
After Thanksgiving is over, the focus shifts to thoughts of holidays in December. There's shopping to be done. Meals to be cooked. Sweets to be baked. Packages to be wrapped. Friends and family to see. And cards to be mailed.

Put another way - there's a lot going on preceded whatever holiday you and yours celebrate.  One simple way to share in the holiday spirit and brighten a child's life is to purchase cards that are made by children where the proceeds go towards helping children.
If you haven't already, when you pick your holiday cards please consider visiting OSF Healthcare Systems and check out this year's holiday card contestant winners.  All the proceeds from card purchases go to the Children's Hospital of Illinois - and as Brooks Bankord, a contestant winner and a former children's hospital patient, said "I really wanted to give back to the place that gave me a chance at life, and it would be awesome for other kids to get that chance too."
Click here to purchase cards from OSF Healthcare Systems.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Client News: Oakwood Heritage Hospital Honored as "Top Improver"

Source: City of Taylor Website

Oakwood Heritage Hospital in Taylor is one of only 10 hospitals nationwide to be recognized with a Top Improver award by Press Ganey Associates, Inc.

The award, which is based on patient satisfaction scores, represents the ongoing goal of ensuring every single patient has a memorable experience with the hospital, said Kelly C. Smith, chief operating officer of Oakwood Heritage Hospital.

“I am very proud of the entire team at Oakwood Heritage Hospital and I am pleased for our community,” Smith said. “This award symbolizes our never-ending quest to always deliver very good care to our patients.”

For the 2010 award, Press Ganey looked at facilities that ranked in the top five percent of improvers across the country. Only 29 facilities nationally -— and only 10 inpatient facilities across the country -— were honored from among the more than 2,000 facilities that participate with Press Ganey in the United States. The award recognizes facilities that have shown continuous improvement in patient, physician or employee satisfaction scores.

“Their dedication to continuous improvement serves as a model for all,” said Richard B. Siegrist, Jr., chief executive officer of Press Gainey Associates, Inc.

The team at Oakwood Heritage embraces a philosophy of “patients come first,” Smith said. To demonstrate this philosophy, the team implemented a number of key strategies that emphasize customer service as the number one priority. The leader of each unit visits with all patients every day to ensure they are happy and healthy, Smith said. On rounds, nurses and aides visit patients at least every hour to keep them informed and comfortable. They also call patients at home after they are discharged to check on how they are feeling and to answer any additional questions. Further, the team does many spontaneous things for patients, such as providing special meals, custom notes, treats and small gifts to make them smile.

Brian Connolly, president and chief executive officer of Oakwood Healthcare Inc., said the staff at the hospital provides an outstanding model for all employees across the system to follow.

“At Oakwood, it is our privilege to provide high-quality patient care with a personalized touch," he said. "I am immensely proud of the staff at Oakwood Heritage Hospital for receiving national recognition for their achievements in patient satisfaction. Their commitment to those we serve inspires all of us.”

Monday, November 29, 2010

Client News: Norton Healthcare Launches iPad App

App Information Source: Norton Website
Quote Source: Business First
"Norton Healthcare Inc. has launched a mobile application for the Apple iPad. Similar to the organization’s iPhone app, the iPad app provides users access to video segments on health topics, serv­ices and procedures. 'with extensive video capabilities and the use of real-time data, the iPad application allows users to receive information in a way that has never been done in Louisville,' said Gabriel Riggs, manager of marketing Web strategy for Norton" (Business First).
Features of the iPad and iPhone Apps include the following:
Segments highlighting health topics, services and procedures as well as local health news are available. Healthy cooking videos also are offered.
Norton Healthcare has the largest network of physicians in the Louisville region. You can find your doctor(s) & save them in your favorites within the app. Once saved in your profile you can customize their information for easy of use & memory. You can also request appointments from Norton employed physicians from within the app.
When emergencies arise, time is of the essence & the Norton Mobile app gives you access to the most immediate care & emergency care in the area, whether you are at home or out on the go. Find a facility, get directions based on your location, call the facility directly, & also save & customize your locations.
Have questions about some pain that you are experiencing? With the Symptom Navigator simply tap the area on the body in concern & search a large health encyclopedia based on your conditions.
Norton Healthcare offers numerous free classes & events ranging from women’s health to joint care to weight management. Find the right class for you & register. You can also search healthy recipes & receive all the latest new from Norton Healthcare.
For application support email us at

Monday, November 22, 2010

Client News: Morton Plant Only Hospital In The U.S. To Be Named Top For Heart Care For 12 Years

Source: BayCare Health Systems Press Release

Morton Plant Hospital is the only hospital in the United States to be recognized 12 times as a top hospital for heart care. Thomson Reuters named Morton Plant in its annual study identifying the top 50 U.S. hospitals for inpatient cardiovascular services. The study has been conducted for the past 12 years and Morton Plant is the only hospital in the country to have made the list all 12 years.

"What's most important to understand about this recognition is that one of the best performing hospitals for heart care in the country is located right here in Clearwater," said Mahesh Amin, M.D. FACC, cardiologist and Morton Plant Mease cardiology section chairman. "Additionally, we have been able to achieve a national level of excellence in heart care for more than a decade. No other hospital in the U.S. has been able to achieve those results."

The Thomson Reuters study reviewed 1,022 hospitals across the country by analyzing results for patients with heart failure and heart attacks and for those who received coronary bypass surgery and percutaneous coronary interventions such as angioplasties.

"To achieve this recognition for so many years requires team work among physicians, nurses and all of the hospital staff," said John Ofenloch, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon and medical director of cardiac surgery for Morton Plant Hospital. "Without a cohesive approach to heart care, we would not be able to achieve consistent results for so many years."

The study shows that 96 percent of cardiovascular inpatients survive and approximately 93 percent remain complication-free, indicative of improved cardiovascular care across-the-board over the past decade. The 50 top hospitals' performance surpasses these high-water marks as indicated by:

Better risk-adjusted survival rates (33 percent fewer deaths than non-winning hospitals).

Lower complications indices (21 percent lower for heart failure complications).

Fewer patients readmitted to the hospital in the 30 days following discharge.

Shorter hospital visits and lower costs. Top hospitals discharge heart patients a half day sooner and spend $1,300 less per case than non-winners.

For the first time, the study singled out 50 top hospitals rather than its traditional practice of identifying 100 winners. Only six hospitals in Florida were named and Morton Plant is the only hospital in the Tampa Bay area to be identified as a Thomson Reuters Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital.

A number of data points are analyzed for the top heart care study. Thomson Reuters researchers analyzed 2008 and 2009 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data, Medicare cost reports, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare data. They scored hospitals in key performance areas: risk-adjusted medical mortality, risk-adjusted surgical mortality, risk-adjusted complications, core measures (a group of measures that assess process of care), percentage of coronary bypass patients with internal mammary artery use, procedure volume, severity-adjusted average length of stay, and wage- and severity-adjusted average cost.

To read more, click here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

BAPTIST ST. ANTHONY HEALTH SYSTEM (BSA), Impact Study – Patient Satisfaction


According to a recent survey (August 2010) performed by HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Unit of more than 200,000 healthcare executives 93% of the healthcare leaders say patient experience is among their top priorities". Baptist St Anthony Health System (BSA) is a health system which considers patient satisfaction to be a critical measure of their success.

It so happens that a key area identified via the patient feedback was related to wait times. Bottom Line – long wait time equates to decreased patient satisfaction. With the implementation of Unibased ForSite2020 Surgery Management System BSA considered this an opportunity for them to understand the impact the scheduling system could have on patient satisfaction.

BSA took this goal to heart, and began designing a better patient experience around it, from the time the Patient entered the workflow, through to the completion of care.

Overview of what took place

Through the usage of block tracking in the ForSite2020 Surgery Management system, BSA gained previously unrealized visibility to utilization and helped streamline block assignments. As a result the staff was able to target under utilized areas for reassignment. In addition, BSA was able to identify areas of need which included the best times for assigning blocks based on specific surgeon and service procedure volume. Although BSA has not yet been able to quantify the increase in surgeon satisfaction the general belief is that it has increased.

Pre-Admission Testing
BSA began scheduling their patient activity within the ForSite2020 Enterprise Scheduling system, and as a result they experienced a significant reduction in the use of manual logs and schedules. In addition, the BSA staff was able to better manage patient evaluations workload. This improvement in operational efficiency contributed to the reduction in the patient time spent in the Pre-Admission Testing area by approximately 50%. Based on the BSA premise that longer wait times equates to decreased patient satisfaction, the positive patient experience of a 50% reduction in length of stay has increased the patient satisfaction level.

Pre-Operative Area / Post Operative Stage 2
These two departments are physically the same and share a common staff. Coordination and efficient utilization of resources is critical. It is common that patients return post-operatively to the same room that they were in pre-operatively. Through the combination of automated documentation and the more predictable availability of Pre-Admission Testing information, the overall process in these areas has been streamlined.

The departmental manager was able to rearrange staff schedules based on blocks and scheduling automation. The improvements in these departments contributed an increase in staff satisfaction and a decrease in overtime expenditures.

Intra-Operative Area
BSA determined an on-time start for the first case of the day was critical as it would impact the remainder of the day. BSA also acknowledged a decreased delay in first case starts leads to decreased overtime and that subsequent case throughput was enhanced throughout the day.

BSA initially focused on surgeon arrival times in the hospital. For example, with cases scheduled to start at 0800, the surgeon was expected to arrive by 0730. The surgeon notifies the front desk of his/her arrival and this is marked on the white board and tracked in a spreadsheet for reporting purposes.

The ForSite2020 Surgery Management system, in conjunction with the manual surgeon tracking mechanism, alleviated the need to be reactive to anecdotal information. Use of the system enables the focus to shift from time consuming direct observation and concerning hearsay to more pertinent workflow activities.

First case start times have progressively decreased in average delay time by as much as 18 minutes. In correlation to the Advisory Board’s estimation on delay times, this improvement represents as much as $1,800 of previously unrealized revenue per on-time first case start. In addition successful first case starts contributes positively to consecutive case throughput during the remainder of the day. Although the value of increased throughput has not yet been fully quantified it is deduced the impact is significant and positive.

Final Thoughts

The O.R. Educator had 3 months set aside for completing the training on ForSite2020 prior to go live with Intra-Operative documentation. It actually only took approximately 3 weeks; less than 1/3 the time originally allocated. “It was amazing”.

BSA has improved the communications between employees and employee morale, which BSA believes to have positively impacted care delivery and the overall patient experience. One example was the simple change in a question from “Why isn’t your patient in the room yet?” to “How can I help you get your patient to the room?”

Decreasing overtime expenditures has been a long standing goal of BSA. Since implementing ForSite2020, BSA has been able to decrease overtime expenditures by approximately 2% and expect that improvement to continue. This reduction contributes to increased cost savings, staff satisfaction and an improved patient experience.

About Baptist St. Anthony's Health System:
Baptist St. Anthony’s Health System (BSA) is an extensive hospital system providing clinical excellence to the Texas Panhandle and the tri-state area. BSA is acclaimed for its superior quality and Star Customer Service - compassionate care delivered by a diverse team of skilled professionals and is the fourth largest employer in Amarillo, with a medical staff of more than 450 physicians and 2,700 employees. For more information about Baptist St. Anthony's Health System, visit:

Client News: T.J. Sampson Community Hospital offers

Have you ever wanted to know the condition of a friend or relative in the hospital but you didn’t want to call and inconvenience them? Now there is a way to keep up with their current condition without having to call. As a part of its Planetree Patient Centered Philosophy of Care, T.J. Samson Community Hospital is offering allows patients or designated family members the ability to create their own website in order to keep family and friends up to date on their medical condition while in the hospital. is a private, secure and confidential website that allows the patient to communicate information regarding their health while allowing family and friends to share personal messages and words of encouragement. is free for all patients and has been made available through the generous donation of the Hospital Auxiliary.  If you have questions regarding, please call 270-651-1821.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Client News: Mount Sinai Medical Center Featured on USA Network's Burn Notice Season Premiere

Congratulations to Mount Sinai Medical Center on being featured in the winter season premiere on USA Network's Burn Notice!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Client News: Inova Loudoun Wins Beacon Award

Source: Leesburg Today

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses has awarded the Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Inova Loudoun Hospital its prestigious Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence.
The award signifies that the unit has: met rigid criteria for excellence; exhibited high-quality standards; and demonstrated exceptional care of patients and patients' families.
"We're very proud to be recognized and honored on a national level," Joy Lucas, patient care director at Inova Loudoun Hospital, stated. "Our nursing staff is an extremely dedicated group that's committed to using best practices and providing high quality care for our patients."
Inova Loudoun Hospital is one of just seven hospitals in the Washington, DC, region to earn the Beacon award and one of 242 hospitals in the country to achieve this status.
"Earning a Beacon Award sends a clear message that these units are providing exceptional care and that their commitment to evidence-based practice is unwavering," AACN President Dave Hanson stated.
The Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence is a recognition award program funded and supported solely by the AACN. The goal is to recognize and highlight critical care units which use quality indicators to evaluate the comprehensive environment of their unit and who reach the highest level of performance, innovation, satisfaction and quality.
Inova Loudoun Hospital joins Inova Alexandria Hospital and Inova Fairfax Hospital as recipients of the AACN Beacon Award.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Client News: Botsford Hospital Recognized as Destination for Knee and Hip Replacement

Source: Botsford HealthSource Magazine

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network have designated Botsford Hospital as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement.® The Blue Distinction designation is awarded by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality health care in selected medical disciplines. The program is part of The Blues’ efforts to collaborate with physicians and medical facilities to improve the overall quality and safety of specialty care.

To earn a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement, the following types of criteria were evaluated:

Established acute care inpatient facility, including intensive care, emergency care and a full range of patient  support services with full accreditation by a CMS-deemed national accreditation organization

Experience and training of program surgeons, including case volume

Quality management programs, including surgical checklists, as well as tracking and evaluation of clinical outcomes and process of care

Multidisciplinary clinical pathways and teams to coordinate and streamline care, including transitions of care

Shared decision-making and preoperative patient education

** Designation as a Blue Distinction Center® means this facility’s overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians’ and leading professional organizations’ recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary. To find out which services are covered under your policy at any facilities, please call the Customer Service number on the back of your Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield identification card or call your local Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield plan.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

T.J. Samson Community Hospital Selects Unibased's ForSite2020® Physician Order Collection and Enterprise Tracking (POCET)

PRESS RELEASE: Unibased Systems Architecture, Inc. (Unibased), the leading provider of enterprise-wide patient access and surgery management systems, announced today that T.J. Samson Community Hospital, located in Glasgow, KY, has selected ForSite2020® Physician Order Collection and Enterprise Tracking (POCET) to streamline the process of tracking, collecting, reviewing, documenting, and archiving physician orders from several disparate sources.

T.J. Samson Community Hospital contracted for Unibased's award-winning Resource Management System (RMS) with periOperative Resource Management System (ORMS) in 2005 to enhance their revenue cycle management process, improve revenue integrity, as well as patient and physician satisfaction. To expand on that mission, the Business Office Director at T.J. Samson Community Hospital, Richard Schneider, stated, "Unibased's ForSite2020® POCET will increase convenience for physician offices and patients to choose a convenient time before the patient leaves the physician office eliminating multiple follow-up calls." Schneider added, "We also expect it to free up time for schedulers and help improve our compliance with the ABN process due to the improvement in order management with orders being checked at the time of scheduling. With our current volume approaching 200 per day, if we are able to get just 33% usage it will save us one FTE in labor to be utilized for other patient access initiatives."

Cynthia J. Borders, Vice President of Client Services for Unibased, stated, "Assuring the appropriate diagnosis code and local managed care criteria are addressed at the time of order submission positively impacts denials, compliance and eliminates common sources of healthcare revenue leakage. The addition of ForSite2020® POCET will be an extremely powerful addition to their Unibased product suite, and we anticipate a very impressive ROI."

The selection of ForSite2020® POCET builds on the innovative and patient-centered Planetree model used by T.J. Samson for four years to redefine health care to ensure nurturing and personalized health care delivery based on the needs of the patient. A proclamation was issued by Kentucky's Governor, Steve Beshear, recognizing October as "Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month". T.J. Samson Community Hospital remains the only acute care hospital in the state of Kentucky partnering with Planetree and are truly dedicated to the patient's experience. The Unibased solutions improve operational efficiency, reduce wait times, reduce unnecessary phone calls, and improve the overall patient experience while capturing legitimate revenue which can be reinvested in the patient experience.

About T.J. Samson Community Hospital: Established in 1929, T.J. Samson Community Hospital is a 196-bed facility located in Glasgow, Kentucky serving a population of 180,000. T.J. Samson provides a full range of inpatient and outpatient medical care and specialties to residents across south-central Kentucky. With 1,000 employees, it is the second-largest employer in Barren County. T.J. Samson has achieved high accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations with a score of 97 out of a possible 100 points which places the hospital among the top 5% of hospitals nationwide. For more information visit:

For more information on Physician Access / Physician Portal, click here.
Want a copy of our Press Release?  Visit our Newsroom.

Healthcare at Your Fingertips - Yeah, There's an App for That

By: Carin L. Thumm, MFA

Most hospitals have embraced the interactive media phenomenon in one form or another: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogger, Wordpress, LinkedIn, Flickr.

Tweets, posts, photos and videos are all great ways to interact with people in the community.
But a few hospitals have embraced something else. The App. The following Unibased customers have rolled out their own Apps geared towards informing their patient base. Have to go the emergency room - check wait times on your phone. Not feeling well - not sure what it might be, check your symptoms. Looking for a doctor - you can not only find a name - but you can get the doctor's location within the hospital system, and in some cases, request an appointment all from the touch of a finger.

Lancaster General Health
Lancaster General Health has partnered with Healthagen® to provide their patients with essential information about the emergency department, the new Urgent Care and the Lancaster General Health Express retail clinics on the free iTriage® smartphone medical application.

What is iTriage?
With the introduction of this premier level of service, Lancaster General Health joins a growing number of medical facilities across the country utilizing this interactive technology that allows consumers to search medical symptoms, learn about possible causes, and find appropriate locations for treatment. In addition, Lancaster residents and those in surrounding communities now have mobile access to information such as specialties, hospital information, hours of operation for their urgent care and retail clinics.
Click here to use the online iTriage for desktop computers
Built by emergency room physicians, iTriage combines healthcare information with a nationwide directory of medical provider resources so that healthcare consumers not only know the most appropriate level of care based on specific symptoms, but also the closest and most qualified provider for a condition.
iTriage is available for all iPhone®, iPod touch®, iPad™, Palm® and Android™ users, and soon available as an application for BlackBerry® smartphones, iTriage extends the benefits of medical information to mobile users in the Lancaster community.

The Norton Healthcare iPhone application gives patients instant, real time access to the largest network of physicians, hospitals, urgent care centers & specialty centers in Greater Louisville all at the tap of a finger.
Norton Healthcare has the largest network of physicians in the Louisville region. Patients can find their doctor(s) & save them in their favorites within the app. Once saved in the patient's profile they can customize their information for easy use & memory. They can also request appointments from Norton employed physicians from within the app.
When emergencies arise, time is of the essence & the Norton Mobile app gives you access to the most immediate care & emergency care in the area, whether you are at home or out on the go. Find a facility, get directions based on your location, call the facility directly, & also save & customize your locations.
Have questions about some pain that you are experiencing? With the Symptom Navigator simply tap the area on the body in concern & search a large health encyclopedia based on your conditions.

Norton Healthcare offers numerous free classes & events ranging from women’s health to joint care to weight management. Patients can find a class & register. They can also search healthy recipes & receive all the latest new from Norton Healthcare.

Norton Healthcare also has launched an iPad App that shares most of the same features as it's phone app counterpart (the iPad App sports impressive video capabilities - segments highlighting health topics, services and procedures as well as local health news are available. Healthy cooking videos also are offered). 
Business First had this to say about the new addition to the Norton Healthcare App family, "Norton Healthcare Inc. has launched a mobile application for the Apple iPad. Similar to the organization’s iPhone app, the iPad app provides users access to video segments on health topics, serv­ices and procedures; with extensive video capabilities and the use of real-time data, the iPad application allows users to receive information in a way that has never been done in Louisville,' said Gabriel Riggs, manager of marketing Web strategy for Norton"
For application support email us at

The JHSMH application, available in iTunes and the Blackberry app store, is free and allows patients to perform such tasks as:
* Finding a physician and even requesting an appointment
* Registering for events
* Keeping track of the latest JHSMH news
* Receiving interesting health news and tips
* Monitoring food intake with a calorie tracker and food diary
* Determining healthy weight range with a BMI calculator
Let JHSMH know what you think of the new app. Your feedback will be useful as JHSMH continues to evolve the application to meet patients needs.

Inova Health Systems
Receive real-time updates on Inova Health System’s nine emergency room locations throughout Northern Virginia. Compatible with iPhone or iPod Touch patients will always have the most current information on Inova’s wait times at their fingertips, as well as a special mapping function to show them how to get to any of Inova's emergency room locations.

Don't have an iPhone - but still want real-time updates on one of Inova Health System's nine emergency room location?

Click here to view the information online.

*** If your hospital has, or will be, rolling out a phone app and it didn't get mentioned here - let us know and we'll gladly write up a spotlight.  We like knowing what is new and exciting at out client's hospitals - what's more is we really like talking about it here, on Twitter, and on Facebook. ***

Client News: Two Oakwood Healthcare Executives Appointed to Serve on Statewide Advisory Board

Source: The Detroit News

Roy Sexton and Lisa Rutledge were appointed to the Council for Labor and Economic Growth to represent business interests.

Sexton is the corporate director of strategic communications and planning for Oakwood Healthcare. Rutledge is the corporate director of community outreach for Oakwood Healthcare. 

To continue reading this article, click here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Client News: Clearwater's Morton Plant Hospital Names New COO

Source: Tampa Bay Online

TAMPA - Morton Plant Hospital has hired Kristopher Hoce as its chief operating officer. Hoce, CEO of Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville, N.C., will begin his new duties Jan. 3.

Pardee is about one-third the size of Clearwater's Morton Plant, which has 687 beds. Hoce, 51, has 28 years experience in the industry and will fill the spot left vacant by Hal Ziecheck, who was named chief operating officer for Morton Plant North Bay Hospital in New Port Richey.

Morton Plant is part of the BayCare Health System, which also includes St. Joseph's and Mease Countryside hospitals

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Client News: Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center Welcomes a New Addition to the Family

Source: Oakwood Health System Facebook Page

When there’s a new addition to the family and you’re on your way to the hospital or you’re leaving work and don’t want to stop on your ride home to pick up a gift for a precious baby in your life, Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center (OHMC) delivers the solution.
On Oct. 13, OHMC opened its new Mom & Baby Shop in the atrium of the hospital after a two-month construction process. The bright and cheery d├ęcor and products feature everything from flowers for mom to adorable outfits and toys for baby. “We want to enhance retail offerings for patients and staff as well as give the atrium a more comfortable feel,” said Oakwood’s Director of Retail Strategies, Tom Drummy.
So far, the new shop has been very popular – particularly among OHMC employees and staff. In fact, approximately 75 percent of the business so far has come from Oakwood employees. “I love the shop. I’ve been at Oakwood for 26 years and I’m already a frequent flyer,” said OHMC operating room nurse, Norma Dolney, RN.

Drummy said the new shop is not the end of the retail changes for OHMC. He and his staff are looking at giving the Oakleaf Gift Shop and outpatient pharmacy new looks as well as developing a specialized store for those going through cancer treatment.
“There are a lot of things we can do to make our patients and employees lives easier by giving them options to buy what they need while they’re here instead of on their way home,” Tom said.
The Mom & Baby Shop at OHMC is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Client News: Galesburg Clinic joins OSF HealthCare

Source: Galesburg The Register-Mail

GALESBURG — OSF HealthCare announced today that effective immediately, Galesburg Clinic will become part of the OSF HealthCare System and will be known as OSF Galesburg Clinic.

In a news release, OSF HealthCare said “the decision was made after carefully considering many factors, most importantly, the impact on the existing patients and to the Galesburg community. OSF believes that integrating fully with OSF HealthCare will give the Galesburg Clinic — its physicians, providers and staff — the best opportunity to continue providing patients with the very best care possible, now and in the future. All Galesburg Clinic physicians have chosen to join OSF, and will continue to care for their patients under the new name.”

“The integration of the Galesburg Clinic P.C. into OSF HealthCare System will better position us to withstand the coming changes to the U.S. healthcare system and allow us to continue to provide the high quality care we’ve provided families of western Illinois for over 70 years,” says Mark Meeker, MD, CMO, OSF Galesburg Clinic. “We look forward to being part of a high quality integrated system while serving patient needs in Galesburg.”

OSF Galesburg Clinic is located on the OSF St. Mary Medical Center campus and is physically attached to the medical center. Both entities have worked closely together for years and share common philosophies and values. A news release said aligning with experienced physicians from OSF HealthCare and OSF St. Mary allows OSF Galesburg Clinic to share information, reduce fragmentation of care and help attract additional needed medical professionals to the communities we serve.

“The national healthcare scene is changing rapidly. Communities tied together with vibrant and efficient medical centers, physician groups and aligned ancillary services dedicated to improving the overall health of their communities will be well positioned to continue providing quality care during these uncertain times. I believe this alliance will allow us to do just that,” says Richard S. Kowalski, President, CEO, OSF St. Mary Medical Center.

The services provided by OSF Galesburg Clinic include a multi-specialty physicians office, a Prompt Care walk-in clinic with additional medical professional services, as will as satellite locations at Knox College and in Monmouth, Kewanee, Macomb and Hopedale. OSF integrated home care services, including home health, home medical equipment, diabetes supplies, even hospice will allow OSF Galesburg Clinic to provide patients with a continuum of care for all their needs.

OSF Galesburg Clinic was established by area physicians in 1940, and has been dedicated to providing high quality healthcare to the patients it serves. This physician led multi-specialty group provides primary and secondary healthcare services as well as behavioral health and audiology services. OSF Galesburg Clinic encompasses six locations, its main office on North Seminary Street in Galesburg, OSF Prompt Care on Henderson Street in Galesburg as well as clinics at Knox College and in Monmouth, Kewanee and Hopedale.

Client News: OSF St. Joseph Foundation 22nd Annual Crystal Ball

Date: November 6, 2010
Time: 6:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Event Description Please join us at this year's fundraising gala for OSF St. Joseph Medical Center. This premier black-tie ball is one of the largest in central Illinois. The theme for the event is Through The Eyes of A Child with proceeds going towards OSF's new Birthing Center project.

This year's ball will be held at the Bloomington Country Club and will feature both a silent and live auction, a raffle drawing for an exquisite Hearts on Fire piece from Bremer Jewelry, and live music from Sister Groove.
Tickets can be purchased for $150 each. A tax deductible portion of your reservation is $75 per person. Reserve your tickets today by contacting the OSF St. Joseph Foundation at (309) 665-4900.

Experience a night of elegance Through the Eyes of A Child!
For more information please click here.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Client News: Hospitals Rev Up Recycling Efforts

Source: Melissa Burden / The Detroit News
Photo Credit: Clarence Tabb Jr. / The Detroit News
Hospitals in southeastern Michigan and across the country are reprocessing everything from drill bits to surgical staplers used in operating rooms, a move that not only saves money but spares trash from landfills.

The growing recycling effort of single-use medical devices comes as hospitals strive to cut expenses and become more green-friendly. A recent Johns Hopkins University study estimates hospitals can save millions by reprocessing or resterilizing single-use medical equipment, devices that otherwise are thrown out.
U.S. health care facilities send more than 4 billion pounds of waste each year to landfills and incinerators, according to a report in Materials Management in Health Care magazine. Medical waste is five to 10 times more costly to dispose of than solid waste, experts say.
"Reprocessing saves over 2 million pounds of medical waste from being sent to landfills each year," said Darren J. Wennen, vice president of marketing and business development for Minnesota-based SterilMed Inc., a reprocessing company with 1,700 customers nationally and about 100 in Michigan.

Hospitals typically ship the devices to a company such as SterilMed, which decontaminates, thoroughly cleans, inspects, repackages and sterilizes them before sending the devices back to the hospital.

The St. John Providence Health System, a six-hospital system in southeastern Michigan, will save about $1.2 million this year by reprocessing, according to SterilMed.

The system's largest hospital, the 804-bed St. John Hospital & Medical Center in Detroit, will save about $400,000 by reprocessing and will keep more than 12,000 pounds of medical waste from landfills.

"Health care is just a tremendous wasteful organization," said Vicki Boyce, a clinical nurse specialist who chairs St. John Hospital's Go Green committee.

Single-use medical reprocessing — which has come under fire over patient-safety concerns but has been deemed safe by the federal government — is just one way hospitals are cutting waste. Several Metro Detroit hospitals also have growing solid-waste recycling programs, where they're able to keep thousands of tons of waste from landfills.

Reprocessing saves millions

Hospitals and health systems such as the Detroit Medical Center, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Oakwood Healthcare Inc. and the St. Joseph Mercy Health System also are reprocessing devices, while some such as St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor have branched out to use reusable sharps' containers instead of disposable containers.

Most Michigan hospitals use reprocessed devices, said Dave Finkbeiner, senior vice president of advocacy at the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

"Since we started the program here in 2006, we've saved more than $2 million by using reprocessed devices," said Bruce Lawrence, supply chain project manager for the eight-hospital Detroit Medical Center, which since 2006 has reprocessed 16 tons of devices such as clamps, tourniquet cuffs and electrophysiological catheters.

Over the past year, Beaumont Royal Oak sent 8,155 single-use devices to SterilMed for reprocessing, diverting 14,537 pounds from landfills and saving $500,000, said Beaumont spokesman Robert Ortlieb and Eric Tenner, manager of its central processing department. The hospital and the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers also donate working but unused medical instruments.

And hospitals increasingly are switching disposable sharps' containers that handle needles, syringes and scalpel blades for reusable containers.

Prior to making its switch four years ago, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor had been using more than 22,000 disposable containers a year. Now the Ann Arbor hospital and hospitals in Saline and Howell collectively use about 1,500 reusable containers a year, said Wayne Root, manager of central sterile reprocessing for St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor.

And Dearborn-based Oakwood Healthcare Inc.'s four hospitals believe the move they are planning will cut up to 13 percent of its medical waste and reduce medical waste costs by up to 11 percent, said Keith Cottrell, Oakwood's resident regional manager over environmental services.

The increased acceptance among hospitals to reprocess single-use devices, though, hasn't come without some people's concerns that using refurbished devices isn't safe.

Legislation introduced last year in the state legislature would have prohibited using devices labeled for single use that had been reprocessed, but the hospital association successfully pushed to amend the law to allow hospitals to use reprocessed medical devices as long as it's done by a reprocessor registered and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Finkbeiner said.

"The FDA has reported consistently that there is no evidence that reprocessed single-use devices … create an elevated health risk to patients," Finkbeiner said "In all, the reprocessed devices account for approximately 2 percent of all medical equipment labeled for single-use."

The U.S. Government Accountability Office also has issued reports, most recently in 2008, that confirm the safety of reprocessing.

SterilMed said its reprocessed devices are "substantially equivalent to a new product with respect to cleanliness, functionality and sterility," Wennen said.

Solid waste recycled, too
Hospitals also are expanding solid-waste recycling.

In 2009, St. John Hospital was able to cut about 10 percent from its annual waste stream by recycling 105 tons of paper, 54 tons of cardboard, six tons of single-use devices, four tons of plastic, three tons of batteries and one ton of cooking and motor oil, plus a half-ton of chemicals, Boyce said.

And last year, the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers recycled 28 percent of its total waste stream or 2,433 tons, while Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital recycled 1.7 million pounds.

Oakwood's hospitals and two long-term care centers now partner with a vendor who recycles up to 65 percent of its solid waste, Cottrell said. An energy facility also burns some waste, captures the steam and recycles that into electricity, he said.

"The main reason we do this is because we want to be very accountable in how we manage our waste," Cottrell said.

"Managing our waste in landfills is a very responsible thing to do."