Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Amerinet Executive Briefing Offers Best Practices on Revenue Cycle Enhancement

Source: Amerinet Press Release

Amerinet Media Contact:
Evan Danis, Director of Alliance and Member Marketing
Phone: 724-778-3423
Email: evan.danis@amerinet-gpo.com

St. Louis (July 27, 2010) – Amerinet Inc., a leading national healthcare group purchasing organization, today released the executive briefing, Keeping the Reimbursement Train on Track, which offers tips and best practices aimed at ensuring hospitals and other healthcare providers are collecting all the revenue they are due. A free copy of the executive briefing is available on the Amerinet website.

The briefing by Kelley Blair, MA, vice president at Craneware Professional Services, and Linda Corley, MBA, CPC, corporate compliance officer for Revenue Cycle Solutions at Dell Services, examines how the revenue cycle process touches all points of care – from the moment the patient walks in the door through final collection of payment – and how a breakdown at any stage can hurt profits.

“The majority of hospitals are still not collecting all of the revenue they are entitled to. Ninety-two percent of hospitals lost money on outpatient services – the fastest growing segment of hospital billable services – and medical necessity denials cost some hospitals more dollars than they receive in collections,” said Corley. “This adds up to lost revenue contributing to the negative margins experienced by nearly one-third of hospitals.”

Specifically, to start recapturing funds, healthcare executives need to:

* Determine whether the “train is off the track” and identify the problem points

* Start by cleaning up the chargemaster and implementing controls to ensure that it is well maintained and properly used

* Assess key stops in patient access, medical management and receivables management to identify and prioritize issues

* Involve all relevant teams, not just the chargemaster team or the billing office, to improve processes

“In a market where available capital is shrinking, healthcare organizations must look internally to increase cash flow. Like the supply chain, the revenue cycle holds huge opportunities to generate cash,” said Blair.

Amerinet, Craneware and Dell Services, along with Unibased Systems Architecture, have formed the Amerinet Alliance for Financial Efficiency, which offers the most effective approach to end-to-end revenue cycle management and financial performance improvement solutions.

From scheduling to remittance processing, from charge capture to collections, from preregistration to AR management, the Amerinet Alliance for Financial Efficiency offers healthcare organizations the aligned solutions they need to reduce costs, generate revenue and achieve the financial health needed to best serve their communities. To learn more, click here.

About Amerinet
As a leading national healthcare group purchasing organization, Amerinet strategically partners with acute and alternate care providers to reduce costs and improve quality through its performance solutions. Built on a foundation of data, savings and trust, and supported by a team of clinical and supply chain experts, Amerinet enriches healthcare delivery for its members and the communities they serve. To learn more about the Amerinet difference, visit www.amerinet-gpo.com.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Client News: Inova Health System Again Among 'Most Wired'

Source: Inova Health System Press Release

Survey Finds Hospitals with IT Commitment Have Better Outcomes

Falls Church, VA – Inova Health System has again been named one of the nation's "Most Wired" hospitals and health systems, according to the results of the 2010 Most Wired Survey, released in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.

According to the 2010 study, the 100 Most Wired hospitals show better outcomes in patient satisfaction, risk-adjusted mortality rates and other key quality measures, because of the use of information technology (IT). Marking its 12th year, the goal of the Most Wired Survey continues to be benchmarking hospital progress with information technology.

"We're excited to have been selected once again as one of the Most Wired Health Systems in the country," said Geoff Brown, SVP, chief information officer, Inova Health System. "As part of our commitment to provide superior healthcare throughout the System, we work to integrate technology in every way possible to not only improve the patient experience, but also help share critical information among our hospitals and physicians, to ensure that each patient gets the best and safest care."

The Most Wired Survey is conducted annually by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, the journal of the American Hospital Association, which uses the results to name the Most Wired hospitals and health systems. It focuses on how the nation's hospitals use information technologies for quality, customer service, public health and safety, business processes and workforce issues. Inova Health System has been a recipient of this recognition seven out of the last 12 years, reflecting the organization’s commitment to a sustained culture of innovation and to technology solutions designed to improve patient care.

Hospitals & Health Networks conducted the 2010 survey in cooperation with McKesson Corporation and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. The H&HN cover story detailing results is available at www.hhnmag.com.

Inova Health System is a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Northern Virginia that consists of hospitals and other health services, including emergency- and urgent-care centers, home care, nursing homes, mental health and blood donor services, and wellness classes. Governed by a voluntary board of community members, Inova’s mission is to improve the health of the diverse community it serves through excellence in patient care, education and research. Inova provides a healthy environment for its patients, families, visitors, staff and physicians by prohibiting tobacco use on its campuses.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Client News: Oakwood Healthcare has resurrected its plans to build a new hospital

Source: Crain's Detroit Business

Oakwood revives plans for Canton Twp. hospital:
St. Joseph Mercy to oppose bid

By Jay Greene

Oakwood Healthcare, a four-hospital system in Dearborn, has resurrected its plans to build a new hospital in Canton Township in western Wayne County where it has operated an outpatient center for more than 30 years.

Oakwood, which bought a 144-acre tract of mostly farmland at the corner of Beck Road and Michigan Avenue in August 2008 for $12 million, is working with the architectural firm SmithGroup in Detroit on creating a master plan for the project.

“We just began planning again and everyone in the community is involved — community leaders, business groups, Oakwood physicians and other physicians in the community,” said Paula Rivera-Kerr, Oakwood's media relations manager.

A decision on the scope of the project is expected in October, said Rivera-Kerr.

“(The master plan) will then determine the number of beds, square footage, scope of services, budget and what the design of the campus will look like,” Rivera-Kerr said.

An improving economy, patient demand and financial turnarounds at many health care systems in Southeast Michigan in 2009 has led to announcements of $2.4 billion in health care construction projects over the past nine months.

But Rob Casalou, CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Health System in Ann Arbor, said St. Joseph will oppose Oakwood's plans to build a new hospital.

St. Joseph, part of Novi-based Trinity Health, operates two hospitals that serve the Canton Township market.

“We have an overcapacity of medical resources, and putting the most expensive resource (a hospital) in a region that already has major health systems makes no sense,” Casalou said.

“We are supposed to be investing in ambulatory care, medical homes and primary care,” Casalou said. “Inpatient care may make a lot of money in the short term, but the movement is to outpatient care in the future.”

Under state certificate-of-need regulations, Oakwood would be required to submit an application for a CON.

Last month, McLaren Health Care Corp. in Flint began talking about building a 200-bed hospital in Independence Township.

Sources have told Crain's that McLaren and Oakwood could possibly team up to get a bill introduced in the Legislature that would allow both organizations to bypass the CON process.

In 2002, Henry Ford Health System and St. John Providence Health System won special legislative approval to transfer beds from existing hospitals to new hospitals in Oakland County.

“The only thing we can say about it is we have no plans to circumvent the CON process,” Rivera-Kerr said.

Roy Sexton, Oakwood's corporate director of strategic communications and planning, said Oakwood is considering options that include transferring beds from one of its hospitals.

“The CON standards are fairly specific about what can and cannot transpire around hospital beds, so we hope to work with (state regulatory officials) to understand what our options are to serve this community and meet the community's needs,” Sexton said.

Larry Horwitz, president of the Economic Alliance for Michigan, said building a fourth hospital to serve the Canton market would add costs for employers, consumers and taxpayers.

”There are multiple hospitals in all directions from the Oakwood proposed site in Canton,” Horwitz said. “Collectively those hospitals have a vacancy rate on an average day of about one-third.”

The three hospitals that serve the bulk of Canton inpatient needs are the University of Michigan Hospitals in Ann Arbor, Trinity's St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor.

Within the next year, St. Joseph Mercy plans to add 24-hour emergency care and a 23-hour short stay unit to its outpatient center in Canton, Casalou said.

“We have almost all the services there to take care of 99.9 percent of all the health care needs,” Casalou said. “Why build very expensive inpatient resources under the argument that the community needs it when most care is not delivered at hospitals?”

Last year, three-hospital William Beaumont Hospitals began working with a developer to extend its outpatient center network to the I-275 and Michigan Avenue area of Canton.

However, Bob Ortlieb, Beaumont's media relations coordinator, said plans for the outpatient project in Canton have been set aside.

Since 1982, Oakwood has operated an outpatient center in Canton, the Oakwood Canton Medical Center, which is 5.7 miles from the proposed new hospital campus.

In early 2008, Oakwood officials talked with community leaders in Canton about long-range plans of building a variety of health projects.

At the time, Oakwood's multiphase project included a hospital, emergency care, outpatient services, imaging, primary and specialty care clinics, senior care housing, a medical research facility and an outpatient surgery center.

But economic downturn in the fall of 2008 put a damper on those plans in Canton and an expansion project at Oakwood Heritage Hospital in Taylor. In 2008, Oakwood also incurred financial losses of $76.2 million.

As the economy has started to rebound and Oakwood's finances improved to $64.1 million net income in 2009, Oakwood decided to ramp up both projects.

In April, Oakwood announced plans for a $31 million surgical services expansion project at Heritage Hospital that is intended to create an orthopedic center of excellence and a bone and joint center.

Oakwood, which employs 9,000 people and has 1,300 physicians on its medical staffs, also operates Oakwood Annapolis, Oakwood Southshore and flagship Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center in Dearborn.

It also operates a network of 45 primary and specialty care outpatient centers.

Jay Greene: (313) 446-0325, jgreene@crain.com

© 2010 Crain Communications Inc.

Client News: Florida Hospital among a group of hospitals studying how to cut readmissions

Source: OrlandoSentinel.com - July 18, 2010

Florida hospitals join forces to cut readmissions
By Linda Shrieves, Orlando Sentinel

Eighty-one hospitals in Florida are teaming up with one important goal: to reduce the number of infections and complications that occur after surgery.

For patients throughout the state, the coalition's work could cut their chances of being readmitted to the hospital after an operation. And for hospitals, fewer complications could reduce the sorts of costs that will come under increasing scrutiny with the new federal health-overhaul law.

Currently about one in five patients discharged from the hospital is readmitted for complications. These subsequent hospital stays add $11,000 or more to the average cost of a patient's care.

Starting this fall, hospitals ranging from 759-bed Winter Haven Hospital to the entire Florida Hospital network will study four types of hospital patients: those who developed urinary-tract infections, those with surgical-site infections, those who had colorectal surgery and those 65 or older 65 who had any type of surgery.

By analyzing the data and finding which hospitals have low rates of surgical complications, the hospitals and their partners — the Florida Hospital Association and the American College of Surgeons — hope to zero in on the methods that minimize infections and complications.

"If we have 100 hospitals in a collaborative [study] and 20 are doing outstanding, what are these 20 hospitals doing that the other 80 are not?" said Dr. Clifford Ko of the American College of Surgeons, which will oversee the study.

In Central Florida, 11 hospitals are participating in the two-year study: Orlando Regional Medical Center, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach and Florida Hospital's eight regional hospitals.

"I think this has the potential to substantially raise the level of care in Florida," said Dr. David Moorehead, chief medical officer for seven Florida Hospital locations."But as much as that, it has the potential for Florida's hospitals to work together to create a database of what things work and what things don't work."

To determine what types of infections and complications to study in the $1.6 million project, Ko asked for guidance from Medicare administrators.

In addition to common complications such as surgical-site infections and urinary-tract infections, the hospitals will study one of the most common operations performed in the United States: colon-resection surgeries, in which part of a diseased colon is removed.

The hospitals also will examine results from surgeries performed on all patients 65 and older, and compare results from one hospital to another. Elderly patients often have many other health issues, which can contribute to complications after surgery, Ko said.

Participating hospitals will plug information into a database developed by the American College of Surgeons. Blue Cross Blue Shield will pay $800,000 to fund the project, with the remaining half paid by the hospitals.

'You learn a lot'

Similar collaborative studies in other states have revealed how hospitals can reduce infections by washing patients a particular way or by using a certain antibiotic after surgery, Ko said.

"When you collect this amount of information on procedures, you learn a lot," said Dianne Cosgrove, Orlando Health's patient and safety-outcomes officer. "For instance, by looking at patients' history, we may ask, 'Do we need to treat people with diabetes a little differently?' Or if you're using a certain type of surgical product and getting good results, you may say, 'Hmm, this seems to be working particularly well.' "

By sharing notes, hospital administrators can learn from each other's experiences.

"When somebody comes up with a great idea, hospitals love to steal shamelessly," said Cosgrove. "That's the purpose of this kind of initiative: to get the word out when somebody has a good idea. The feedback is much quicker than waiting for a journal article to be published."

By preventing complications, hospitals can save $11,000 or more per patient, Ko said. Hospitals participating in similar projects in other states avoided 250 to 500 complications a year.

"If you take that number of complications and multiply it by $11,000, that adds up to millions of dollars in costs that are avoided," Ko said.

Federal incentives

Starting Oct. 1, 2012, Medicare payments to hospitals with high readmission rates will be reduced.

That's why hospitals across the country are examining their readmission rates — and the causes for readmissions, such as post-surgical infections.

As health-care reform phases in, the federal government is using financial incentives to encourage hospitals to reduce errors and save money, said Gerard Anderson, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Hospital Finance and Management.

To help reduce those readmissions, the federal government will pay hospitals a lump sum for a surgical procedure — a sum that factors in some money for patients who return to the hospital with complications.

"If you're able to keep your readmissions down," Anderson said, "you're going to make a lot of money."

Linda Shrieves can be reached at lshrieves@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5433.

Copyright © 2010, Orlando Sentinel

Press Release: Bay Area Hospital Begins Production with New Surgery Management System from Unibased Systems Architecture, Inc.

Chesterfield, MO., July 19, 2010: Unibased Systems Architecture, Inc. (Unibased) today announced Bay Area Hospital (BAH) in Coos Bay, Oregon successfully implemented the Unibased ForSite2020® periOperative Resource Management System (ORMS). BAH contracted with Unibased for the complete ForSite2020 surgery management system suite in December 2009 with the goal of achieving total perioperative automation and moving forward with their hospital-wide electronic health record (EHR) initiative. The implementation began in March 2010 following software delivery. Current files including patient demographics, clinical history, physician tables, and physician preference cards were converted and analyzed using state-of-the-art Unibased software. Bi-directional interfaces were created for current access management and material management systems based upon the Unibased systems integration HL7 libraries.

The project included surgery scheduling, preference card management, and post-case documentation, as well as the ForSite Analytics business intelligence tool. Work continues to progress with expanded perioperative nursing documentation, a case progress display and tissue tracking, which should be completed by the end of 2010. Future plans include integrating the system with an anesthesia management solution provided by Draeger Medical, Inc.

Bay Area Hospital's Chief Information and Facilities Officer, Ben Pfau, stated, “It has been a good partnership, the implementation has been very smooth with both parties easily able to work through any issues that may have arisen.”
Bob Adams, Director of Information Services, added, “Unibased continues to live up to their #1 ranking and reputation by delivering on their promises. The implementation has been on-time and within budget. Key interfaces were delivered as planned; quality training was provided by friendly seasoned professionals and the software functioned as expected with no flaws. Brenda Curtner, Director of Clinical Informatics, also pointed out, “Bay Area Hospital prefers to partner with solution vendors that are willing to incorporate our input into their product development roadmap. Unibased is committed to doing that and has proven this by delivering our requests prior to us going live. We’re excited about the opportunity that lies ahead with the Unibased relationship.”

Tim Garner, RN, a member of the Clinical Informatics Team indicated, “In my opinion, our transition from our old O.R. product to ORMS went very well. Unibased was attentive to our issues. In particular, our Unibased clinical consultant Peggy Pittenger was very helpful in assisting us with the transition. Good support coupled with a good working partnership between I.S. and Clinical Informatics at Bay Area Hospital, allowed the transition to take place with minimal impact on most end-users.”

"Unibased has had only positive experiences working with the Siemens MedSeries4® product and support team over the last 18 years. We are also highly impressed with the I.S. and clinical informatics group at Bay Area Hospital,” said Phil Amelung, Principal Consultant with Unibased. We are very excited about the opportunity we have to work with the team at BAH to provide their hospital with a solution that will reduce costs, improve efficiency, and jump start the revenue cycle in the surgery department. We also believe BAH will be a model for other hospitals that are looking to achieve the highest level of interoperability with their other clinical, financial, and administrative systems.”

Download PDF of Press Release Here

Media Contact:
Stephanie D. Speth, Marketing Manager
Phone: 314-878-6050, ext. 143
Email: speth@unibased.com

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Inova Fairfax Hospital Ranked Among the Nation's Best by U.S. News & World Report

Source: Inova Health System
July 15, 2010

Hospital Ranked Among Top 25 in Gynecology

Falls Church, VA – Inova Fairfax Hospital has again been selected by U.S. News & World Report as one of "America's Best Hospitals." The hospital was ranked 24th for gynecology, the seventh straight year the hospital has made the list in that specialty.

"During the past 50 years, Inova Fairfax Hospital has created a women's program that offers a full spectrum of services, from delivering newborns to performing the most advanced surgical procedures," said L. Reuven Pasternak, MD, CEO, Inova Fairfax Hospital Campus. "This ranking solidifies Inova’s place as a leader in women's care and we're proud to offer this level of quality care to our community."

"Being ranked among the best in the country is a testament to the care and dedication of our doctors, nurses and staff," said Patricia Schmehl, Administrator, Women's Services, Inova Fairfax Hospital. "We've worked hard to build a program that provides the very best care for women and their families. Whether our patients are facing a serious gynecologic illness or experiencing the joy of a new baby, we’re here to provide help every step of the way."

U.S. News & World Report uses rigorous standards in compiling its list of the nation's best hospitals. Hospitals are ranked by specialty and not by specific procedures. Of the 4,852 hospitals evaluated, only 152 scored high enough to be ranked in at least one specialty.

In 12 of the 16 specialties, U.S. News ranked hospitals on hard data, including death rates, procedure volume, patient safety, and balance of nurses and patients. Hospitals must have seen a specified minimum number of Medicare inpatients from 2006 to 2008 who had certain procedures and conditions in a specialty. Or, a hospital could be recommended by physicians in recent U.S. News reputation surveys.

This is the 14th time in the past 15 years that Inova Fairfax Hospital has been ranked among the nation's best hospitals. The 2010 edition of U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Hospitals" will be available on newsstands Tuesday, July 27.

Inova Health System is a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Northern Virginia that consists of hospitals and other health services, including emergency- and urgent-care centers, home care, nursing homes, mental health and blood donor services, and wellness classes. Governed by a voluntary board of community members, Inova’s mission is to improve the health of the diverse community it serves through excellence in patient care, education and research. Inova provides a healthy environment for its patients, families, visitors, staff and physicians by prohibiting tobacco use on its campuses.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Client News: Inova Alexandria Hospital Unveils Center for Rehabilitative Care

Source: Inova Health System
July 13, 2010

Alexandria, VA – Inova Alexandria Hospital is hosting an open house for its new Center for Rehabilitative Care on Wednesday, July 14.

The new center, located on the second floor in the former Physical Medicine space, will combine the services of physical medicine and cardiopulmonary rehabilitative care into a unique, state-of-the-art area for patient care. The rehabilitative center will feature an indoor track, the latest exercise and cardiac-monitoring equipment for those with challenging cardiopulmonary conditions, and private consultation rooms for patients undergoing lymphedema, hand or other therapeutic treatments.

"The new Center for Rehabilitative Care will continue to provide our patients with excellent service and outstanding care in physical medicine and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation," said Christine Candio, CEO, Inova Alexandria Hospital. "Housing our rehabilitative experts and the technology they use in one area will improve access and convenience for patients and physicians."

Inova Alexandria Hospital
Center for Rehabilitative Care
Open House

Wednesday, July 14, 2010
3:30 – 6 p.m.

Inova Alexandria Hospital
Center for Rehabilitative Care
(2nd floor in the former Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation space)
4320 Seminary Rd.
Alexandria, VA 22304

Watch the Center for Rehabilitative Care video to learn additional details about the renovated space.

Inova Health System is a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Northern Virginia that consists of hospitals and other health services, including emergency- and urgent-care centers, home care, nursing homes, mental health and blood donor services, and wellness classes. Governed by a voluntary board of community members, Inova’s mission is to improve the health of the diverse community it serves through excellence in patient care, education and research. Inova provides a healthy environment for its patients, families, visitors, staff and physicians by prohibiting tobacco use on its campuses.

R & D: Some Highlights of Release 6.25

Interactive Comments
Frustrated with calls back and forth to your physician offices? The newest enhancement to Unibased’s Physician Access portal has interactive comments. Whether it is the physician office or the access department, simply enter your comments in the interactive comments box and an indicator will let the other party know there is a message that requires their attention. Whether it is clarifying instructions, suggesting an alternate procedure or simply sharing specific information about the patient’s desires, instantaneous communication is at your fingertips.

New Managed Care Rule for Insurance Non-Coverage by Provider
An additional managed care rule is now available to alert schedulers if a provider they are assigning to an appointment does not accept a patient’s insurance. If a provider does not accept an insurance company's coverage, the system will provide a yellow warning at the time of scheduling.

Reminder Letter Enhancements

The reminder letter feature has been enhanced to allow for automatic generation for both the hard-copy reminder notice as well as an auto send of an email reminder notice.

Contact your Unibased account representative for more information on all the enhancements included in Release 6.25.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Latest Congressional Budget Office Projection Suggests Serious Trouble Down the Road with Healthcare Spending

Source: ModernHealthcare.com
Analysts: There could be trouble down the road
By Melanie Evans

The latest Congressional Budget Office projection of the federal debt suggests doubt among budget analysts that lawmakers will enforce some attempts to curb health spending under health reform.

The CBO again this year made two projections for the U.S.' long-term debt. The first is derived from current laws that govern spending. The second “alternative” scenario adjusts projections for likely ways that tax and spending policies will stray from those laws.

The latter, the CBO notes, is considered a “more realistic picture of the nation's underlying fiscal policy.” It is also far grimmer.

Even the rosier projection is sobering. If the nation sticks to current laws, the federal debt will grow to account for more than three-quarters (79%) of the economy in the next 25 years.

But CBO analysts contend that lawmakers may continue to tax and spend as before, regardless of laws that dictate otherwise. Under this alternative scenario, lawmakers would adopt changes that scale back tax revenue and increase healthcare spending, driving the debt to dwarf the economy at a projected 185% of gross domestic product by 2035.

Under the alternative scenario, doctors would not see Medicare payments cut by roughly-one fifth, as scheduled by law, but would instead see gains in coming years. Indeed, in late June, President Barack Obama signed into law a six-month delay to the 21.1% cut. The CBO also estimates that by 2020, Congress will scrap some provisions to curb Medicare spending and reject planned reductions to insurance subsidies for those with low incomes.

If lawmakers jettison some health reform Medicare provisions—the physician pay cut and some spending restrains after 2020, such as those set by the new Independent Payment Advisory Board—Medicare spending in 2035 would be 17% greater than it might have been, the CBO said.

Budget analysts also calculated the cost should lawmakers undo a scheduled reduction to insurance subsidies for low-income people in 2018. Combined, these changes would increase federal health spending for Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and insurance subsidies to 11% of the GDP by 2035, compared with 10% under the reform laws enacted in March.

Under health reform, Medicare spending is projected to slow to 2% per year from 4%, but the CBO cautions the more sluggish pace may not be sustainable or could compromise access to care and quality. The agency also warns that its long-term projections get shakier the further out they go.

Copyright Crain Communications, Inc.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mother Frances Hospital - Winnsboro Announces New CEO

Source: Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics
Press Release, July 8, 2010

Winnsboro, TX - Officials with Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics announced that Janet Coates is the new CEO at Mother Frances Hospital-Winnsboro. Coates replaces Gary Looper, who has served since March 1 as the Hospital's interim CEO.

"I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Janet Coates as President and CEO of Mother Frances Hospital-Winnsboro," said Ray Thompson, FACHE, Executive Vice President/COO-TMF, and Chief Executive Officer, Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler. "Janet has been serving as chief nursing officer of the hospital and I know she will do a great job. Patients in Wood County and the surrounding area will get to know Janet and quickly see that she is the right person to lead Mother Frances Hospital-Winnsboro into the future."

Coates has 30 years experience in nursing and has served in operational leadership roles in large and small hospitals, including facilities in Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Arizona and California. Most recently, she served in an executive vice president role with Scott and White Healthcare in Temple, Texas, and prior to that as Vice President of Clinical Services with Arizona Heart Hospital in Phoenix.

She received her bachelor's degree in nursing from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, and her master's degree in Hospital Administration/Human Resource Development from Webster University in Little Rock.

Coates is affiliated with the American College of Healthcare Executives and the American Organization of Nurse Executives.

Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics includes Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler, Mother Frances Hospital-Jacksonville, Mother Frances Hospital-Winnsboro, Trinity Mother Frances Rehabilitation Hospital, affiliated with HealthSouth, Tyler ContinueCARE Hospital, a long-term acute care facility, and Trinity Clinic. Trinity Clinic is the area's preferred multispecialty medical group, with over 250 physicians and mid-level providers representing 37 specialties in 36 clinic locations serving east Texas. For more information on services available through Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics, visit tmfhc.org.

For more information contact: John Moore, Public Information Officer
Phone: (903) 531-4542, Email: john.moore@tmfhs.org

© Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A relative of one of our Unibased team members selected by the New York Yankees!

In cool sports-related news, a relative of one of our Unibased team members, Bryant Cotton, was selected by the New York Yankees as a free agent!

Bryant is the cousin of our Office Manager, Myra C. Allen, MBA. CONGRATULATIONS BRYANT!!!

Source: Gotham Sports Media, LLC.

New Yankee, Cotton, Ready to Start Pro Career
by: Robert M. Pimpsner

Earlier this week it was announced that the New York Yankees signed right-handed pitcher Bryant Cotton as a non-drafted free agent out of Saint Louis University. The 6 foot 2 inch right-handed pitcher spent two seasons with the Billikens after transferring from Butler County Community College. He struck out 151 batters and posted a career 4.46 ERA with the Billikens with 14wins including tying the school record of nine this past season.

“I was so excited,” said the young pitcher about the Yankees signing him, “the first thing I did was call my grandfather and tell him the news. He was more excited than me.”

The new Yankee prospect will be working as a reliever this summer after spending his college career primarily as a starter. The right-hander throws a plethora of pitches possessing a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, a sinker, curveball, splitter, slider and a change-up. His main strike out pitch is his slider which he successfully developed over the past year.

The former St. Louis University pitcher will be with the Staten Island Yankees and is hoping for a great season. “I expect to help the team in any way that I can to win,” said Cotton, “and I hope that I keep getting better because that will help the team also.”

Cotton will be joined in Staten Island by several new draftees and players coming up from Extended Spring Training down in Florida. One of those that are confirmed to make his professional debut with the Baby Bombers is Chase Whitley out of Troy University. The 15th round draft pick was 7-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 32 relief appearances this season. In 66 innings he struck out 65 and walked 24 while limiting opposing hitters to just a .211. He possesses an average fastball that sits between 88 and 92 MPH, a plush change up and a fringe curveball that still needs to develop.

As for the rest of the roster right-handed starting pitchers Zachary Varce (11th round, University of Portland), Preseton Claiborne (17th round, Tulane University), Conor Mulle (24th round, St. Peters College), James Gipson (31st round, Florida Atlantic University), Williams Oliver (35th round, Palomar College), Nathan Forer (46th round, S. Illinois University-Carbondale), left-handed starter Trevor Johnson (22nd Round, College of the Desert), and left-handed reliever Frederick Lewis (47th round, Tennessee Wesleyan College) could see time with the Staten Island Yankees this season. They will be joined by right-handers Manny Barreda, Michael O’Brien and left-handed pitchers Nik Turley and Samuel Elam from extended spring training.
Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson pitching for the SI Yankees in 2009 - Photo Credit: Robert M. Pimpsner

Right-handed pitcher Matt Richardson will join Staten Island later in the season after getting his innings up down in Tampa after being shut down for a couple of weeks to work out some mechanical issues.

New York Yankees catching prospect J.R. Murphy is expected to join the Staten Island Yankees from the Charleston RiverDogs of the South Atlantic League. Backing him up could be Nick McCoy (36th round, University of San Diego) and Jhorge Liccien out of extended spring training.

In the infield first baseman Kyle Roller (8th round, East Carolina University) could man first base or designated hitter for the Yankees this season. Casey Stevenson (25th round, University of California-Irvine) is expected to play second for Staten Island. Several players could be coming up from extended spring training to make up the baby bomber infield such as Garrison Lassiter (3B), Jose Toussen (2B), Carlos Urena (1B), Carmen Angelini, Jose Mojica and Luis Parache (SS). Third baseman Kevin Mahoney will be joining the team from Trenton where he was a reserve player.

In the outfielder Michael Ferraro (20th round, University of San Diego) and Shane Brown (23rd round, University of Central Florida) are expected to make their professional debuts. Top outfielder prospects Kelvin DeLeon, Eduardo Sosa and Ramon Flores could also see time this season in the outfield at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark. With his success in the South Atlantic League it is less likely now that the Yankees would send top outfield prospect Slade Heathcott down to Staten Island from the Charleston RiverDogs. Judd Golson is also a possibility for a spot in the Yankees outfield this season.

© Gotham Sports Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Bryant Cotton-Podcast Interview - from June 2, 2010
Source: College Baseball 360

Interview With A-10 Tourney MVP
St. Louis claimed the Atlantic 10 Tournament title as the number five seed. The Billikens did it by beating top-seeded Charlotte twice, and Bryant Cotton had a hand in both wins. Bryant fired a complete game in a 3-2 win over the 49ers to improve to 9-4 last Thursday, then he made his first relief appearance of the season two days later and struckout the only batter he faced to end the A-10 Championship game & earn the first save of his career (as well as A-10 Tournament MVP honors). Bryant and the Billikens are now headed to Louisville along with Vanderbilt and Illinois State for NCAA Regional action.
Copyright © College Baseball 360

Client News: Rob Rose, RN, BSN, MS, joins Trinity Mother Frances (Tyler, TX) as Senior Vice President Patient Services & Chief Nursing Officer

For more information, go to tmfhs.org.
© Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics

Nominate Your Facility for the 2nd Annual OR Excellence Awards!

Is your facility tops in patient satisfaction? How about patient safety? Are you the best at preventing infections, protecting staff from workplace hazards or controlling post-op pain? Does your financial management prowess leave other surgical facilities in the dust?

Outpatient Surgery Magazine is looking for the best of the best surgical facilities to profile in the 2nd annual OR Excellence Awards. (Read about last year's winners here.)

Click here to nominate your facility (via email) in one of the following 6 categories:

Patient Safety
Pain Control
SSI Prevention
Patient Satisfaction
Employee Safety
Financial Management

In your e-mail, include approximately 100 words how you've achieved excellence in one of those 6 areas. Be sure to also include your name, title, facility name, location and phone number.

Winners will be chosen by the Outpatient Surgery Magazine editorial staff and featured in the October issue of Outpatient Surgery Magazine, which coincides with the 2nd annual OR Excellence Conference, held Oct. 27-29 at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Click here for more information and to register for Outpatient Surgery Magazine’s OR Excellence Conference 2010.

Download the OR Excellence Conference 2010 Program and Syllabus [PDF]

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, Copyright © Herrin Publishing Partners, LP. All rights reserved.

Client News: Kosair Children's Hospital (Louisville, KY) mobile multimedia system eases children's stress & anxiety

Lights, camera, action! - Children with chronic illnesses star in their own self-help videos, thanks to this pediatric psychologist.

By Amy Novotney
[Source: July 2010, Vol 41, No. 7 - APA MONITOR, page 58 - "Lights, camera, action"]

When you’re a teenage girl in the throes of prom season, it’s devastating to find out you have leukemia and that chemotherapy will cause all your hair to fall out. Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Ky., has an answer for that. Enter the “Coping Cart,” a mobile multimedia system designed by pediatric psychologist Bryan D. Carter, PhD, to ease children’s stress and anxiety about illnesses, medical procedures or treatment regimens.

The cart — which some say resembles a refrigerator on wheels — is decorated with a jungle and ocean theme to make it look “less sterile,” Carter says, and opens up to reveal an iMac computer complete with a webcam and video editing software that allow patients to create clips about their hospital stays, their understanding of their medical conditions and their coping experiences.

Patients can also watch videos made by other kids who discuss how they overcame fear and anxiety around diseases or medical procedures. In one video, 18-year-old Kristen talks about the fun she had picking out wigs to wear after she lost her hair to chemotherapy. Another features 12-year-old Cody, a cancer patient, discussing the difficulties of pill swallowing: He shows viewers how to relax their throats, demonstrating with Nerds and Sweet Tarts candies.

“Using these videos has become a way to reach out to kids to help them see another child going through something similar and how they did it,” says Carter, director of the pediatric consultation-liaison service at Kosair Children’s and a professor of child psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

In addition to the video component, the cart houses a printer and scanner to allow kids who aren’t interested in creating videos to write stories or create comic books about their experiences. The cart also includes a clinical biofeedback unit, which monitors patient heart rate variability and galvanic skin response, two important correlates of relaxation and decreased anxiety. A video game interface teaches children relaxation, coping and anxiety management skills. Younger children enjoy the cart’s toy stethoscopes, dolls, puppets and surgery tools, which allow them to demonstrate what happens during a medical procedure and feel more in charge of their care by acting as the “experts,” Carter says.

This year, the hospital’s marketing team began uploading several of the videos onto a special website, where patients worldwide can access them. Already, Carter says he has received feedback from a colleague in Chicago whose pediatric cancer patient overcame his pill swallowing phobia after watching Cody’s video.

Camera-based therapy

The idea for the Coping Cart — funded by a 2006 grant from the Kentucky Psychological Association Foundation — stemmed from Carter’s training in the theories of Stanford University psychologist Albert Bandura, PhD. His social learning theory — that people learn best from role models with similar characteristics — is put into practice nearly every time he wheels the cart in to work with a patient.

In April, for example, Carter used the cart to distract an 8-year-old patient who was admitted with severe burns on his legs. During the boy’s first dressing change, Carter turned on a video of a girl demonstrating deep breathing techniques and talking about how during painful procedures, she thought about ice cream, marching bands and her other favorite things.

“Instead of us telling him what to do, he’s seeing another child model it and talk about it,” Carter says.

The videos often work particularly well with children who are withdrawn, don’t want information about their conditions or refuse to talk about their anxieties, behaviors that can lead to added stress and even contribute to noncompliance. Seeing how other children cope with their fears often enhances connections with otherwise hard-to-reach kids better than traditional talk therapy. “It’s kind of a stealth way of getting through to these kids,” Carter says.

The children who create the videos benefit as well, says Jeffrey Grill, MD, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Louisville School of Medicine who refers many inpatients to Carter’s team. Grill says the Coping Cart’s video editing tools help the young videographers develop a sense of mastery over the illness. In one video, for example, 16-year-old Seth talks about how much he dislikes undergoing his treatments for cystic fibrosis, but admits that if he didn’t, he couldn’t play his favorite sport, soccer.

“They’re getting therapy for themselves by helping other kids cope,” Grill says.

After using the cart’s tools and consulting with a pediatric psychologist, many patients don’t return to the hospital for problems related to coping with their condition or managing stress — a huge marker of the program’s success, says Grill and others. Grill says he only sees patients again if new medical issues arise, and even in such cases, most patients become more goal-directed and less anxious about their conditions.

“These kids are able to function better through what Bryan teaches,” Grill says. “He gets them back to the things kids should be doing.”
As a spin-off from seeing pediatric patients with chronic pain issues via his consultation-liaison work at Kosair Children’s, and with funding from the Norton Healthcare Community Trust, this year Carter also launched a treatment program for adolescents with painful and fatiguing conditions, the Children’s Health & Illness Recovery Program. This program also includes a website containing patient- and parent-generated videos for use by both patients and clinicians.

Amy Novotney is a writer in Chicago.

© 2010 American Psychological Association

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Client News: York Hospital first hospital in U.S. to perform cardiac procedure

William Nicholson, M.D., interventional cardiologist and structural heart specialist, Cardiac Diagnostic Associates, center, discusses the cardiac plug procedure with reporters during a news conference at York Hospital last week.

Source: "Around Wellspan" - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 Issue
York Hospital first hospital in U.S. to perform cardiac procedure - Cardiac plug device implanted into an 82-year-old patient

At a news conference last week, Dr. William Nicholson, an interventional cardiologist with Cardiac Diagnostic Associates, announced that York Hospital became the first hospital in the country to perform a revolutionary new procedure that is expected to define the standard of care for patients living with atrial fibrillation, the most common abnormal heart rhythm.

Blood clots can form from pooled blood in an appendage of the heart and break off and travel throughout the body, often to the brain, causing a stroke. The cardiac plug is implanted to seal the appendage, preventing blood from pooling there.

"York Hospital is accustomed to using cutting-edge technology, but it isn't often that you can be the first in the United States to do a procedure," said Nicholson.

"It is important to be able to offer your patients the best treatment for their condition. Being able to offer this alternative to patients in York would be an important benefit to our community.

"Performing the first cardiac plug procedure was the fruition of a lot of hard work and research by a team of individuals," he added.

The procedure will potentially enable patients with the most common abnormal heart rhythm to live without taking blood thinners such as warfarin and Coumadin, which are difficult to tolerate for many people and carry a risk of serious complications such as bleeding.

Some medical experts believe this procedure will become the standard of care for these patients within five years.

Jack Stottlemyer, the patient who received the implant, stayed overnight and was discharged the following day.

He said he was looking forward to getting off Coumadin so that he wouldn't have to take daily medication, have his blood checked every two weeks and worry about incurring a severe bleed.

"I didn't have any concern about having the procedure," he said. "I wanted to get off of Coumadin and this procedure will allow me to do so." York Hospital is one of only eight institutions nationwide to be selected by AGA Medical Holdings Inc. to participate in this early phase of the cardiac plug clinical trial.

"Being selected for this clinical trial is a testament to the program that has been built at York Hospital," said Nicholson.

"It recognizes the expertise available at York Hospital for surgical, interventional and imaging related to cardiac care."

See the York Daily Record article by clicking this link:

See the York Dispatch article by clicking this link:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

We wish everyone a happy and safe Independence Day! We are thankful and grateful to all of the veterans who made the sacrifices of their time, liberty and even their lives, so that we may live and enjoy the freedom we have in this great country of ours. (Our corporate offices will be closed July 5th to honor the national holiday.)