Friday, February 25, 2011

ACOs and Registries Directly Tied to Scheduling

Written by: Joseph Goedert
Each day, staff members at Advocate Physician Partners, the physician / hospital organization of Advocate Health Care serving the Chicago region, can run reports on patients scheduled for appointments the following day.
The reports check multiple registries--such as pharmacy, laboratory, electronic health record, oncology, chronic disease and preventive care--to identify gaps in care that physicians can address during the upcoming office visits
Registries are relatively inexpensive, critical I.T. components under the emerging accountable care organization care model, said Lee Sacks, CMO at Advocate Health Care and CEO of the PHO. Speaking at HIMSS11, he advised attendees to invest in registries—and don’t wait until adoption of an electronic health records as registries provide valuable services even without an EHR.
Registries are part of Advocate’s Clinical Integration initiative that started in 2004 and today supports registries and a data warehouse. A Web-based commercial registry is populated with data from various registries.
Advocate is preparing to participate in an accountable care organization with Blue Cross of Illinois and is looking at additional investments to support comprehensive coordination of patient care--starting with primary care physicians--across the continuum of care.
For instance, the organization will hire more than 70 care managers--many of whom will work with small physician practices--to help chronically ill patients improve their health status. Low-hanging fruit that care managers will focus on­­--avoidable admissions, readmissions and inappropriate emergency department visits—should help bend the health care cost curve.More use of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and better scheduling practices, can enable primary care practices to see more patients at the office and cut ED visits, Sacks said.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Client News: WellSpan's Gettysburg Hospital to Host 16th Annual Women's Health & Wellness Conference

Gettysburg Hospital Women’s Services will host the 16th annual Women’s Health and Wellness Conference on Saturday, March 12, in Gettysburg College’s Union Building. The Gettysburg event features two keynote speakers — Kimberly Wilson, an author and yoga enthusiast, and Bobbe White, an author and certified laughter leader.

Both women will share their lessons of creativity, stress management and confidence-building skills. Attendees also will choose from a variety of breakout sessions. This year’s topics include team-building with a rock climbing wall, recognizing digestive disorders, coping with food cravings, benefits of yoga and labyrinth meditation, young women and sports, home repairs, choosing native plants for your garden, sexting and cyber bullying.

The conference also includes a continental breakfast and lunch, exhibits, gifts and educational materials. Four Bitchin’ Babes—Diva Nation, Where Music, Laughter and Girlfriends Reign at the Majestic Theater is an optional Friday event. Discounted tickets are $32.

Cost to attend the women’s conference is $45 through Friday, Feb. 25, and $50 up to the March 4 registration deadline. For more information or to receive a registration booklet, call (717) 337-4272, ext 1 or visit

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Client News: Inova Fairfax Hospital Maintains National Recognition for Nursing Excellence

Inova Fairfax Hospital is proud to announce it has been redesignated as a Magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). This status is considered the highest institutional honor awarded for nursing excellence, with only 378 of the nation’s 6,000 hospitals having earned this designation. Inova Fairfax Hospital was among the first in the country to be recognized as a Magnet hospital in 1997 and is now one of just seven hospitals to have been redesignated four times.

“This is a true testament to the hard work and dedication of the nursing staff,” said Maureen Swick, RN, MSN, PhD, NEA-BC, Interim Chief Nurse Executive, Inova Fairfax Hospital. “This is such an incredible accomplishment and truly reflects on the clinical leadership, excellence and collaboration that take place on a daily basis throughout this campus.”

The ANCC developed the Magnet Recognition Program® to recognize healthcare organizations that provide nursing excellence. Inova Fair Oaks and Inova Loudoun hospitals have also attained Magnet status. Hospitals must demonstrate benchmarks in nursing leadership, excellence in patient care, quality clinical standards and a commitment to continued quality review and improvement. The benefits to patients include improved medical outcomes, shorter in-hospital stays and lower mortality rates.

To continue reading this article, click here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Client News: WellSpan named a Top 100 Integrated Healthcare Network

Sorce: WellSpan Press Release

WellSpan has been named a Top 100 Integrated Healthcare Network for the fifth consecutive year by SDI, a health care data and consulting firm in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
"While it ' s nice to be recognized for our efforts, the most important thing is how our efforts are providing better care for those in the communities we serve," said Bruce Bartels, president of WellSpan. "Every staff member throughout our organization plays a role in furthering our integration objectives."
SDI evaluated each network on its ability to operate as a unified organization in each of eight categories: integration, integrated technology, contractual capabilities, outpatient utilization, financial stability, services and access, hospital utilization and physicians.
Bartels said being named a Top 100 Integrated Healthcare Network for five consecutive years and seven of the past eight is an indication that WellSpan is continuing to move along the integration path.
He stressed, however, that WellSpan must continue to be successful on that journey in order to be better able to operate in an ever-changing and an increasingly challenging health care environment.
Under health care reform, the focus will shift from providing episodic care to managing the health of a population. Health care reform emphasizes efficiency, cost effectiveness, quality and patient satisfaction.
"We must be prepared to deal with future health care reform imperatives and the consequences of The Great Recession," he said.
Pat Witman, associate product director with SDI, said healthcare networks among the Top 100 Integrated Health Networks should be able to function better in the health care environment of the future than those not on the list.
"It ' s important for us to provide the best quality and the best value to our patients," said Bartels. "While the future is challenging, I believe that by working together and remaining committed and focused on our integration objectives, we can enhance the work we ' ve started and continue to meet the needs of the community."
WellSpan, ranked No. 46, is one of only three Pennsylvania healthcare networks to make the list The others are Geisinger Health System (#12) and Lehigh Valley Health Network (#32).
For a complete list of the Top 100 Healthcare Networks, go to

Monday, February 14, 2011

Client News: Hospital Marketing Chiefs Get Strategic

Written by: Marianne Aiello
As the American healthcare industry embarks on its next evolution spurred by healthcare reform, leaders are calling for a new kind of chief marketing officer. This new leader, experts say, should be less tactical and more strategic. He or she should be involved in the early stages of product development, excel at relationship building, constantly prove return on investment, and spend more time crafting the organization’s messaging and less on one-off advertising campaigns. The new marketing leader should have a seat in the C-suite.
“So much is unknown about exactly what’s going to happen with healthcare reform and how it’s going to affect organizations,” says Janna Binder, director of marketing and public relations at healthcare marketing research firm PRC. “The marketing leader is the one who can tie all the different stakeholders together with the visionary strategy, from the CEO to the CFO to the chief medical officer.”
Baystate Health’s marketing initiatives have already shifted to prepare for the changes brought by healthcare reform. The Springfield, MA, hospital is redesigning its website so that any data and information a healthcare consumer may be interested in is easily accessible.
“Patients are going to be in the driver’s seat when selecting doctors and health plans and who they want to partner with for their own accountable care,” says Suzanne Hendery, vice president of marketing and communications for the 760-licensed-bed, three-hospital system. “They need better access to data for quality, patient safety, and how to find a doctor and drill down into their credentials.”
The strategic role
This online marketing venture is just one of the ways Hendery is positioning her department to become more strategic and less tactical. Baystate has also recently invested in software that allows service line leaders to create their own brochures, invitations, and flyers—a responsibility that previously consumed a good deal of the hospitals’ two graphic designers’ time.
“We’ve been able to free up our own staff for the strategic priorities of the organization—that’s one of the ways we’re shifting,” Hendery says. “We’re also much leaner—we’re reducing expenses substantially—and we’re doing much more with social media and purchasing ads on Facebook instead of buying ads in the newspaper. We’re able to track the ads in analytics and are able to see if they’re working for us in a more effective manner.”
Inova Health System, based in Falls Church, VA, is also modifying its initiatives to become more strategy-focused.
“When I came into Inova Health System they had a traditional, conventional approach to marketing like much of healthcare did and still does. One of the things I found about that model is that it was more tactical execution-based than strategy-based,” says Jeff Cowart, Inova’s vice president and chief marketing officer from 2006 to 2010. Cowart took on the role of senior vice president for growth and sales at San Antonio’s Baptist Health System in early 2011.
When Cowart started at Inova’s six-hospital system, he found that much of the marketing team’s focus was dedicated to projects such as creating a cardiology campaign for heart awareness month and an oncology campaign for breast cancer awareness month. But Cowart changed the department’s approach by making the marketing revolve around the message rather than the other way around.
“When you start to move to a message model, you start to think about the long term of how you want to position this brand or this service,” he says. “Then you start to see all of the campaigns as connected, so it doesn’t matter whether you have a heart campaign or cancer campaign, you make sure they’re carrying the overall message you want to communicate.”
Cowart also convinced Inova’s leadership to change the way the sales team works because physician liaisons are conduits for the organization’s message.
“We started to define physician relations with more sales language and sales technique, and when you start to do that it’s a natural fit for the physician sales team to be with the marketing messaging team,” he says. “The liaison gets scripted with messaging, so they become another channel of distribution for the message.”
The qualifications
Not all marketing leaders are cut out to fill the role of the new CMO. First off, they have to be able to delegate most tactical duties to trusted employees so they can focus on the big picture.
“We have to ask constituencies what they want from us and work with those people in operational and tactical roles to deliver solutions,” Hendery says. “It’s like moving up from that 10,000 feet to 50,000 feet, but knowing you have to dive back down after the strategy has been set to make sure operationally things will go as planned.”
The type of degree the new CMO should possess depends on the organization, Binder says. Some may be more suited to a master’s in public administration or business administration while others may benefit from a master’s in healthcare administration.
“Any marketing leader must have a master’s degree in marketing because it’s a business discipline like accounting or finance,” says Hendery.
Cowart agrees that postgraduate education is important, but not necessarily a must-have for the new CMO.
“The key to it all is not the degrees or pedigrees you have—it’s the degree to which you embrace innovation and change,” he says.
The title
A change of title is something many marketing leaders may begin to consider as their roles transition to become more strategy- and results-oriented. Traditionally, marketing department heads have been referred to as vice presidents, managers, and directors, but some believe a chief marketing officer title is now more suitable.
“The CMO title tends to equate with titles that we understand, like chief nursing executive and chief medical officer, and it gives you a much more powerful place at the table to be the advocate, the leader, the teacher, the expert authority on the idea of how do we position this healthcare system,” Cowart says. “It gives credibility within the organization.”
Binder agrees: “A lot of times a good way to get at the table with top leadership who thinks of marketing as making pretty ads is to show them the financial impact marketing can have,” she says. “You’ve got to get in there and you’ve got to prove to C-suite executives that you’re worthy of being there. One way or another, marketers need to get at that table.”

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Press Relase: East Texas Medical Center Goes Live with the Unibased Patient Portal, Consumer Access and Scheduling for Healthcare (CASH)

Unibased Systems Architecture (Unibased), delivering market-leading enterprise scheduling and surgery management solutions to improve access and coordination of care, announced today that East Texas Medical Center (ETMC) has implemented the Unibased patient portal, Consumer Access and Scheduling for Healthcare (CASH).  As the healthcare industry continues to migrate towards true transparency with a more consumer-focused, self-service model, patients are empowered to take a more active role in their overall healthcare experience. 

ETMC has already begun, starting with their own employees.  Through the use of the CASH secure, web-based application, employees are able to schedule their appointments at any of the ETMC facilities for a specified service. Self-service capability provides 24/7 access to scheduling, registration, patient schedules, prep instructions and demographic updates - eliminating several of the impediments consumers experience in traditional scheduling methodologies.

"We feel this service will give our patients added convenience and control over the scheduling event.  It will give them an opportunity to manage the event, which we hope will improve satisfaction and reduce no-shows," said Susan Shockey, Director, Referral Services at ETMC, about launch of CASH this spring, in which ETMC patients will use CASH to schedule mammograms.

According to Cynthia Borders, Unibased Vice President, Client Services and Support, the ForSite2020รข suite of products, specifically CASH, fills a void in the marketplace.  "In today's fast-paced society, any option a healthcare provider can offer to their patients to make access more convenient is a win/win for both the patient and provider.  We have heard stories of patients carrying a physician’s written order around for weeks on end because scheduling the appointment was not convenient in their daily schedule.  With CASH, these situations can be eliminated."

To read this press release in its entirety please visit our Newsroom on our website (, or click here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Client News: Shannon Medical Plaza Open House Monday, February 14

Shannon Medical Plaza is having an Open House Monday, February, 14 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to celebrate the completion of the renovation and expansion of the facility.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Client News: Inova Fairfax Hospital Celebrates 50 Years of Medical Excellence

Today was a day of celebration at Inova Fairfax Hospital as staff and community supporters gathered to mark 50 years of the hospital’s dedication and service to the community.
“When I came here three years ago, what I was impressed with was the sense of history and pride that people had in this hospital,” said L. Reuven Pasternak, MD, CEO, Inova Fairfax Hospital. “The people who founded it, its sense of mission, its sense of commitment is something that we keep to this very day.”
At 8 a.m. on Feb. 6, 1961, the 96-bed hospital opened its doors for the first time. Fifty years later, the hospital has transformed into a world-class, regional medical and research center with 833 beds. Its campus includes Northern Virginia’s only Level 1 trauma center, a nationally-ranked cardiac program, the fifth busiest obstetrics program in the country and Northern Virginia’s only Children’s Hospital.

Supervisor Pat Herrity, Springfield District; Chairman of the Board Sharon Bulova; Knox Singleton, CEO, Inova Health System; Supervisor Penny Gross, Vice-Chair, Mason District; L. Reuven Pasternak, MD, CEO, Inova Fairfax Hospital 

Sharon Bulova, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Penny Gross, Mason District Supervisor and Member of the Inova Board of Trustees, and Pat Herrity, Springfield District Supervisor, presented Knox Singleton, CEO, Inova Health System, and Dr. Pasternak with a resolution honoring the hospital’s long history of offering Fairfax County top quality healthcare.
The hospital marked its 50-year milestone with a celebratory cake cutting by Dick Foster, who was the Associate Administrator of The Fairfax Hospital in 1961, and Mary Brown, a nurse who was the first Director of Obstetrics. 

Dick Foster, Associate Administrator of The Fairfax Hospital in 1961, and Mary Brown, RN, the hospital's first Director of Obstetrics, cut the cake to celebrate 50 years.

Also on hand was Jack Lucas, the son of the late Grace Lucas. She is credited with organizing the Fairfax Hospital Association which guided and planned the original hospital. Lucas is carrying on his mother’s legacy and currently works for Inova Heart and Vascular Institute.
One of the most significant changes over the past 50 years has been the growth of the obstetrics program, from about 1,500 deliveries in 1961 to more than 10,000 in 2010. As part of the 50th celebration, the hospital wants to hear from its Fairfax babies. If you were born at Inova Fairfax Hospital, join our Facebook group “I was born at Inova Fairfax Hospital.”

Client News: Oakwood Receives Two Organ Donation Awards

Souce: Oakwood Healthcare System Facebook Page
Oakwood Hospital recently received two awards for its outstanding work in organ donation.

For the fourth year in a row, Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center (OHMC) was awarded a silver Organ Donation Medal of Honor from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for its success in raising organ donation rates.
Oakwood received the medal during the Sixth Annual National Learning Congress on Organ Donation and Transplantation in Grapevine, Texas. The hospital earned the recognition by working with its Gift of Life Michigan partners to achieve the national goal of converting at least 75% of eligible deaths into actual organ donors and by meeting one of two other national standards. Each organ and tissue donor can save the lives of up to nine people and improve the lives of 50 more.
Additionally, Don Johnson, clinical ethics center nurse at OHMC, received recognition from the Gift of Life Michigan for his life-saving work.
The Gift of Life, Michigan’s only full-service organ recovery organization, is an intermediary between donors and hospitals when a donation occurs. It also works with the Secretary of State to manage the state’s Organ Donor Registry. Gift of Life presented Don Johnson with its prestigious Professional Service award, at the 39th annual Gift of Life Foundation meeting in Novi.
Don was recognized for being a compassionate advocate for families, providing clear information to help them understand the gravity of their loved one’s medical situation and their options. Johnson is available to both the hospital and Gift of Life to answer questions and offer clarity about policies and procedures.
A year ago, the parents of a newborn with a severe neurological injury looked beyond their own pain and requested organ donation for their baby. Don helped both the family and the staff work through the process and thanks in part to his efforts, the lives of a 2-month and a 5-month old were saved.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Industry News: Celebrate American Heart Month with The Heart Truth®!

Source: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute

Beginning on National Wear Red Day®—Friday, February 4, 2011—millions will help spread the critical message that "Heart Disease Doesn't Care What You Wear—It's the #1 Killer of Women.®" The Red Dress®, the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness, was created by The Heart Truth in 2002 to deliver an urgent wakeup call to American women. Everyone can participate in the national movement by wearing their favorite red dress, shirt, tie, or Red Dress Pin. For free information and resources to help you and your community celebrate National Wear Red Day, visit the National Wear Red Day toolkit.
On Wednesday, February 9, 2011, The Heart Truth will once again bring the Red Dress to life on the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City, with the debut of the Red Dress Collection 2011. Being held for the first time at Lincoln Center, this stunning event will showcase the power of the Red Dress, and encourage women to protect their heart health and take action to lower their risk for heart disease.
Get Involved today: visit the Healthy Action Community, where you can find free tools and resources to help you protect your heart health and share The Heart Truth with others. Be sure to let others know about your event by submitting details to the Activity Registry.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Client News: OSF and RHS Moving Forward with Affiliation

Rockford Health System has entered into an affiliation agreement with Peoria-based OSF Healthcare System. This means, pending federal and state regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center and Rockford Health System will join to form the OSF Northern Region.

The affiliation agreement follows months of hard work and has confirmed what the leadership teams of both organizations believed when this process started in May of 2010. We believe that, in partnership, we can even further raise the bar on the quality of medical care in our region. By combining our talents, resources and technology going forward, we will best ensure the long-term viability of high quality, accessible and affordable health care in the Rockford region. This affiliation also makes sense strategically, especially in light of the struggles of our local economy and health care reform.

During our review, we have found complementary missions, visions and values. We believe that our organizations can be integrated to create a comprehensive medical system that delivers high quality services in an efficient and cost effective manner. The benefit to the community and our patients is through enhanced access to the highest level of care and the creation of a regional destination with outstanding clinical outcomes. We know that our employees share a similar commitment to quality and safety for those we serve. Together, we can continue and enhance the rich histories of health care each organization brings to this affiliation. A commitment has been made to continue operating both Rockford Memorial Hospital and OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center.

Also, work on the integration will not begin until the transaction is closed, sometime after clearance from the regulatory agencies. No immediate significant changes are anticipated.
While this step is monumental, it is not the final one in this process. There are many closing related tasks including federal and state regulatory approvals. The timetable is not certain, but we always welcome your questions and will attempt to answer them as best we can.

RHS President/CEO Gary Kaatz will be Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the OSF Northern Region and OSF Saint Anthony President/CEO David A. Schertz will be the Chief Operating Officer (COO). It is important to note that the OSF Northern Region will be governed by a local Board of Directors, whose members will reside in Rockford and surrounding communities.

Press Release: Unibased ForSite2020® v7.0 Receives Electronic Health Record ONC-ATCB Certification By Drummond Group

Unibased Systems Architecture, Inc. (Unibased) ForSite2020® v7.0 has received the federal government’s “Meaningful Use” stamp of approval by earning inpatient and outpatient modular Electronic Health Record (EHR) Certification, effective January 28, 2011. The designation officially deems the EHR software capable of enabling providers to qualify for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  The ForSite2020® v7.0 coordination of care features, as well as other features associated with the Drummond Group test and evaluation process, are included in the certification. ForSite2020® v7.0 was tested and certified under the Drummond Group’s Electronic Health Records Office of the National Coordinator Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB) program, and the EHR software is 2011/2012 compliant in accordance with the criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

According to David White, Unibased Vice President of Application Development, “ForSite2020® v7.0 includes the award winning access management and surgery system integrated product set for which Unibased is known.  However, it is important to note that the certification addresses both ambulatory care and inpatient features that are key to the overall coordination of care, the patient itinerary, and efficiencies realized by a more effective utilization of available resources, which ultimately will result in lower costs per unit of clinical service.  ForSite2020® v7.0 will not only qualify for incentive funds under ARRA but also place providers in a highly positive competitive position through convenience to their physicians and improved ratings for patient satisfaction.”  ForSite2020® v7.0 was released to the Unibased client base in November 2010 as a routine production release.

Unibased was assisted in the certification process by The Kelzon Group (TKG). Frank Poggio, TKG President, noted “To date, Unibased ForSite2020® v7.0 is only one of a few ‘best of breed’ products to receive ONC-ATCB certification. With hospitals needing every assist they can get to meeting Meaningful Use requirements, Unibased EHR certification will be an important tool in meeting their MU goals.” 

To see the official press release, please visit the Newsroom on our website ( or, click here.