Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Today is National Doctors' Day!

Client News: National Quality Forum Names Norton Healthcare Winner of 2011 NQF National Quality Healthcare Award

The National Quality Forum (NQF) announced today that Norton Healthcare has been named the recipient of the 2011 NQF National Quality Healthcare Award for its exceptional organizational leadership and innovation to achieve quality improvement. The award will be presented in partnership with Modern Healthcare on Sept. 15 at the NQF Leadership Colloquium in Washington, D.C.

As part of its mission to improve the quality of healthcare in America, NQF presents the Quality Healthcare Award annually to an exemplary healthcare organization that has achieved a number of quality focused goals, including meaningful, sustained quality improvement through performance measurement, fostering a culture of transparency and accountability that benefits patients and the local community, managing care for patients across settings and over time, and a demonstrated commitment to public reporting that enables more informed patient decision-making, thereby serving as a role model for other healthcare organizations. Norton Healthcare, a Louisville, Ky.-based not-for-profit hospital and health care system, is the 18th recipient of the annual award and the first healthcare organization in Kentucky to receive the award.

“This year, NQF placed a specific focus for the National Quality Healthcare Award on the extent to which organizations had taken steps to coordinate and integrate care across the entire patient-focused experience,” said Janet Corrigan, NQF president and CEO. “Norton Healthcare has accomplished this and much more in its continued efforts to improve quality and safety within the entire Norton system. Norton Healthcare’s leadership provides an ideal model for other healthcare systems working to raise the bar of health system performance to achieve safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable care.” 

“We at Norton Healthcare are indeed honored to receive the NQF National Quality Healthcare Award,” said Stephen A. Williams, Norton Healthcare president and CEO. “The Norton organization has enhanced and advanced a 25-plus year commitment to improving the quality, safety and coordination of our patient care. This award represents a wonderful recognition of the leadership of our Board of Trustees, along with the commitment and hard work of our physicians, managers and all employees throughout the organization. I extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone associated with the Norton Healthcare family for everything they have done to continually improve the quality and safety of our patient care.”

Among its many accomplishments, Norton Healthcare is one of the first healthcare organizations in the nation to publicly report its performance on hundreds of NQF-endorsed quality indicators. A monthly report on the health care system’s public website displays side-by-side numeric results for each hospital in the system. The report highlights in green or red any result that is significantly better or worse than the national average. Norton Healthcare has advanced its performance by creating a unified and integrated direction for the system and its hospitals, physician practices and service lines in the areas of quality, process, patient safety and service/patient satisfaction. 
All Norton Healthcare hospitals document patient care in a single electronic medical record. Using this single system, many care delivery steps have been standardized and automated, including aspects of patient screening and assessment, physician order sets, care guidelines, patient education and discharge instructions. 
Norton Healthcare has also aligned with the goals of the National Priorities Partnership – a collaborative of 48 public and private partner organizations convened by NQF to achieve specific, measurable progress in quality improvement by focusing on the specific priorities of:
  • Ensuring that all patients have access to affordable, timely, and high-quality care
  • Engaging patients and their families in managing their health and making decisions about their care
  • Improving the health of the U.S. population
  • Improving the safety and reliability of America’s healthcare system
  • Ensuring patients receive well-coordinated care within and across all healthcare organizations, settings, and levels of care
  • Guaranteeing access to appropriate and compassionate care for patients—and their family caregivers—with chronic, advanced, or terminal illness
  • Eliminating overuse while ensuring the delivery of appropriate care
  • Promoting systems that support workforce development, health information technology, system and community capacity, performance measurement, research, and quality improvement
The organizations achieve progress through their strategic planning and goal-setting processes involving organizational and community leaders; participation in national, state and regional performance measurement and improvement initiatives; and intentional use of evidence-based best practices.
Additionally, because of its leadership, mission of caring for the community, and commitment to improving value, Norton Healthcare was recently selected to become one of four sites for the Accountable Care Organization pilot within the Brookings-Dartmouth ACO (Accountable Care Organization) Project.

About the National Quality Healthcare Award
Created in 1993, the award is the first of its kind to recognize outstanding quality-driven healthcare organizations. For 18 years, first through the National Committee for Quality Health Care and now through NQF, the award has provided encouragement for improvements in quality through public recognition of organizations' accomplishments.

The NQF National Quality Healthcare Award recipient is selected through a blinded review by a panel of jurors composed of national healthcare experts who represent purchasers, government, health systems, and consumers. Information on award criteria can be found here.

Client News: Inova Health System Ranked Among Washington, DC Region Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report

Inova Health System’s five hospitals have been ranked among the best hospitals in the Washington, DC region in U.S. News & World Report's first-ever Best Hospitals Metro Area rankings.
The rankings for Inova’s hospitals are as follows:
Hospital                                U.S. News DC Area Ranking
Inova Fairfax Hospital                           2
Inova Loudoun Hospital                        8
Inova Alexandria Hospital                    13
Inova Fair Oaks Hospital                     15
Inova Mount Vernon Hospital               21
To be ranked in its metro area, a hospital had to score in the top 25 percent among its peers in at least one of 16 medical specialties. Inova Fairfax Hospital has been ranked among U.S. News’  “America's Best Hospitals” fourteen times in the past 15 years.
“The physicians, nurses and staff at Inova are fully dedicated to providing quality patient care,” said Loring Flint, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Inova Health System. “We consistently work to bring the latest technologies and techniques to serve the community, and it’s very rewarding to see our hospitals named among the best.”
Inova’s mission is to improve the health of the diverse community it serves through excellence in patient care, education and research. With that mission in mind, Inova is positioning itself at the forefront of genetics-based personalized medicine and is on the leading edge of bringing new treatments from the “bench to the bedside” safely and quickly. 
“The new Best Hospitals metro rankings can tell you which hospitals are worth considering for most medical problems if you live in or near a major metro area,” said Avery Comarow, health rankings editor, U.S. News & World Report.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Client News: Jewish & St. Mary's HealthCare Promotes Executive to CEO

Written by: Patrick Howington
Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare has named David Laird its new president and chief executive officer, effective April 1.
Laird has been the organization’s senior vice president of strategy and business development since 2008. He has been the company’s lead negotiator in discussions about a possible merger with the University of Louisville’s health-care operations and Catholic Health Initiatives.
Janice James, who has been transition CEO since July 2009, will remain with JHSMH until April 15, the company said in a news release Friday.

Client News: Jennifer Siciliano Appointed Vice President, Government Relations for Invoa Health System

Jennifer W. Siciliano has assumed the position of Vice President of Government Relations for Inova Health System, Northern Virginia’s premier non-profit healthcare system, providing excellence in patient care, health education and clinical research.
Prior to joining Inova in 2007 as Assistant Vice President for Government Relations, Ms. Siciliano served Members of Congress in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the United States Senate as well as Director of Communications to the House Science Committee.  Following her service in the House, she joined the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee staff as Director of Communications. After leaving Capitol Hill, Ms. Siciliano joined the firm of Podesta Mattoon as a Principal representing a wide variety of clients.
Currently Ms. Siciliano serves on the Executive Board of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and is the Chair of the Chamber’s Health Thought Leadership Group.
Ms. Siciliano holds a B.A. in Communications/Public Relations from Marymount University and a M.A. in Public Communications/Government Relations from The American University in Washington, DC.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Today is American Diabetes Association Alert Day

Source: American Diabetes Association Website
The American Diabetes Association Alert DaySM is a one-day "wake-up" call asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

This year, beginning on Diabetes Alert Day on March 22 through April 22, we are rallying one million people to "Join the Million Challenge" by taking the Diabetes Risk Test.

The Diabetes Risk Test asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Risk Test shows users whether they are at low, moderate or high risk for type 2 diabetes. If an individual is at high risk, he or she is encouraged to talk with their health care provider.

Now is your chance to be a part of the movement to Stop Diabetes®. Take the Diabetes Risk Test for free (in English or Spanish) in one of three ways:

• Take the Diabetes Risk Test in English or Spanish
• Call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383)
• Text JOIN to 69866 (Standard data and message rates apply)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Client News: MRI Breast Testing at Gettysburg Hospital Accredited

WellSpan Imaging Services of Gettysburg Hospital is the first imaging site in the area to earn accreditation for MRI breast testing by the American College of Radiology (ACR).
The accreditation of its MRI breast testing services complements the hospital’s imaging services designation as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence received in the fall of 2010.
ACR’s Breast Center of Excellence designation recognized the earned accreditation in mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy, and breast ultrasound (including ultrasound-guided breast biopsy).
“Being accredited for our MRI breast testing services further supports our designation as a Breast Imaging Center of excellence,” said Chuck Kyle, director of Imaging Services, Gettysburg Hospital.
“It’s a tribute to the efforts of our imaging team and to our commitment to improving services for our patients.”
Peer-review evaluations, conducted in each breast imaging modality by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field, have determined that WellSpan Imaging Services of Gettysburg Hospital have achieved high practice standards in image quality, personnel qualifications, facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs.
“We have put a lot of effort into ensuring that our technologies are state-of-the-art and it is great to be rewarded for this work by being recognized by ACR,” said Paul Williams, team leader of MRI services for Gettysburg Hospital.
ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 34,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Client News: Oakwood Earned Level II Trauma Center Certification

Source: The News-Herald
Written by: Richard Jenkins

Oakwood Southshore Medical Center earned Level II trauma center certification from the Michigan Department of Community Health last month.

Southshore, 5450 Fort St., is Downriver’s first hospital to earn the designation. The next-closest trauma center is Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center in Dearborn, which has Level II certification. The closest Level I trauma centers are Detroit Receiving Hospital, Henry Ford Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Michigan, all in Detroit.

Looking south, there are no trauma centers in Monroe County and three Level I centers in Toledo, Ohio. The next Level I centers to the west are the University of Michigan and C.S. Mott Children’s hospitals in Ann Arbor.

A Level II trauma center is similar to a Level I in that they both must have the resources to handle both the initial trauma and more in-depth procedures such as surgeries. However, Level I trauma centers have an additional research component.

According to Oakwood Healthcare System, patients with serious injuries require stabilization within an hour to improve their chances of survival.

“When you look at trauma care, time is of the essence,” said Kathy Kemp, Southshore trauma coordinator.  One of the big differences between trauma center and nontrauma center hospitals is the amount of planning and preparing for trauma patients.

“(Trauma care) is a system approach to the care of the patient,” Kemp said. “Whether it’s operative or nonoperative, the process has been thought of.”

Kemp said that the response time of a surgeon in a nontrauma hospital can be as long as a few hours, compared to the 15-minute maximum response time at Southshore.

“If you aren’t a trauma center, those plans aren’t in place,” she said. “It’s not that they choose to give bad care, it’s that they just aren’t put in place.”
While many of the trauma patients are going to be from car crashes, Kemp said it is surprising how many come from the fairly active sports community.

In addition to the state certification, trauma centers are subject to review by the American College of Surgeons.

Southshore has one of four emergency rooms Downriver. The others are at Oakwood Heritage Hospital in Taylor, Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital and Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital’s Center for Health Services in Brownstown Township.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Client News: Marshall Ruffin, MD, Named Chief Technology Officer for Inova Health System

Marshall de Graffenried Ruffin, Jr., MD, has been named Chief Technology Officer for Inova Health System, Northern Virginia’s premier non-profit healthcare system, providing excellence in patient care, health education and clinical research. 

In his role, Dr. Ruffin assumes leadership in formulating long-term vision and strategies for the transformation of intellectual capital into meaningful technological and clinical applications in furtherance of Inova’s healthcare objectives.

“The significant role of technology in strategic healthcare advancements has created the need for executives who understand technology and recognize qualified applications to processes, services and patient care,” commented Knox Singleton, CEO of Inova Health System.  “Marshall will enhance our translational acumen, complement our bench-to-bedside model, strengthen our partnerships and lead us to a higher level of community engagement as we fulfill our non-profit healthcare provider vision and purpose,” observed Singleton.

Ruffin obtained his B.A. from The University of Virginia and his MD from Harvard Medical School, as well as MPH in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina and MBA from the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.  Ruffin’s experience in information technology as, most recently, the Chief Technology and Health Information Officer at the University of Virginia Health System as well as member of the Health Information Technology Standards Advisory Committee of the Information Technology Investment Board of the Commonwealth of Virginia uniquely aligns him with Inova’s mission of improving healthcare delivery, vision of personalized medicine and service to the diverse community Inova serves.

To continue reading this article, click here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Client News: Michigan Business & Professional Association to Honor Oakwook Healthcare, Inc

The Michigan Business & Professional Association will honor Oakwood Healthcare, Inc. board member Lizabeth Ardisana, at the Women and Leadership in the Workplace annual conference on March 9 at the Henry Hotel.
Ardisana was nominated by the members of the public and her peers. The Women and Leadership in the Workplace Conference Nominations Sub-Committee reviews all nominations in the designated categories. Honorees are selected based on their community contributions as well contributions to their field of excellence.
Ardisana is the singular honoree in the Business Category.
As Oakwood is a sponsor of the event, staff from Community Health will provide blood pressure screenings and the Oakwood Breast Care Center-Dearborn will be an exhibitor.
The mission of this event aligns with Oakwood’s commitment to fostering our core values of diversity, ownership and business excellence.

Client News: WellSpan Targets Decreasing Hospital Readmissions

The last thing most patients want to do after being discharged from the hospital is to return any time soon. Yet, 18 percent of Medicare patients discharged from the hospital have a readmission within 30 days. These readmissions account for $15 billion in spending.
In an effort to decrease readmissions within 30 days of discharge, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be able to penalize hospitals by withholding a percentage of reimbursement based on readmission rates, beginning in the federal fiscal year 2013. Pay for performance is specifically addressed in the 2010 healthcare reform legislation.
Our strategy is to improve communication from provider to provider and to tighten the management of the transition from inpatient“On any given day, WellSpan has 60 patients who have been readmitted within 30 days,” said Ann Kunkel, director of case management. “That’s enough patients to occupy all of T-2 at York Hospital. “Eleven to 15 patients are readmitted daily.
Understandably, patients are not happy about being readmitted,” she added. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has concluded that two-thirds of all readmissions are avoidable.
While hospitals will have a financial incentive to reduce readmissions, Kunkel said the driving forces behind WellSpan’s efforts are patients’ increasing demands and expectations.
“Patients have clearly voiced their dissatisfaction with readmissions within 30 days of discharge,” said Kunkel.
She said multiple factors contribute to avoidable hospital readmissions.  Factors include poor transitions among different providers and care settings, ineffective communication, incomplete or late discharge summaries, premature discharge or discharge to an inappropriate setting.
WellSpan is implementing changes to address the issue of readmissions. It is focusing on three conditions for which the most readmissions occur: congestive heart failure (CHF), acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and pneumonia.
“Our strategy is to improve communication from provider to provider and to tighten the management of the transition from inpatient to outpatient,” offered Kunkel.
WellSpan started working on improving the completeness and timeliness of discharge summaries last year. The discharge summary is a communication tool to the primary care provider about the patient.
In February 2009, only 14 percent of primary care providers were receiving discharge summaries within 48 hours. That percentage has jumped to 77 percent at Gettysburg Hospital and 63 percent at York Hospital.
Nationally, one in five discharges has some sort of adverse event related to an incomplete discharge summary, according to Kunkel. Patients are understandably anxious to be discharged from the hospital and staff members are busy. That often leads to a rushed experience. The average time spent on discharge instructions is only eight minutes.
“We are working on devoting more time to discharge plans and strengthening the transition from inpatient to outpatient,” said Kunkel.
Another effort is to make sure a discharged patient has a follow-up appointment with their primary care physician within five days of discharge. And, if a patient doesn’t have a primary care provider, he or she will be connected with one.
“Through the hard work of many staff members, we believe we’ll be able to decrease our readmission rates,” said Kunkel.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Client News: Inova Magazine Now Available on the iPad and iPhone!

Soure: Inova News

Read Inova Magazine wherever you are!

  • Learn about the people in Northern Virginia and the D.C. area whose lives have been positively changed by
    Inova Health System's expertise
  • Take an inside look at advances in medical technology, research and patient care
  • Get free wellness tips and learn about Inova's innovative approaches to meeting the healthcare needs
    of today and tomorrow
  • View embedded video that stream right from the application, share articles through email, Facebook
    and Twitter, and increase text size for easy reading.
We’ll help you stay connected to world-class healthcare. Best of all – it’s free!

Inova Magazine is published by Inova Health System, Northern Virginia's leading not-for-profit health system, whose commitment is to meet the healthcare needs and improve the health of the communities we serve.

We are a nationally recognized, comprehensive network of hospitals, outpatient services, assisted and long-term care facilities and healthcare centers located throughout Northern Virginia.

We work in innovative ways to meet the healthcare challenges of today, while striving to meet the needs of the future.