Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Operating Through the Tornado

Source: Outpatient Surgery Magazine
Written by: David Bernard
Photo of Dr. Smith courtesy Orthopaedic Specialists of the Four States.
Photo of Joplin, Mo., tornado destruction courtesy of KOMUnews

James D. "Dusty" Smith, MD, and his surgical team were midway through a routine case, the draining of a patient's infected hip, when the tornado hit St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo., Sunday.
James D. The hospital had announced a tornado warning — a "code gray" — earlier in the afternoon, which isn't an uncommon occurrence in spring. "But we've been safe in the building," says Dr. Smith, 36, an orthopedic and spine surgeon. "The patient was asleep and positioned for surgery. It was a fairly simple procedure, we were getting ready, telling jokes."
The case proceeded smoothly until a scrub tech remarked that his ears were ringing. "My ears were popping," recalls Dr. Smith in an interview with Outpatient Surgery Magazine. "The barometric pressure was dropping." He'd experienced this phenomenon once before, when Hurricane Ivan raked southern Alabama in 2004 while he was training in Mobile.
When the lights went out, the team kept working under auxiliary power. "Then we felt a physical hit," he said. "Did the tornado hit the building? Had something exploded?" They were plunged into darkness, with ceiling panels falling and the OR's doors blowing open. "And we were in an interior room," notes Dr. Smith.
With 1 staffer holding a handheld flashlight and another holding the doors shut to prevent shards of glass, concrete and metal from blowing in, the team completed the operation while standing ankle deep in water, without the benefit of advanced surgical technology. "The doctor who trained me thought it was important to know how to do surgery the way they used to, with manual instruments," said Dr. Smith. "That should be a part of everybody's training."
Because they didn't know what condition the rest of the hospital was in, they recovered the patient in the OR, then found an alternate route to the post-op ward, which now housed a makeshift emergency department (the tornado had demolished the ER).
After the surgery, Dr. Smith excused himself to check on his family. Finding his car destroyed, he ran the 8 miles home. "Anybody in that situation, no matter what shape you're in, if you don't know whether your wife and children are OK, you can run any distance you want," he says. "I wasn't even tired when I got home."
Joplin, Mo., tornado damage The storm damage in his neighborhood south of the city was minimal and his home was spared, though it had lost power. His two 5-year-old sons, thinking that the candles his wife was lighting in the darkness meant it was a birthday celebration, kept blowing them out.
He'd intended to return to St. John's that night in another vehicle, but the roads were clogged with traffic and debris. So he turned instead to the State Line Surgery Center, across the border in Galena, Kan., where he also practices and where the staff was triaging local residents injured in the storm. "School buses full of people were there on Sunday night," he says. While the ASC didn't have the capability to serve as a trauma center, a heart attack patient was stabilized and compound fractures were washed and treated to prevent infections.
Monday saw the area's healthcare providers circulating among the remaining facilities, looking to lend a hand as the magnitude of the disaster began to sink in. St. John's had suffered several casualties and severe structural damage. Another hospital, lacking water pressure, was unable to sterilize surgical instruments.
"The big problem is the availability of space to provide patient care," says Dr. Smith. "We've got more doctors and staff wanting and willing to help out than we have space to do it in. St. John's is a big hospital, and we've lost all those beds." Even if it wasn't damaged in the storm, he speculates, it would likely still be taxed by the amounts of patients in need of help.
As for Sunday's case, Dr. Smith found out on Tuesday morning that the outcome was good and the patient safe at another hospital. "We were trying to find out," he says. "Then I got a call from a doctor who's referred spine cases to me. He asked, 'Were you operating during the tornado? We got your patient here.'"

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011 Wishes

To all those who have served this country, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and wish you and yours a very happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Events: NAHAM 2011 HDTV Winner

Congratulations to our HDTV winner Holly Hiryak CHAM RN - Director of Admissions, University of Arkansas Medical Sciences!!
Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth at NAHAM 2011 in San Antonio - Bob and Phil enjoyed meeting you!  If you have any further questions about any of the products and services Unibased offers, please contact our solution consultants:
Bob Grass
800-489-6069 ext 148
Phil Amelung
800-489-6069 ext 172

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Client News: New Health Center Breaks Ground in West Contra Costa County

What: Ground breaking for new state-of-the-art Health Center
Where: 13601 San Pablo Avenue (North of Vale Road), San Pablo
Who: Congressman George Miller; County Supervisor John Gioia; County Health Services Director Dr. William Walker; State Senator Loni Hancock; State Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner; San Pablo Vice Mayor Cecilia Valdez; Construction & Building Trade CEO Greg Feere; Board members from the West Contra Costa Healthcare District & Doctors Medical Center Governing Body; elected officials from the cities of San Pablo and Richmond
When: Friday, May 20, 2011; 11—11:30 a.m.
San Pablo, Calif. — After years of planning and searching for a new site, Contra Costa County is officially breaking ground to celebrate the construction of a new West Contra Costa County Health Center in San Pablo.
"West County residents deserve a health center we can be proud of," said County Supervisor John Gioia who has worked on building a new center for more than a decade. "The new health center will allow the County to improve access to high quality healthcare services in partnership with other healthcare providers in West County."
The total project cost is estimated at $45 million. Congressman George Miller secured $12 million for the project from ARRA Grants -- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The balance is financed through a 30-year bond issuance. The new 53,000 square foot, 2-level state-of-the-art health center will also be LEED Certified — a building standard for green construction, maintenance, and operations and is considered to have less impact on the environment.
The new facility will replace the aging Richmond Health Center, which was built more than 40 years ago in the City of Richmond. The current health center sees more than 7000 patients a month and offers 53 different services to patients including cardiology and pediatric services. However, the building has exceeded its useful life and is the only one among the eight health centers operated by Contra Costa Health Services never to have been replaced, said CCHS Director Dr. William Walker.
"This new health center will help us better serve West County residents, increasing the number of people we can serve and improving access to care," Dr. Walker said. "We'll continue to provide primary and specialty care at the new facility, along with well-baby visits, immunizations and other critical services."
Project construction is expected to be completed in July of 2012 and is scheduled to be operational and occupied by September of 2012. To hear a podcast by Dr. Walker about the groundbreaking, visit: http://www.blogger.com/topics/podcast/2011_05_west_county_health_center.php
Note to reporters and editors:
The construction site will be open to news agencies by 10 a.m. on 5/20 for photography and videography.

Client News: IHFSRB Approves COE Application

On Tuesday, May 10, 2011 the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board (IHFSRB) approved the Certificate of Exemption application of OSF Healthcare System for a change of ownership of Rockford Memorial Hospital. When asked to comment on the Planning Board's decision, Kevin Schoeplein, CEO of OSF Healthcare System stated, "We are pleased with and appreciative of the Planning Board's approval of our COE application. As I referenced in my opening remarks, we are gratified by the level of support received for this project from the community and business leaders, from other hospitals in northern Illinois and in Wisconsin, from labor, from our elected officials, from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford and from our medical staffs, including independent physicians who serve our patients. They share our vision for the future. And the Planning Board does too."
This is the first of two regulatory approvals needed before the affiliation between the Rockford Health System and the OSF Healthcare System can be completed. The second is pending with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC made a second request for information regarding the Hart, Scott, Rodino filing for affiliation that was submitted February 11, 2011. Both RHS and OSF continue to work on the final submission of all the information the FTC has requested. After the filing is deemed complete that would then prompt yet another 30-day waiting period for the FTC to review the information before the parties could close the transaction.
As we stated when the affiliation agreement was announced in early February, OSF Healthcare System and Rockford Health System believe that, in partnership, we can even further raise the bar on the quality of medical care in the Rockford 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.
Further, 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 benefits to the community and our patients include, among other things, enhanced access to primary, secondary and tertiary health care services and the creation of a regional destination center with outstanding clinical outcomes.

Fact Sheets

For more information on OSF HealthCare, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, and Rockford Health System, please download the following documents:
Mike Robinson, Director of Marketing/Communications - OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center - (815) 395-5347 - mike.robinson@osfhealthcare.org
Evonne Woloshyn, Vice President, Marketing/Communications - Rockford Health System (815) 971-5282- ewoloshyn@rhsnet.org

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Client News: Kevin Schoeplein Named CEO of OSF HealthCare

Kevin Schoeplein is the new CEO for OSF Healthcare System taking over for James M. Moore who retired after 34 years with the organization. Schoeplein has had a long and successful career with The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis beginning in 1978 as an Assistant Administrator at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. Career highlights are noted below.
"I have been with the Sisters for 33 years. I love this organization. I love what it stands for, what it represents. But I look at that 33 years as a way to prepare me for a new career," says Schoeplein of his new position. "As the CEO of OSF Healthcare System, I am committed to bring our community of caregivers closer to one another and further develop our shared understanding of the future of health care."
In a recent letter to employees, Schoeplein noted that health care continues to change rapidly. "The future of health reform leaves more questions than answers. We have been blessed to develop from the legacy of six Sisters who began in 1876 when they came to Peoria to help meet the health care needs of the community."
Kevin Schoeplein began his career with the Sisters as an Assistant Administrator at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in 1978. In 1983 he was appointed Administrator/CEO at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford. Schoeplein returned to Peoria in 1988 as President of OSF Saint Francis, Inc. His tenure included the development of OSF Medical Group. In 1989 Schoeplein was given additional responsibilities as President of OSF Healthcare Foundation.
From 1996 to 1999, he served as the CEO of the Northern Illinois/Michigan Region and in 1999 was named President of OSF HealthPlans. Schoeplein served in this role until the sale of OSF HealthPlans to Humana in May 2008. Schoeplein was named Executive Vice President of OSF Healthcare System in 2004 while continuing his leadership roles at OSF Saint Francis, Inc. and the Foundation.
Kevin Schoeplein earned a B.S.B.A. Degree from St. Louis University and two master’s degrees from Xavier University in Cincinnati – an M.B.A. with a concentration in Finance and a Master of Health Administration.

James G. Farrell, Senior Vice President - Marketing & Communications
(309) 655-2856

Client News: Norton Healthcare Receives Kentucky Hospital Association Quality Award

Source: Norton Healthcare Press Release

Norton Healthcare has been awarded the Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA) 2011 Quality Award, which is presented annually to honor hospital and health care leadership and innovation in quality, safety and commitment in patient care. Norton Healthcare President & CEO Stephen A. Williams accepted the award at the recent KHA annual Awards Gala. The KHA quality award comes on the heels of Norton Healthcare being named the recipient of the prestigious 2011 National Quality Forum National Quality Healthcare Award for its exceptional organizational leadership and innovation to achieve quality improvement.

Norton’s KHA award application focused on the role of Norton Healthcare leadership in defining and promoting quality, and supporting staff and employee efforts to achieve quality goals; and on Norton Cancer Institute’s innovative Prevention and Early Detection Program, the region’s most comprehensive effort to prevent and detect cancer in its earliest stages through education, outreach, community cancer screenings and services, and evaluation of health outcomes.

“We are proud to be recognized by the Kentucky Hospital Association for our leadership, innovation and commitment to the quality and safety of our patient care and to our progressive outreach community screening efforts through Norton Cancer Institute,” Williams said. “This statewide award, coupled with our national NQF quality award, is a testament to the importance and focus we place, at all levels of our organization, to serve our community with quality and safe care, both within and outside our facility walls.”

Norton Cancer Institute’s Prevention and Early Detection Program focuses efforts in the predominantly low income and underinsured communities in Louisville with the highest cancer incidence and mortality; and provides free screenings for breast, prostate, cervical, colon and skin cancers.
"Thanks to the support of our leadership and the dedication of our team, our outreach programs are making a real difference in our community,” said Sandra E. Brooks, M.D., MBA, system vice president of research and prevention for Norton Healthcare.
Through its quality award, KHA seeks to:
  • Raise awareness of the need for an organization-wide commitment to highly reliable, exceptional quality, patient-centered care;
  • Reward successful efforts to develop and promote a systems-based approach toward improvements in quality of care;
  • Inspire organizations to systematically integrate and align their quality improvement efforts throughout the organization;
  • Communicate successful programs and strategies to the hospital field;
  • Facilitate Kentucky hospitals’ alignment of quality initiatives with national initiatives.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Client News: Oakwood Honors First Daisy Award Winner

Source: Oakwood News Archive

Bunmi Oyeleye, RN, MSN, Medical/Surgical Clinical Manager 'pins' Meghan Mier, RN, in honor of her Daisy Award.
Meghan Mier, RN, a direct care nurse at the Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center (OHMC), was presented with the nationally recognized Daisy Award recently in recognition of her extraordinary patient care.

Mier was pinned in a surprise ceremony on May 12 and received a hand-carved sculpture, a certificate and other gifts as part of her award. A Daisy Award banner will also be on display in the unit in her honor.

She is a recent graduate of Henry Ford Community College who started working as a nurse in the OHMC Medical/Surgical unit in September 2010. According to clinical manager Bunmi Oyeleye, Mier always has a positive attitude and is always looking for areas of opportunities for improvement.

She recently received this compliment via the Thank a Nurse portal on oakwood.org:

“My dad is in the hospital right now with meningitis and has been at Oakwood for a week now. Meghan was his nurse a couple of times while he was on the 9th floor and she really took the time to get to know him. She went above and beyond to make him comfortable, even to just listen to his silly jokes. Meghan, as well as all the nursing staff, has been great answering all of my and my family’s questions and made sure not only that my father was comfortable but that we were as well. He got transferred back down to ICU yesterday and even though Meghan was not caring for my dad that day, she came down to talk to him and see him down to ICU. She didn't have to do that and it was really, really nice that she did. I cannot thank you enough for taking such good care of him and making this rough time just a little easier.”

The Daisy Award was established in 2001 in memory of J. Patrick Barnes as a way to thank nurses across the country. As of March 2010, more than 6,000 nurses have received the award. To learn about nursing and nursing opportunities at the Oakwood, click here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Client News: Norton's CEO Receives Award

Stephen A. Williams, president and chief executive officer of Norton Healthcare, has received the American College of Healthcare Executives Senior-Level Healthcare Executive Regent’s Award.
The honor recognizes American College affiliates with experience in the field who have made significant contributions to the advancement of health care management excellence. Executives are evaluated on criteria such as leadership and executive abilities, creative management and contributions to the development of others in health care.
Williams has been with Norton since 1977 and has served as president and CEO since 1993.

Client News: Oakwood Opens New In-School Clinic

Souce: Hometown.com
Cheryl Welday (right) has been a driving force behind the donation drive to fund the Oakwood Adams Child and Adolescent Health Center at Adams Upper Elementary School. Dr. Neelam Kumar has been involved with the clinic since its inception in 1997.
The latest addition to Adams Upper Elementary School in Westland doesn't look anything like a typical school classroom.
In the case of the Adams Child and Adolescent Health Center, that could be a good thing.
“We've had people come in and say, ‘This looks like a real doctor's office',” said Cheryl Welday, who spearheaded the donation drive to fund the project. “I take that as a compliment.”
The clinic is a partnership between the Wayne-Westland Community School and the Oakwood Healthcare System (OHS). The district provides the space for the in-school clinic, while Oakwood supplies the physicians, nurses and administrative staff with major funding coming from a grant from the Michigan Department of Community Health.
The partnership dates back to 1997. The clinic had been operated out of Lincoln and Jefferson Barns Elementary schools, but those schools were closed down at the end of the 2009-2010 academic year as part of a major cost-savings initiative in which the district closed six elementary schools and re-aligned grade levels at the elementary and middle school level.
The Oakwood Foundation has been gathering donations to fund the $100,000 in renovations required at Adams - formerly a middle school - to convert three home economics classrooms into an expanded clinic that would better serve the students and their families. The new space, which is now open, has three examination rooms and additional office space. It is laid out in a more open fashion with bright walls contributing to a comforting atmosphere.
“It has surpassed my expectations,” said Welday, who has been the champion of the project.
“I am very pleased with the result,” said Dr. Neelam Kumar, one of the doctors who sees patients there. She has been involved with the clinic since its inception. “It is a great facility.”
It is nearly three times the size of the either the Lincoln or Jefferson Barns clinics, and more visually appealing, said Lisa Rutledge, Corporate Director Community Outreach for Oakwood Healthcare Inc.
“It is a lot more inviting,” she said. “We will be able to better serve the community.”
“It really represents a modern-day clinic,” added Wayne-Westland School Superintendent Greg Baracy. “We're very grateful for the partnerships, and all those that contributed to makes this a successful program. It's a valuable service for our kids.”
The clinic was established to improve student and family health, increase family health knowledge and awareness of healthcare needs, increase student attendance and to bring health care to students and families that couldn't otherwise afford it.
Physical exams, vision and hearing screenings, basic lab services and mental health services are available there. About 512 users accounted for more than 1,900 visits at the clinic last year. The new clinic is located near offices for Eastern Michigan University's Bright Futures program, which strives to improve academic achievement and help students prepare for their next levels of schooling, as well as the Parent Resource Center.
Members of the Wayne-Westland school board said they liked what they saw at an open house that took place recently.
“I think it looks great,” said Trustee John Goci. “This really is a God-send in this community.”
Westland Mayor William Wild said he was glad to see the clinic continue to operate at the new location.
“It's been a great partnership,” he said. “We are happy to have it here in our community. They provide a valuable service to people who really need it.”

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Client News: Kosair Children’s Hospital Ranked Among Top Children’s Hospitals Nationwide by U.S. News Media Group

Kosair Children’s Hospital ranked among the top 50 children’s hospitals in cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, gastroenterology, neonatology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, pulmonology, and urology. Kosair Children’s has now been a top-performing children’s hospital in pulmonology for three consecutive years.

“We salute Kosair Children’s Hospital,” said Health Rankings Editor Avery Comarow. “The goal of the Best Children's Hospitals rankings is to call attention to pediatric centers with the expertise to help the sickest kids, and Kosair Children’s is one of those centers.”

“Our thanks go to our employees, nursing leaders, members of our medical staff, and the faculty of the University of Louisville School of Medicine for helping us achieve this wonderful accomplishment,” said Thomas D. Kmetz, president of Kosair Children’s Hospital & Pediatric Services. “This recognition speaks well to the quality of work that has been performed at Kosair Children’s for decades. Our top rankings also represent an important step toward achieving our ‘20/20 Vision’ to establish Kosair Children’s Hospital as a top-tier national children’s hospital by 2020.

“We are considered to be among a very select group to be one of the 177 hospitals to even be invited to participate in the survey. This really is a great honor.”

The new rankings recognize the top 50 children’s hospitals in 10 specialties: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, pulmonology, and urology. Seventy-six hospitals are ranked in at least one specialty.

Now in its fifth year, Best Children’s Hospitals pulls together clinical and operational data from a lengthy survey, completed by the majority of the 177 hospitals asked to participate for the 2011-12 rankings. The survey asks hundreds of questions about survival rates, nurse staffing, subspecialist availability, and many more pieces of critical information difficult or impossible for those in charge of a child’s care to find on their own. The data from the survey is combined with recommendations from pediatric specialists on the hospitals they consider best for children with challenging problems.

For the full rankings and methodology, visit:  www.usnews.com/childrenshospitals.

2011 NAHAM Conference & Exposition - NEXT WEEK!

Join us next week (May 24 - 27) in San Antonio for NAHAM's 37th Annual Educational Conference & Exposition. We will be available for consultations, just stop by the booth! If you prefer to schedule an appointment in advance, please contact Stephanie Speth at 314-878-6050, ext. 143.
National Association of Healthcare Access Management (NAHAM)
37th Annual Educational Conference & Exposition
San Antonio, Texas
Grand Hyatt San Antonio
May 24 - 27, 2011
To view the conference program (PDF) click here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Client News: Jewish Hospital President and CEO, Marty Bonick, Receives ACHE Regent’s Award

Source: Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare Press Release

Marty Bonick, president and CEO of Jewish Hospital Medical Campus in Louisville, Kentucky has received the American College of Healthcare Executives Early Career Healthcare Executive Regent’s Award.
The award was bestowed on Bonick by the Kentucky ACHE Chapter at the Kentucky Hospital Association meeting in May.  The Early Career Healthcare Executive Regent’s Award recognizes ACHE affiliates who have made significant contributions to the advancement of healthcare management excellence and the achievement of ACHE’s goals.

Affiliates are evaluated on leadership ability, innovative and creative management, executive capability in developing their own organization and promoting its growth and stature in the community, participation in local, state or provincial hospital and health association activities, participation in civic/community activities and projects, participation in ACHE activities, and interest in assisting ACHE with its objectives.
Bonick has served as president and CEO of the Jewish Hospital Medical Campus since February 2008. Prior to joining Jewish Hospital, he served as CEO of Oklahoma State University Medical Center in Tulsa Oklahoma. He is board certified in healthcare management as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, demonstrating a commitment to professional excellence. He was recognized nationally as one of Modern Healthcare magazine’s “Up and Comers” for 2008 and by Business First newspaper as one of Louisville’s “40 Under Forty” dynamic young leaders.

To read more, click here.

Client News: York Hospital Nurse Jodi Arnold Earns Kitty Reisinger Heart of Nursing Award

Source: Around WellSpan Online

Jodi Arnold, R.N., left, accepts the Kitty Reisinger Heart of Nursing Award during the Excellence in Caring and Practice Awards celebration at York Hospital.
There weren’t a lot of dry eyes in the Arthur J. Glatfelter Lecture Hall after Valerie Hardy Sprenkle, vice president of patient care services at York Hospital, finished reading the Kitty Reisinger Heart of Nursing Award nomination for Jodi Arnold, R.N., of the GI Department.
Arnold's nominator wrote, “Her empathy, willingness to listen and continued giving of herself are just a few of her outstanding qualities.
“She strives to make patients’ lives better and to bring some sort of comfort in dismal times, when things seem hopeless. Her patients express kind gestures and words of thanks for her undivided love and dedication.”
Arnold, a nurse at York Hospital since 1985, constantly goes out of her way to assist patients and improve their quality of life.
The nomination related a couple stories of how she touched patients’ lives with her kindness, caring and compassion. One story concerned an elderly patient who was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and was given six months to live.
As his health started to deteriorate and Arnold was seeing him in the department more frequently, she started calling him regularly to see how he was doing. The calls turned into short visits on her way home to make sure things were going OK and to see if he needed any assistance.
After being rushed to the hospital in critical condition, the patient underwent an emergency procedure. At that time, the patient reiterated his request that he be let go in peace. Arnold spent the evening at his bedside, holding his hand. Many tears were shed as Arnold, the patient and his best friend, reminisced about the patient’s memorable life.
“The environment in the GI Department and the support of my co-workers allow me to do what I do,” said Arnold. “I bond with patients because if I had a family member with health problems, I would want them to receive the very best care from those who truly cared. I live by, ‘Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you.’
“Going the extra step means a lot to patients and their families. I just hope I can motivate and inspire other nurses to do so.”
Arnold said she acquired many of her positive traits from her mother, who graduated from the Allentown School of Nursing in 1962 and is still working as a nurse.
“Although I wasn’t considering nursing as a career, my mother encouraged me to consider it as a career because I was such a caring person. I’m glad I followed her advice.”
Kathryn “Kitty” Reisinger practiced nursing in York for more than 40 years until her death in 2002. Her son, Mark, and his wife, Tamara, established the award to honor his mother. The winner is selected by members of the Reisinger family.
In addition to Arnold’s recognition, nurses and physicians were honored in 25 categories at the Excellence in Caring and Practice Awards celebration. For a complete list of winners, go to Around WellSpan Online.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Client News: Oakwood Joins Project Fit America to Help Schools

The most popular things on the playground at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Redford may not be the swing sets.

It could be the ‘Fit Pit’ a dedicated square section of land that features equipment that looks like a spread out jungle gym, but serves a different purpose: physical fitness. It’s part of Project Fit America, a national non-profit organization dedicated to getting children fit. Through donors, the organization provides full-funded cardiovascular health and lifetime fitness education programs to elementary schools in the form of permanent equipment, lesson plans and follow-up visits with nationally-recognized trainers. The project is in its second year at Thomas Jefferson; Oakwood Healthcare donated nearly $20,000 to bring the project to the school.

“The South Redford school district is very committed to wellness as part of the overall curriculum,” said Deborah Greenwood, principal at the school. “We focus on the entire child, not just the academic side.”

Steve Cox, national inservice director and head trainer for Project Fit America, instructs students at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School on ways to use the horizontal ladder.

Once Oakwood Healthcare, Inc. pledged the funds to sponsor a Project Fit America school, the national organization facilitated a competitive grant application process among area schools and worked with Oakwood to select which school would be awarded. Schools must submit an extensive application that includes how the equipment and curriculum would benefit the school, how the staff and parents would support the lesson plans—even letters from the children who will use the equipment.

“It’s very rigorous,” said Lindsey West, manager of Community Health for OHI. “These grants are given to schools that are extremely forward thinking when it comes to fitness – this includes helping kids develop leadership, teamwork and cooperation skills. Everyone has to be committed, 110 percent.”

The grant brought parallel bars, a horizontal ladder, pull-up bars, a sit-up station, a step up station, a vault bar and a pole climb to the school. It also brought Steve Cox, national inservice director and head trainer for PFA out on Wednesday for a booster training session. Cox, who has been with PFA for more than 10 years, said he was impressed by what he saw.

“These facilities rank among the 80th percentile of all schools across the country,” he said. “Out of every 100 schools, only 80 have facilities as nice as these.”
Cox told the children they were all ‘fitness snowflakes’ that have the ability to change themselves.

“’Tired’ is the beginning of strength,” he told the crowd of fourth and fifth graders, advising them to push themselves beyond the first signs of fatigue in order to build themselves up.

Brooke Hempton, physical education teacher at Thomas Jefferson, said the program has been well-received by parents and students alike. Both groups always ask her when she’s going to start sending the children outside to the Fit Pit every year.

 Thomas Jefferson Elementary School students stretch on the parallel bars.
“It reinforces fun fitness,” she said of the program. “It’s not boring; it’s not just doing sit-ups or push-ups. So many schools can get so much out of this.”
Thomas Jefferson Elementary is the second school sponsored by OHI. The healthcare system donated funds that brought the Fit Pit and PFA curriculum to Barth Elementary School in Romulus three years ago.

“It’s really a great program,” said Pat McCollum, the physical education teacher at Barth Elementary. She inherited the program from her predecessor at Barth, Sheila Stasak, who was recognized in 2010 as a Project Fit America All Star Teacher – and enjoyed attending the inservice at Thomas Jefferson with the PFA trainer. “It makes a big difference. I’m glad we have the opportunity to use it.”

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Client News: CPOE at WellSpan Marks the Beginning of Care Transformation

Leo Motter, M.D., a hospitalist at York Hospital, uses Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) to enter discharge instructions for a patient. Physicians also use CPOE to directly enter medication orders, tests and procedures into a computer system, which then transmits the order to the pharmacy or appropriate department.
“CPOE (Computerized Physician Order Entry) marks the biggest change for physicians in the history of our organization,” said Charlie Marley, D.O., vice president of medical affairs at Gettysburg Hospital.
“If affects their workflow and requires them do things totally different than in the past.”
Despite the immensity of the change, the implementation of CPOE, first at Gettysburg Hospital in November 2010 and recently at York Hospital, has gone remarkably smooth.
“Early feedback from physicians has been positive,” said Geoff Nicholson, M.D., hospital informatics specialist. “We recognize that CPOE has some challenges, but it is a great system that gives us a lot of opportunities to optimize the care we deliver.”
Nicholson said the implementation of CPOE touched nearly every staff member at the two acute care hospitals. He added that the cooperation was excellent and much was learned from the initial implementation at Gettysburg Hospital, contributing greatly to the success of the project.
“CPOE is one of the capstones of the electronic health record,” offered R. Hal Baker, M.D., chief information officer for WellSpan.
“The implementation of CPOE marks the two-thirds mark of our journey to the electronic health record,” he added.
CPOE refers to any system in which clinicians directly enter medication orders, tests and procedures into a computer system, which then transmits the order to the pharmacy or appropriate department.
CPOE has the potential to greatly reduce errors by ensuring standardized, legible and complete orders.  A study of inpatient medication errors found that approximately 90 percent occurred at either the ordering or transcribing stage.
Recent research shows that if CPOE was implemented in all urban hospitals in the U.S., more than three million serious medication errors could be prevented every year.
Studies also have shown that CPOE reduces the length of stay; repeat tests; turnaround times for pharmacy, laboratory and radiology requests; and cost savings.
“Orders are instantly transmitted and processing can begin immediately,” said Peter Hartmann, M.D., vice president of medical affairs, York Hospital.  “It used to take up to two hours from the time an antibiotic was ordered to when it reached the patient.  Now, it’s 20 minutes.”
Baker added, “CPOE cuts out a number of non-value-added steps.  Medication requests have gone from 59 minutes to 13 minutes.” Additionally, fewer phone calls are required to clarify orders. Verbal orders have been decreased 75 percent, according to Baker.
Another benefit of CPOE is that serves as the basis for Clinical Decision Support (CDS), which checks for a variety of errors, including contraindications, drug allergies, drug-drug interaction as well as the absence of care.  It also prompts physicians for best practices. 
“CPOE and CDS have a tremendous potential to significantly improve patient safety,” said Nicholson.  “We will continue to optimize their capabilities over time.”
Nicholson emphasized that the implementation of CPOE is the beginning of care transformation, not the end.  There is still work to do.

Monday, May 9, 2011

It's National Hospital Week

The celebration of National Hospital Week began in 1921 when a magazine editor suggested that more information about hospitals might alleviate public fears about the "shrouded" institutions of the day.
Today, National Hospital Week, the nation’s largest health care event, is a celebration of the history, technology and dedicated professionals that make our facilities beacons of confidence and care.
To learn more visit the American Hospital Association's website; to learn how you can celebrate National Hospital Week at your facility - visit the National Hospital Week website.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Client News: ETMC Athens Staff ‘ECSTATIC’ to Offer Expanded Facility

Source: ETMC Website
ETMC Regional Healthcare System President/CEO Elmer G. Ellis (center, facing camera) stands among a group of individuals touring the new emergency and ICU departments at ETMC Athens just prior to staff and patients being moved in. They are pictured here in the ER waiting room. The new ER opened Tuesday, followed by the new ICU Thursday. Henderson County is growing, and this hospital is designed to accommodate that growth, said Ellis. There are a lot of people who need care here, and were blessed to be able to provide it. 
The sparkling new emergency department at ETMC Athens opened its doors to patients Tuesday morning, May 3. And although those who come to the ER are obviously not feeling their best, the reaction was nearly universal.
“Oh, this is beautiful,” said one early-morning visitor.
Groundbreaking on the $32.4 million expansion project took place on a windy day in March 2010. And though the work is far from over, the reaping has begun. After the new ER welcomed patients Tuesday, the ICU moved staff and patients to its new space on Thursday.
It’s an exciting time at ETMC Athens.
“I’m ecstatic about how much more we’ll be able to serve our community with our expanded facility,” said Emergency Department Director David Williams. “And the staff members are excited as well.”
The new emergency department currently features 15 exam rooms that are larger than the old patient rooms, several with windows. In addition, there are two trauma rooms and a triage room than can be used as an exam room. Once remodeling of the old ER space is complete, five more patient rooms will be added, bringing the total number of available patient care rooms to 23 -- up considerably from the 14 rooms in the old ER. The emergency department sees, on average, 91 patients a day.
Right next to the ER and occupying the southwest corner of the expanded space is the new intensive care unit which opened Thursday. The new area has 10 spacious patient rooms, up from eight beds previously.
“We’re all very excited,” said ICU Director Kristi McCracken. “I think the additional space and the modern look are something patients really appreciate.”
The next department to occupy brand new space will be surgery, where there will be a new prep-and-hold area, five operating rooms (up from the current three), a recovery area and day surgery space. The surgery department’s move is expected to take place sometime mid-summer.
“Henderson County is growing and this hospital is designed to accommodate that growth,” said Elmer G. Ellis, president/CEO of ETMC Regional Healthcare System. “There are a lot of people who need care here, and we’re blessed to be able to provide it.”
On a tour of the 55,600-square-feet of new space earlier in the week, ETMC Athens Hospital Board member Rosemary Burns talked about what the expanded hospital represents to the people of Henderson County.
“Mr. Ellis always says the ER is the front door to the community, and I agree,” said Burns. “This expansion and remodel provides a wonderful, welcoming door for people.”
Several departments will continue to transition over the coming months. The OB department will expand its footprint to include the area previously occupied by the ICU. Among the gains for the OB department will be eight additional “labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum” rooms. The department currently has one LDRP room, which provides a spacious environment where expectant moms can, in most cases, stay throughout their hospital stay. All the existing postpartum rooms will be refurbished.
The radiology department will also expand, thanks to space made available by the adjustment of departments, and on the south side of the hospital, work continues on the parking and drive areas.
There is a palpable sense of pride among hospital staff members, which ER technician Judy Harrod may have summed up best.
“When people see this, they’ll be so surprised and pleased,” she said. “I already loved my hospital, but now I really do.”

Client News: WellSpan Medical Group Envisions the Future of Primary Care

Source: Around WellSpan Online

Ridgley Salter, M.D., right, asks a patient some questions during a recent appointment at Hayshire Family Medicine. Salter, who chairs the WellSpan Medical Group board of directors, believes the care team approach is a key to both enhancing patient care and handling increased caseloads. The goal is to have all the Medical Group practices eventually adopt the care team approach.
Staff and providers of WellSpan Medical Group know it simply as the Vision.  It is their plan for the future—a merging of technology, innovation, and efficiency designed to create unsurpassed patient care. 

The Vision includes elements like the electronic health record, a centralized call center to free up office staff, and care teams for treating patients. 

“All of the hard work being put into these Vision pieces is paying off with demonstrable better care for our patients,” said WellSpan Medical Group President and WellSpan Senior Vice President Tom McGann, M.D.

McGann spoke about the Vision recently at the State of the Medical Group conference.  He said that all 58 WellSpan Medical Group practices are making progress, albeit at varying rates.

Primary care faces a perfect storm of daunting challenges in the years ahead. The patient population is aging and requiring more care.  New physicians increasingly choose subspecialties over family medicine, creating a shortage of providers.  Meanwhile, health care reform threatens to pack waiting rooms with a swell of newly insured patients.

McGann said that in addition to aggressively recruiting new doctors, the Medical Group is hiring more nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

The Vision also empowers nurses and medical assistants to play a greater role in patient care.  Nine practices have already shifted their telephone calls to the Medical Group Contact Center.  “That allows staff to be working more on the needs of the patients who are there at the moment,” McGann said.  

Ridgley Salter, M.D., practices at Hayshire Family Medicine and chairs the Medical Group board of directors.  He believes the care team approach is a key to both enhancing patient care and handling increased caseloads.

“Currently, so much of a physician’s time is spent documenting what we do, rather than taking care of patients,” Salter said.   

Under the care team model, a nurse or medical assistant stays in the exam room to update the patient’s electronic health record.  It enables doctors to see more patients, and gives staff an opportunity to verify a patient’s grasp of directions.

Salter also pointed to improvements in the treatment of chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.  He praised WellSpan’s electronic diabetes patient registry, which quickly identifies patients who are overdue for testing and treatment. 

“We’re trying to shift toward taking care of patients more in the outpatient arena, rather than waiting until they are in the inpatient arena, where care gets very costly,” Salter said.

McGann is cautiously optimistic that the Medical Group will be adequately prepared for the perfect storm bearing down on primary care.

“I think we’ve got a boat that is big enough and sophisticated enough to weather the storm,” he said.  “But it doesn’t mean we’re not going to get bounced around a lot.”

Top 10 Ways to Engage Patients with IT

Source: Healthcare IT News
Written by: Healthcare IT News Staff

The Institute for Health Technology Transformation has released a report that compiles what key health IT experts from across the United States view as the best ways to engage patients in the digital age.
"Top Ten Things You Need to Know About Engaging Patients" was prepared by: Donna Scott, executive director of marketing strategy, RelayHealth; Howard Rosen, CEO, Life:Wire; Brad Tritle, president  and CEO, eHealth Trust Arizona; Shadaab Kanwal, director of clinical informatics, UCLA Health Sciences; Michael Brown, MD, chief information officer, Harvard University Health Services; Adam Clark, director of scientific and federal affairs, FasterCures, and member, ONC HIT Policy Committee; Pamela Law, MD, David Geffen School of Medicine '09, affiliated with Health 2.0; and Waco Hoover, CEO, Institute for Health Technology Transformation.
"The move toward new care delivery models means that patient engagement is increasing in importance to providers," said Scott. "This white paper provides to health-system executives some research and ideas that can drive their patient engagement strategies and help them take patient engagement to the next level."
"Patient engagement will play an increasingly important role in the delivery of care as the U.S. health system continually identifies mechanisms to help improve quality, safety and efficiency," added Hoover,  "The Institute hopes that research and collaborations among industry stakeholders, like the Patient Engagement Report, will provide beneficial strategies and tools."

Your patients are already getting and using health information online – shouldn't they be getting more from you? The report suggests providing patients with online health tools such as reminders, instructions and educational information about their diagnosis and treatments. 
 2. Patients are looking to connect with others about healthcare – isn't it time for you to enter this dialogue in a meaningful way? Social media is a key way to do this while building your brand, says the authors of the report. They recommend trying sites such as Facebook, Healthgrades, ICYou, Patientslikeme and Twitter.
3. It's not just "young people" who want to engage with your hospital and physicians online – are your patient outreach efforts targeted based on solid segmentation research? 
According to Pew Research social networking site usage grew 88 percent among Internet users aged 50-64 between April 2009 and May 2010. The report also points out that there is a "'second degree' Internet usage phenomenon, with caregivers and family members going online on our elders' behalf."
4. Family caregivers can improve patient outcomes, but lack access to tools that can ease the burden of their work. Are you supporting them sufficiently with your services?
Offering caregivers tools like personal health records, online assessments, concierge services and communication portals among other things "is an opportunity to differentiate your practice, hospital or health system," says the report.
5. Your patients trust you more than any other source for their personal health information.  Are you leveraging that trust?
In a study by the California Healthcare Foundation 58 percent of adults without a PHR would be interested in using one if the PHR were offered by their hospital or medical practice (compared to 50 percent if offered by payer and only 25 percent by Google or Microsoft or their employer).  But the report pointed out that the majority of patients with a PHR today are getting them from their payer.
6. Our patients are mobile – and are already accessing and documenting health information wherever they are.  Are you meeting them where they are?
"Patient use of smartphone applications to track their health without the guidance of practitioners comes with concerns;" says the report. "For instance, easily accessible smartphone applications are currently unmonitored to ensure the health information and advice they give is accurate and follows best practices.  Further, through such applications it is possible to easily track enormous amounts of personal data, but it can be unclear how such information leads to better healthcare outcomes."  Authors pose the question whether providers are prepared to accommodate and respond to patients who bring their smartphones and tablets to their appointment to share data.
7. There are certainly many concerns that come with patient engagement. But, are you taking advantage of the many strategies and tactics to protect the security of your hospital and the privacy of your patients?
Authors say that it is important to be investigating technologies to improve privacy, security, integrity of medical records, liability, increasing disparities in healthcare and payment issues. But they also point out that "Patients want these tools, and many patients are willing to display flexibility to address these concerns in return for more access to their physician and/or better information."
8. Patient engagement improves health outcomes and it doesn't have to be expensive.  Are you taking advantage of the variety of inexpensive tools available to you?
For example, Lee Aase, director of the Center for Social Media at Mayo Clinic, specified that the total cost for the Mayo Clinic Facebook, YouTube and Twitter was $0.00 and the annual cost for a customized blog was $75.
9. Don't think of patient engagement as just another ROI business case. Are you placing too many barriers on your team's creative patient engagement efforts?
"The benefit of patient engagement tools to the financial bottom line is not a straightforward calculation," says the report. However it says, "the financial benefits exist, and patient engagement tools can have a dramatic affect on your organization."
10. Changing payment models means that patient engagement is no longer an "option". Are you still discussing its priority?
The report says, "healthcare organizations must react strategically to this changing landscape in payment models, particularly in accordance with risk sharing." Authors say that patient engagement is a big part of this equation and that technology is the "most economical, pervasive, and accessible" way to do this.
Click here to download the report: http://ihealthtran.com/downloadcenter.html

National Nursing Week, May 6 - 12th

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale's birthday. These permanent dates enhance planning and position National Nurses Week as an established recognition event. As of 1998, May 8 was designated as National Student Nurses Day, to be celebrated annually. And as of 2003, National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week (May 6-12) each year.

The nursing profession has been supported and promoted by the American Nurses Association (ANA) since 1896. Each of ANA's state and territorial nurses associations promotes the nursing profession at the state and regional levels. Each conducts celebrations on these dates to recognize the contributions that nurses and nursing make to the community.

The ANA supports and encourages National Nurses Week recognition programs through the state and district nurses associations, other specialty nursing organizations, educational facilities, and independent health care companies and institutions.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Client News: WellSpan Partnership for Sexually Abused Children Earns Award

Source: Around WellSpan Online

Staff members from York Hospital and the York County Children’s Advocacy Center (YCCAC) were on hand to accept the Nonprofit Innovation Award. They are, from left to right, Rebecca Sanstead, Deborah Harrison, Tracy Hunter, R.N., Emily Huggins, R.N., Debbie Levin, R.N., Ivy Schneider and David Turkewitz, M.D.

A WellSpan partnership with the York County Children's Advocacy Center has earned an award for innovation.
Through the partnership, WellSpan Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) nurses examine suspected child abuse victims at two regional independent centers.
The partnership won the Collaboration category at the 12th annual Nonprofit Innovation Awards, presented by Highmark Blue Shield and the Central Penn Business Journal.
Sexual abuse of children is a widespread but little-discussed problem across the country. A 2006 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that one in four girls, and one in six boys, are sexually abused before the age of 18.
“If sexual abuse was an infectious disease, it would be considered epidemic,” said David Turkewitz, M.D., chairman of Pediatrics and director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at York Hospital.
Turkewitz has maintained a career focus on the care of child abuse victims and the prevention of child abuse. In addition to his WellSpan duties, he oversees pediatric care provided by the SAFE team at York Hospital and serves as medical director of the Children’s Advocacy Centers in York and Adams counties.
The two advocacy centers are independent community organizations that are accredited by the National Children’s Alliance  By focusing on the child’s developmental, emotional, physical and cognitive needs, Children’s Advocacy Centers are able to: reduce the stress of the evaluation; facilitate linking the child and supportive adults to behavioral support services; and increase the likelihood of bringing perpetrators of child abuse to justice.
Since opening in 2006, the Children’s Advocacy Centers in York and Adams counties have only been able to offer a medical evaluation to a small minority of children. The problem was exceedingly few health professionals have the specialized abilities needed to properly conduct the medical evaluations.
All this changed last year with the implementation of a unique SAFE coverage model that now provides the ability to offer medical evaluations to all children seen at the two advocacy centers.
In order to do so, York Hospital SAFE nurse team leader Emily Huggins along with additional members of the York Hospital SAFE team and Jennifer McNew, the Gettysburg Hospital SAFE team pediatric leader, completed additional pediatric training coupled with 100 percent review of pediatric cases to achieve the level of expertise required for this expanded role.

“We want all kids impacted by abuse to have access to a medical examination,” said SAFE program manager Huggins, who performs exams at the York County Children’s Advocacy Center.
McNew commented that most sexually abused children have unremarkable genital exams and this is a relief to children and parents. “The most important part of the medical exam is to assure the child that their body is still normal, despite what happened to them,” she said.
Both York and Adams County Children’s Advocacy Centers are monitoring the success of this collaboration.
Currently, the percent of sexually abused children receiving a medical exam has increased from 11 percent to 70 percent in Adams County and 15 percent to 51 percent in York County.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Client News: Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare Dr. Ethel Larosa Fund Event and Raffle

The website raffle will close promptly at 5:00 pm on Friday, May 13th.  If you would like to purchase tickets after that time you are welcome to come to the Larosa Loop Event on Saturday, May 14th at the Louisville Waterfront Park before 12:00pm.  Information about this can be found at https://jhsmh.ejoinme.org/larosaloop
The Larosa Loop is a family oriented non-competitive walk, run, wheel and cycling event at Louisville's downtown Waterfront Park. This event attracts over 400 people from the Louisville Metro community and continues to grow in popularity each year.
Proceeds from this event support the Ethel Larosa Fund of the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation. At the age of 37, Dr. Larosa passed after a battle with cancer. She had a special interest in managing the spasticity of patients with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury and stroke.
The tickets on the baskets cost just $1 each and help the Ethel Larosa Fund meet a challenge grant opportunity to purchase a pediatric locomotor treadmill, the first in Kentucky.  The Fund continues to support an educational scholarship for a female student attending the University of Louisville School of Medicine specializing in pediatrics or rehabilitation.
To learn more about when and where you can register and to see the items up for raffle, click here.