Weekly Report for July 30, 2015 – Infections in the News

July 30, 2015

Consumer Reports released new hospital ratings this week, focusing on infection rates. This created the usual flurry of media interest. While rating categories based on averages don’t reflect improvements over time and the scale of the actual risk, it was still an opportunity to talk about what hospitals, physicians, pharmacists, nurses, patients and visitors do do, and can do, to reduce the chance of infection.

Make no mistake that no matter how you measure it, our goal for hospital-acquired infections is ZERO. It is an active battle, and we are still learning about the enemy. An interesting fact: More than 75 percent of Clostridium difficile (C.diff) cases actually start outsideof acute care hospitals. We still must work hard to keep patients from getting sick with C. diff, but our success rate will likely rise along with our understanding of these bacteria.

And as much as we are committed to eliminating hospital acquired infections, we are committed to being transparent about how we’re doing. The same data that Consumer Reports used is available on our website– and more. www.WAHospitalQuality.org also comes with information about how patients can help fight infections and diseases of all kinds: be healthy, wash your hands, remind your nurses and doctors to wash their hands, don’t use antibiotics if you don’t have to, but if you do, take the whole course.

Dive into the data at www.WAHospitalQuality.org, and be sure to check out the video- it gives an easy-to-understand introduction to our goals and the data.


Scott Bond President and CEO
Washington State Hospital Association

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center honored with architecture award

Photo by Benjamin Benschneider 

The American Institute of Architects recently recognized Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center’s new pediatric emergency department as one of the top five health care design projects of its size in the country. The Institute recognizes projects that exhibit strong concepts that solve aesthetic, civic, urban and social concerns, while meeting the functional and sustainability needs of a hospital.
Of particular note was department’s new illuminated atrium, accented by wood and warm colors that welcome patients and visitors as they arrive. Outside, the facility’s red hues draw attention from across the hospital’s campus.
A warm and welcoming environment helps sooth a stressful visit to the ER, making it easier for nurses and physicians to care for hurt and sick children. Congratulations to Sacred Heart!
Across the state, hospitals and health systems are doing amazing work to care for their patients and communities in innovative ways. Our goal is to feature all of our 100 members at least once through the course of the year. If you are a WSHA member with a story to tell, please contact Mary Kay Clunies-Ross.

WSHA is moving!

After August 10, our new address will be:

999 Third Avenue, Suite 1400

Seattle, WA 98104

(Phone numbers are all the same)


WSHA has been in the lower Queen Anne neighborhood for decades, but we wanted to take a fresh look at the needs of both our members and employees.

Our downtown office meets several important needs:

  • Access to public transportation: The office is a block away from the downtown transit tunnel, which multiplies the options available for both daily commuters and members coming from the airport.
  • Meeting space: The new office has a larger conference room, which means we will be able to host more board and committee meetings in the office. Staff will have smaller personal offices, reflecting of our move away from a dependence on paper files.
  • Parking: This will be the most significant difference for WSHA members who are coming to visit the office. We will have limited validated parking in the building for meetings. Maps will be provided showing neighboring lots. If parking is not available in the building, we will reimburse members for their parking expense at other area parking lots.
  • What’s coming next? We will start to close down the office on the afternoon of August 6, and will be completely closed August 7. We will re-open on Monday, August 10. Because we are also moving our servers, WSHA staff won’t have access to email on that Friday or over the weekend.
If you have meetings scheduled at WSHA, you should be hearing more from meeting organizers. (Mary Kay Clunies-Ross)

Joel’s Law takes effect, allowing petition for involuntary detention

Senate Bill 5269 — also known as “Joel’s Law” — took effect July 24, allowing for family members and legal guardians to petition the court for a review if a mental health professional decides not to have an individual detained. There had previously been no way to challenge a designated mental health professional’s decision.

A judge can choose to overrule the mental health professional’s decision and  order the individual to a 72-hour detention in a designated evaluation and treatment facility. Read the WSHA bulletin here to learn more about the law and potential scenarios for hospitals.

The issue originally surfaced last year, after bipolar 28-year-old software engineer Joel Reuter was killed by police after firing a gun from his condo’s balcony in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Joel’s parents had tried and failed to have him detained and treated. (Tim Pfarr)

August 15: Registration opens for 2015 Skills Building Intensive

Hospital and health system board members are invited to spend a day together deepening their effectiveness Tuesday, October 6 in Seattle, just prior to WSHA’s Annual Meeting October 7-8.Registration will open by August 15. Learn more about the event here.

The October 6 agenda will focus on building skills for leading your community through this time of major change in health care, and harnessing the power of your board by setting and maintaining your organization’s strategic course for the future. We are delighted that national governance expert Susan Meier, principle, Meier and Associates, will keynote this annual day of learning hosted by WSHA and the Association of Washington Public Hospital Districts (AWPHD).  (Deborah Swets)

Bree Collaborative makes recommendations for cardiac artery bypass graft

The Bree Collaborative — a group appointed by the governor representing clinical leaders from purchasers, providers and state agencies — met July 22 to consider new recommendations for cardiac artery bypass graft (CABG). Once adopted, the collaborative will submit the final report to the Washington State Health Care Authority, which can elect to use the report’s recommendations to inform contracting and purchasing for Medicaid and state employee programs. We anticipate future Health Care Authority contracts will contain more recommendations and practice guidelines from the Bree Collaborative.

The collaborative is interested in hearing your feedback on the latest draft report and recommendations. Please read the documents and provide feedback via the online survey here.

Feedback to the Bree Collaborative must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, August 21. Please also give your comments or issues to Ian Corbridge, WSHA Policy Director for Clinical Issues, at (206) 216-2514. (Ian Corbridge)

HCA Global Waiver: Your Comment Needed

As we reported last week, the Health Care Authority (HCA) released a draft application for a global Medicaid waiver. They intend to submit the application to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and to request $3 billion in federal funding.

Read the Bulletin about the global waiver here. By Friday, August 14, WSHA needs your feedback in order to submit written comments to the state.

In addition to the written comments, the HCA is seeking feedback through public meetings all over the state. Dates have been announced for meetings in Pierce, Snohomish, Yakima, Franklin and Spokane Counties, with a virtual meeting on Friday, August 14.

For the full list of public meetings, visit the HCA webpage. With any additional questions, please contact Chelene Whiteaker. (Chelene Whiteaker)

Reminder: Call for nominations for the Joe Hopkins Award

The Joe Hopkins Memorial Award was created in 1987 to acknowledge an individual who displays the spirit of Joe Hopkins’ vision and dedication to Washington’s hospitals, with a special focus on his interest in rural health. As in the past, the award will be presented at the Washington State Hospital Association Annual Meeting, October 7-8, 2015.

Nominations must be received by Thursday, September 3. Learn more and download a nominating form here. (Jacqueline Barton True)

Sept. 16-17: 2015 Pink Book training

The Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Course, or Pink Book training, will be held September 16-17, 2015 at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma. This two-day course reviews immunization principles, as well as vaccine-preventable diseases and the recommended vaccines to prevent them.Learn more about Pink Book here. Register for the event here, and sign up for several free pre-session workshops covering HPV immunization, vaccine hesitancy and more. (Tim Pfarr)

Aug. 25: Webinar on improving your accounts payable department

Washington Hospital Services tries to find industry partners that can both offer improvements to existing services and create additional sources of revenue for our members. Commerce Bank has been successful in working with hospitals across the country and in our state to create better accounts payable outcomes. One of our members, a 25-bed critical access hospital, had this to say about Commerce Bank:“We have a great relationship with Commerce Bank. Overall, the process is easy to set up; we pay electronically and get back a portion of the credit card fees. They provide great support and work with us to get vendors set up.”

Commerce Bank will host an educational webinar August 25 about how other hospitals have been able to create an efficient and profitable accounts payable department. WHS will provide more details soon on how to attend. For more details about this opportunity, or to learn more about Commerce Bank, please contact Julie Brock at (503) 894-2953 or Paul Unsworth at (206) 577-1806. (Paul Unsworth)

Kingsbridge Finance is helping our members obtain tools for the future


Washington Hospital Services industry partner Kingsbridge Healthcare Finance is an independent firm that provides flexible financing solutions to help the healthcare community make decisions regarding equipment and software acquisition, tailored to each unique situation. They are adept at making new technology affordable both by maximizing the utilization of the asset and minimizing its cost.

Kingsbridge Healthcare Finance couples in-house resources that provide the financial flexibility of a larger public institution with a dedication to still putting the client first.

“Kingsbridge did an excellent job for us at Snoqualmie Valley Hospital providing financing for the furniture and equipment for our new hospital. They worked in concert with our executive team, materials management team, and capital projects Manager to match product orders and delivery with the timeline for going live in the new facility. Kingsbridge provided a critical source of financing for the project, allowing us to open on time. We are most grateful for their assistance.”
– Tom Parker, Chief Operating Officer, Snoqualmie Valley Hospital

For more information please contact our local representative Reid Lukes at (949) 542-7447. (Paul Unsworth)



Contact Us

Washington State Hospital Association
999 Third Avenue
Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104

Map / Directions

206.281.7211 phone
206.283.6122 fax


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