When we have a family member who is sick or hurt, all of us know the feeling of being desperate to know what’s wrong. We feel helpless and scared, and we want more information so we can make the right choices. Modern science has given us amazing diagnostic tools that can answer so many questions. It can seem that if we get enough tests, we’ll know the answers.
Sadly, that is not always true. Not every test is right for every uncertainty, and in fact, many tests come with real health risks that should be considered before the test is given.
X-rays and CT (computed tomography) scans are useful diagnostic tools that use radiation to view bone and tissue inside the body. However, repeated exposure to radiation during a person’s life can put them at higher risk for cancer later on in life.
With children, CT scans are responsible for more than 40% of the cumulative diagnostic radiation exposures. There are times when a CT scan is the best tool to diagnose a medical condition. When used, patients’ exposure to radiation should be minimized.
Through our 100K Children Campaign, WSHA is working to support hospitals, health systems and clinics as they work to minimize radiation exposure in children. You can read more about the campaign on our website.
Patients also have a big role to play. Sometimes unnecessary scans are ordered to help alleviate a parent’s concerns, even if the provider is skeptical about the usefulness of the scan. Check out “What Parents Should Know About CT Scans for Children: Medical Radiation Safety” for more information about how to make the right choice for your children.
Senior Vice President for Patient Safety
Washington State Hospital Association
INHS EMS Trainer Receives 2014 Instructor Award
Shaun Pitts, of Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS), has been honored with the 2014 Instructor Award for his service during 2014 by the Spokane County EMS & Trauma Care Council. The award is given to instructors who provide exceptional contribution to the emergency medical services (EMS) education and are dedicated to quality instruction. (Shaun, pictured above on the left, with his father.)
Shaun has worked for INHS Health Training as an Advanced EMT Instructor and as a Lead EMT. He credits his family’s history with health care services as one of the reasons he pursued a career in the field.
His father Steve is a Registered Respiratory Therapist and Paramedic at Northwest MedStar, a critical care transport service and division of INHS.
“My dad absolutely inspired me to go into health care,” Shaun says. “He’s been a paramedic for as long as I can remember so I grew up around EMS and the ambulance service.”
Shaun began teaching classes at MedStar with his father before taking over, and has since become an adept and understanding instructor. He has been an employee of INHS since 2012 and teaches EMT, AEMT, CPR, GEMS, PEPP, OTEP and PHTLS courses both online and in person.
While the two don’t work together anymore, Steve says of his son “I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about Shaun. He’s an excellent instructor.”
Check out the INHS website for more about Shaun receiving his award, and about his father’s role in shaping his career. (Lilia Cabello Drain)
WSHA is moving downtown!
After several decades of enjoying life on Lower Queen Anne in Seattle, WSHA is making the move downtown.
After August 10, our new address will be:
999 Third Avenue, Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104
(Phone numbers are all the same)
Our new 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 for WSHA members who are coming from the airport.
Meeting Space: Larger—and more—conference rooms increases our ability to have on-site meetings, while smaller offices for individual staff reflects our move away from a dependence on paper files.
Parking: While we’re losing some designated parking space, we’re also simplifying our meeting process. And with a more centralized location and better connections to transit, the new location will be even more accessible.
What’s coming next? The offices will be closed August 7 as we are moving that day and over the weekend. We will re-open on Monday, August 10. Because we are also moving our servers, we also won’t have access to email on that Friday or over the weekend.
We will also be providing meeting and event attendees with more explicit directions on how best to get to the office. We think the public transportation options are going to be really attractive, and we will be getting you more information about that soon. (Katie Holmes)
Rural Advocacy Days: Sign Up to Voice Your Support for Rural Hospitals
Hospital leaders and board members have an excellent opportunity to connect with members of Congress during WSHA’s Rural Advocacy Days in Washington D.C. September 16 and 17. This year’s Congressional agenda could include fixing the 96-hour rule, putting parameters on recovery audit contractors, patient attribution for mid-level providers in rural Accountable Care Organizations, telemedicine policy for Medicare, and other proposals impacting rural hospitals. WSHA provides a briefing to bring members up to speed on the federal issues and also schedules the visits with your Senators and Representatives.
Please let Wendy Ray know by July 15 if you or members of your board plan to attend. (Chelene Whiteaker)
Legislative Session and Fundamentals of Patient Safety Webcasts
2015 Legislative Session Webcast
2015 was a particularly challenging year in the Washington State Legislature, but now that it’s over, it’s time to review what happened on WSHA’s major initiatives.
Read our Inside Olympia about the state’s budget here- it’s got great information about mental health and other critical funding.
Please join us for a webcast where we will review the outcomes of the hospital safety net assessment, mental health funding, pharmacy issues, physician residencies and more. There are a number of new opportunities and issues to respond to for hospital and health system leaders – join us to learn what you should be doing now.
2015 Legislative Session Webcast
Wednesday, July 15
Noon – 1 p.m.
Joining is easy! Go to http://wsha.webex.com and join “2015 Legislative Session Webcast” and use the password: 0715end. For more detailed directions, visit our WSHA Webcasts page.
Waiting to read the full Legislative Summary? The elves are working on it and it will be under the tree before you know it! (Mary Kay Clunies-Ross)
WSHA and AWPHD Present July 20 Webcast for Boards: Fundamentals of Patient Safety
Patient safety and quality are primary fiduciary responsibilities for governing boards. WSHA and AWPHD are jointly beginning a series of “Fundamentals” webcasts for members of hospital and health system boards and commissions on a variety of topics. The first in the series is:
Fundamentals of Patient Safety For Boards
Monday, July 20
Carol Wagner, Senior VP for WSHA’s nationally recognized Patient Safety program, will share the essentials in two 20 minute segments. Afterwards there will be a short time for questions, and each segment will be taped for later viewing.
Join us for this crucial information! For more information, click here. (Deborah Swets)
Project Access Expands Insurance Premium Sponsorship Program Statewide
Although thousands of Washington State residents have enrolled in insurance in the last two years, many working families and individuals are still unable to afford their health insurance premiums.
A new program from Project Access Northwest can help connect these consumers with additional help to pay their monthly insurance premiums. The Premium Assistance Sponsorship Program is designed for low-income state residents who are eligible to purchase individual health insurance on the Washington Health Benefits Exchange.
Several western Washington hospitals and health systems are funding partners, and they refer potential enrollees to the program. In 2015, Project Access enrolled 130 households with an average premium of about $225 month. Open enrollment for the Exchange starts again on November 1. Click here for more information from Project Access.
Please let me know if you have questions about this exciting program and how your hospital or foundation could participate. (Chelene Whiteaker)
Time for Safe Patient Handling and Mobility
Rates of injury to hospital workers are higher than to workers in most other industries, often due to patient handling. This video brings healthcare executives, managers, and frontline staff together on the importance of safe patient handling, with an emphasis on taking the time to use appropriate safety equipment and teamwork. It provides an excellent tool for orientations and trainings to establish a safe culture. View the video here.
Our video webpage also features many other important videos to explain our work, including the Big Blue H video, Safe Deliveries Roadmap, Executive Rounding, Innovations in Rural Health Care, and many others. These videos are a great way to educate members, patients and the health care community about their health choices, and the work WSHA does providing quality and transparency.
H-Source, redefining the way we think about supply chain
Washington Hospital Services is dedicated to helping our members find solutions that can help bring efficiency to all areas of their organizations. One of our partners, H-Source has developed a new and unique solution to the problem of supply chain management.
They have created a central, private hospital marketplace that allows members to buy/sell/transfer supplies and capital equipment with each other in the U.S and globally. Members can conduct secure transactions within Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs), Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs), the complete H-Source network, or customize their own group of hospitals using our built-in filters.
H-Source requires no software, reduces costs, limits environmental waste and is free to become a member. To learn more about this revolutionary approach to supply chain management, please contact Paul Unsworth at (206) 577-1806.