While patients have always been the focus for direct caregivers, the health care system as a whole has not always put patients’ needs at the center. Patients felt that employers and insurers were more powerful decision makers than they were, and in many cases, they were right.
The Affordable Care Act was an important step toward giving patients more control, and we are watching carefully what the U.S. Supreme Court will do with the Obamacare case before them. While we have our own state exchange at www.wahealthplanfinder.org, the loss of subsidies for millions of people will have a long term effect on our nation’s health. This is of major concern.
Other changes are putting more control in patients’ hands. H&HN Magazine has an interesting article about changing demands for better pricing, value and customer service. One of our speakers at last October’s annual meeting warned a room full of hospital executives that their business model is being threatened by Walgreens—these are exciting times.
Value and customer service are familiar themes in the land of Nordstrom and Amazon, and WSHA and our members are leaning into this challenge with some short term and long term work. Short term, we’ve got our quality website with metrics, tips and resources for patients (check it out and let us know what you think: www.WAHospitalQuality.org). Long term, we’re teaming up with other state leaders on population health so that we can all have long, healthy lives. Our Friday conference is sold out, and we’re excited to see what comes out of it.
WSHA President and CEO
Kittitas Valley Healthcare celebrates five decades via ‘50 Years in 50 Days’ online campaign
To celebrate fifty years of service caring for residents of the Greater Ellensburg area, Kittitas Valley Healthcare (KVH) used its website and social media channels to share one story, photo, fun fact, or historic news article every day for 50 days between Dec. 29, 2014-Feb. 16, 2015.
Posts included historical blueprints, patient stories, staff accounts of life changing community events like the eruption of Mount St. Helens, and more. On the final day, the last post recounted how KVH employees predict health care will be delivered by 2025, many of which are related to technologies and approaches that already exist and are being used by WSHA members around the state.
- The model for preventive health will be convenient care – when patients need it most
- Patients will have home devices that monitor and report ‘real time’ data directly to the health care provider
- Virtual visits will be even more common instead of patients coming to clinics
- 20 percent or more of the care KVH provides will be robot-assisted
- Surgeries will be replaced with noninvasive techniques; and preventive health planning will be based on DNA/genetic testing.
To see the entire 50 days worth of KVH online posts, as well as additional information on how Kittitas Valley Healthcare has impacted health care within its community over the last 50 years,view the Celebrating 50 Years of Care Booklet.
Immunizations Are Core for Community Safety
This year there have been a series of infections spreading, many of which are preventable, such as the measles. In previous years, pertussis–again preventable with immunization–spread rapidly. Have you taken steps to prevent infections?
- Are your staff immunized, including staff who work on contract or part-time?
- Are you following the recommendations from the Department of Health (DOH)?
Updated Isolation Guidelines – Measles
If measles is suspected in a clinic, ER or hospital setting, isolate immediately. Infected people should be isolated for four days after they develop a rash. Healthcare providers should follow respiratory etiquette and airborne precautions in healthcare settings. Because of the possibility, albeit low, of measles vaccine failure, when caring for patients with measles, all healthcare staff entering the room regardless of presumptive immunity status, should use respiratory protection consistent with airborne infection control precautions (use of an N95 respirator or a respirator with similar effectiveness in preventing airborne transmission). The preferred placement for patients who require airborne precautions is in a single-patient airborne infection isolation room.
People without evidence of immunity who have been exempted from measles vaccination for medical, religious, or other reasons and who do not receive appropriate post-exposure prophylaxis within the appropriate time frame should be excluded from affected institutions in the outbreak area until 21 days after the onset of rash in the last case of measles. For more information on measles identification, prevention and treatment go to http://www.cdc.gov/measles/hcp/index.html. Click here to download information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, presented at a recent Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity. (Amber Theel, AmberT@wsha.org)
Inside Olympia: Fiscal Committee Cutoff Looms, WSHA Stays on Target
WSHA is focusing on bills that impact the state budget as we approach the March 11 deadline for bills to be voted on and passed by their house of origin.
As amendments are made, these bills can change shape, and the continued monitoring of WSHA’s legislative priorities allows us to be prepared when successful bills cross into the other house, where partisan differences can have an impact on their outcome.
While bill hearings have waned since legislative session began, that is not to say the work is complete. Next week will bring with it news about the Senate and House floor votes. More to come!
To stay up to date with WSHA’s work in Olympia, visit our webpage or subscribe to the Inside Olympia newsletter.
Industry Partner News: B. E. Smith Offers Executive Recruitment Program for CAH/Rural Members
With executive turnover at an all-time high and the industry experiencing a shortage of veteran leadership professionals, hospitals and health systems are facing an increasingly difficult recruiting environment. Nowhere is this challenge greater than at critical access hospital (CAH) organizations that are often located in rural areas of the state.
Washington Hospital Service’s Industry Partner, B. E. Smith, offers a unique solution for CAH/Rural organizations to address executive leadership vacancies. As a member of WSHA, you have access to B. E. Smith’s CAH Executive Recruitment Program, including:
- Discounted, fixed fee approach for C-Suite and VP executive recruitment (Except CEO).
- Experienced search consultants who will identify/vet candidates to meet your specific requirements.
- Proven methodology resulting in the recent recruitment of more than 900 professionals nationwide.
- Candidate placement guarantee mitigating risk to your organization.
To discuss your executive recruitment needs or to learn more about the CAH Executive Recruitment Program, contact Bryan Christianson by phone at 913-752-4525 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.