Weekly Report for May 21, 2015 – Focus on Rurals: The Chelan Conference

May 21, 2015

The days are getting brighter and longer: for those of us at WSHA, all those signs of summer are also signs of the conference we just refer to as “Chelan.”

It’s complete name is the “WSHA & AWPHD Rural Hospital Leadership Conference.” This is an annual meeting of great importance to our members and to us. 

This is a critical investment of time for conference attendees, the vast majority of whom are hospital board members. Boards have a special responsibility to the communities they serve– they are charged with ensuring that their hospitals can continue to serve their neighbors long into the future. But in a time of changes to both care delivery and payment models, this work requires an increasingly high level of specialized knowledge. 

While we work to honor the traditions of our well-loved meetings, we also strive to ensure the meetings are fresh, challenging and serve our members’ needs. 

This year, we have even more opportunities for board members to learn from each other and from outside experts, including 2+ hour “Board Intensive” on Monday morning.

The rest of the conference is even more intense, with more time devoted to deeper dives into the topics at hand, and more emphasis on providing the practical tools that boards and executives need.

If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time (click here to learn how). We look forward to seeing you there!
Scott Bond
President and CEO of the Washingtion State Hospital Association

Ben Lindekugel
Executive Director, Association of Washington Public Hospital Districts

Newport Hospital Holds Successful Rural Aging Conference

Newport conferenceNewport Hospital and Health Services held its first rural aging conference May 16, treating more than 100 residents to a day of presentations and resources focusing on aging in place.

Read more about it here.

The conference was free to the public and included presentations on estate planning, end-of-life concerns, medication management and telehealth technology. An expert panel also addressed questions regarding knowing when it is time to seek help for oneself or a family member.

Hospitals are too often witnesses to situations where families have not discussed these and other issues related to care. What’s more, many communities have significant aging populations. How this will affect not just hospital care but all local services is a significant concern. Partnerships and events like this conference are essential to bringing different parts of the community, and engaging everyone in problem-solving.

Families, patients and providers who are looking for resources around end-of-life planning should also visit www.honoringchoicespnw.org. There are extensive resources available to help anyone at any stage of life. (Tim Pfarr)

Healthier Hospitals: Yakima Valley Memorial

Volunteers plant the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Garden

Employees and volunteers at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital planted an onsite herb and vegetable garden this week to encourage the community to consume more fruits and vegetables as part of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative. The new 3,200-square-foot garden will yield tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, radishes, pumpkins and herbs that will be used in patient meals and served at The Memorial Café in the hospital.

The garden will help the hospital fulfill its commitment to decreasing the amount of meat it purchases and increasing the amount of healthy beverages and local food it purchases. WSHA and many of our member hospitals are active partners in the Healthier Hospitals Initiative. Read the press release here. (Tim Pfarr)

WSHA-Supported Legislation Becoming Law

Although the state-budget news has been quiet for the last few weeks, the governor’s bill-signing ceremonies have given us some cause to celebrate. There are a lot of bills that WSHA strongly supported that have been signed into law. We’re especially happy about:

We are extremely proud of the progress we’ve made this session on these and other bills that will improve our state’s health care system. Once the House and Senate come together on a budget, we will inform you of what’s happening in health care funding as well. (Mary Kay Clunies-Ross)

New Rule on Single-Bed Certification 

Last week, WSHA sent a bulletin to member hospitals about a new Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) rule covering the practice of single-bed certification. The bulletin has important information about how the DSHS rule affects patients who are in psychiatric crisis with a medical condition. It also provides information about the protocols the designated mental health professionals making the certification decisions are using.

Read the full bulletin and new rule here.

It’s crucial that affected hospitals review the new rule with clinical teams, hospital risk managers and legal counsel. What’s more, hospitals should have an administrative process in place prior to being asked to accept a single bed certification. (Chelene Whiteaker)

Rural Hospital Conference Dates and Informtion

The 39th annual Rural Hospital Conference, entitled “Driving Value:  Better Care, Smarter Spending, Healthier People,” is now open for registration. The conference is set to take place at Campbell’s Resort in Chelan, Wash.

This year, the event will feature a new option – an event mobile app!  No more paper – just your smartphone, laptop or tablet to get all the conference information you need. The event app is available now – click here for download instructions. An Event App Concierge will be available at the conference to provide assistance. (Cynthia Hay)

DOH: New Patient Privacy Rules

The Department of Health has issued proposed rules (read the CR-102 here) implementing SB 6265. This is legislation that WSHA supported because it increases the standards for protecting the patient information that is held in the state’s hospital data system.

The proposed rules establish types of data files based on content and access; create a methodology for determining when indirect patient identifiers may become direct identifiers; and allow options for creating a public data file. WSHA supports the department’s goal to protect data while maintaining the usefulness of CHARS and will provide comment to the department on the proposed rules. Hospitals interested in access to CHARS data should review the proposed rules as they make some changes regarding who may access specific types of data.

DOH will hold a formal hearing on the proposed regulations June 10. Find hearing details and other information about comment submission on the CR-102. (Zosia Stanley)

HCA Seeking Applicants for the Health Technology Committee

The Washington State Health Care Authority is accepting applications for three vacancies on the Health Technology Clinical Committee (HTCC). Qualified practitioners with experience in evidence-based medicine, clinical epidemiology or health economics, or those who use health technologies as part of their clinical practice are encouraged to apply. Applications are due Monday, June 8, 2015.

HTCC helps ensure health services used and paid for by the state are safe and improve health outcomes for citizens of Washington State. HTCC uses a transparent process and relies on evidence-based information about safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness to inform determinations for coverage and reimbursement of health technologies. (Ian Corbridge)

Industry Partner B. E. Smith White Paper on Evolving Roles and Competencies in Health Care Leadership

Health care organizations are becoming increasingly complex, and executive roles and responsibilities are changing. During the past 18-24 months, the leadership ranks of health care organizations have witnessed proliferation of new roles or highly altered traditional ones, carrying an array of novel titles. A new whitepaper from Washington Hospital Services Industry Partner B.E. Smith explores the evolving roles and new skills essential for health care executives. Click here to download your free copy of the white paper.

To discuss how B. E. Smith can support your executive recruitment and interim leadership needs, contact Bryan Christianson by phone at 913-752-4525 or by email at bchristianson@besmith.com.


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