This is an extended version of comments made by WSHA President and CEO Scott Bond at the 82nd Annual Meeting.
Steven Covey articulated the very useful distinction of “urgent v. important.” Let’s talk about the urgent first.
A few weeks ago, a man with a fever walked into a hospital in Dallas, and then was sent home. A few days later, he returned. Staff does everything they can for him, it was simply too late, and he died a terrible death. And then a nurse tests positive. And then another.
This isn’t a far-off news story. We can picture all of these individual, common interactions. These are moments that happen every single day in hospitals. It is only with hindsight do those every-day actions take on even greater significance.
Ebola is a scary disease, and we have to be ready for it. There are other infectious diseases present today. That duty doesn’t just fall on the shoulder of triage nurses and ED docs, either. It’s all of us. This is an important test of our teams, equipment, training, protocols, our ability to work together, and our leadership.
The webinar we hosted earlier this week had 500 participants logged on, and more than double that who were actually watching. We will continue to work the state and local public health and the broader resources at CDC and AHA. The communities in this state place great hope and trust in us. Hopefully, Ebola is never seen in our hospitals, but that can’t be our mindset. Our preparedness mindset must be: Not if, but when.
To share information on this present challenge we have created an Ebola resource page on the WSHA website.
Our next challenge might come from another quarter completely, and we can’t stop making progress on other issues, even if they do feel a little dry by comparison. So let’s go from the urgent to the important.
At the Annual Meeting, we shared WSHA’s “A Dozen Accomplishments in 2014.” I encourage you to give those a good look. They’re important achievements.
- Mental health funding
- Certificate of Need
- Our new transparency website: www.WAHospitalQuality.org — Be sure and check this out– it’s an amazing site that is sure to get conversations going between patients and providers.
- Safety Net Assessment
- LEAPT: Huge progress in improving care and saving money.
- Outreach and enrollment. At this time last year, open enrollment had just started. And now we know we made a huge difference—charity care is down, Medicaid patients are up—by a lot.
All this shows how WSHA is with you in readjusting and realigning our work to match the current realities and the coming challenges.
When I think about the work being done in your hospitals, it’s so clear to me that Washington state residents have a lot to be proud of. You are innovators, and you are deeply committed to your staff, your communities, and your patients.
We are good at what we do. More importantly, we know we can and have to get better.
WSHA President and CEO
WSHA Launches New WAHospitalQuality.org
On Thursday, October 16, WSHA launched its new quality transparency website.
Visitors to www.WAHospitalQuality.org can compare hospitals and see what hospitals are doing best at infection control, patient satisfaction, C-section rates, emergency department wait times, heart attack and stroke response, and more.
“The Washington State Hospital Association has come out fully in favor of transparency,” said Scott Bond, WSHA president and CEO. “We’re finding that if you share results, you’re really allowing the patient, family and consumer to understand, ‘How good is this care, really?’”
Bond said transparency also drives improvement.
“By nature, we’re competitive,” Bond said. “By nature, if you’re in health care, you want to improve. It’s motivating to find areas and say ‘Whoa, we aren’t quite as good as we should be and in fact, most of our colleague institutions are doing better.’ It’s a very motivating thing within our membership.”
The website is free and publicly accessible, and provides the following functionality:
- Compiles safety data on almost 90 measures that is reported to state and federal agencies, and pairs that data with definitions, explanations and tips to help inform and educate patients;
- Presents safety data in an accessible, understandable way and with simple navigation;
- Prompts patients and their families to ask questions of their hospital care teams;
- Provides the ability to compare hospitals on different measures;
- Explains the importance of the different measures in plain language;
- Provides contact information and links for all hospitals.
Scott Adams Wins Joe Hopkins Award
Scott Adams, Chief Executive Officer of Pullman Regional Hospital, was awarded the prestigious Joe Hopkins Memorial Award for outstanding leadership by the Washington State Hospital Association in Seattle on October 16.
The Joe Hopkins Award is named after the former hospital association chair and hospital administrator who lost his battle with cancer in 1987. The award was created in honor of Hopkins’s outstanding leadership and special qualities of warmth, persistence, insight, hardworking attitude and humor. It recognizes individuals who exhibit similar qualities in service to hospitals in Washington State and is among the highest honors given by the association. Congratulations!
Island Hospital in Anacortes Wins Community Health Leadership Award
Island Hospital in Anacortes received the Washington State Hospital Association’s Community Health Leadership Award for its innovative approach to delivering mental health services to students in a rural setting.
The purpose of the Community Health Leadership Award is to recognize health care organizations that provide a strong, “above and beyond” program to benefit the broader health needs of their communities. The award was presented during association’s annual meeting on October 16, 2014, at Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle.
The school-based mental health program began in 2013 with a needs assessment of the Anacortes community. The results showed that there was significant need for more mental health and substance abuse services. After considering several different approaches to this challenge, Island Hospital solicited support from a number of community partners to develop a school-based mental health delivery model. Congratulations!
WSHA Responds to Pharmacy Issues Impacting Hospitals
In the past several month’s hospital pharmacy leaders have surfaced a number of issues stemming from recent decisions at the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission (Commission). These decisions are impacting or have the potential to impact pharmacy services, care and access. The issues include licensing requirements, Medical Assistant medication retrieval privileges, ED dispensing privileges, requirements for safe handling of drugs, and the ability to use tele-pharmacy in rural communities. We are working with stakeholders to collectively resolve these issues. We have engaged the Commission staff and will be engaging others as well. Please contact Ian Corbridge if you are experiencing pharmacy issues or if you have a staff pharmacy leader who would like to provide guidance and insight as WSHA explores options to resolve these issues. (Ian Corbridge, email@example.com)