"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

CCR Receives National Recogntion

Each year, Premier, a health care performance improvement alliance of over 3,600 US hospitals in which WMHS is a member, accepts nominations for its annual Cares Award.  The award is given to providers who support specific populations who may be underserved or disenfranchised by mainstream health care delivery systems.  Some examples of these individuals would be migrant farm workers, the homeless, low-income moms and infants, the sickest of the sick who don’t have the means to receive care, or children in need.  WMHS was a winner of the award in 2005.  
This year, WMHS submitted an entry and we were notified last fall that we were one of six finalists for the award.  Our submission was for the Center for Clinical Resources where we care for the sickest of the sick.  Usually, individuals with multiple co-morbidities such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, hypertension and COPD are patients of the Center, which is staffed by nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians,  respiratory therapists, patient navigators, and community health workers.  All of these services are provided at no cost to the patient.  Our goal is to keep these patients as healthy as possible and reduce their need for hospital services.  The Center has been an overwhelming success in saving millions of dollars through reduced admissions, readmissions, ED visits and ancillary utilization. But most importantly, it is having a profound impact on the lives of these patients and their families.
The award was presented last evening in Miami, Florida, at Premier's annual conference, and the winning program provides services to migrant farm workers in Austin, Texas.  Although we didn’t receive the Cares Award, we receive national recognition and a check for $24,000 for being a finalist.  Not a bad consolation prize.

Congratulations to all who have been such an integral part of the Center for Clinical Resources since its inception.  Thank you for a job so very well done and the national recognition that you have brought to WMHS.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Frostburg Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and its CMS Five Star Rating

We just learned that our skilled nursing facility, Frostburg Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, has been designated as a five-star rated facility by CMS. To the best of everyone's recollection, this is a first. With our overall quality being rated five-stars, it means a great deal to our FNRC staff who have worked so very hard to achieve such a designation. Congratulations to Kevin Turley, VP Operations, and the rest of the FRNRC team on a job very well done.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Purposeful Rounding

The WMHS Executive Management team had a time-well-spent experience yesterday.  The team met for lunch with our Patient Experience and Culture Department, and we were briefed on the latest venture at WMHS, Purposeful Rounding.  Wow, what an afternoon! 
The process was reviewed with all of us; we received our pairing teams and our assigned units and off we went.  Nancy Adams, Chief Operating Officer / Chief Nurse Executive, and I were paired together…………..luck of the draw certainly for me.  We visited around a half dozen patients during our rounds and asked them about aspects of their stay. We asked about their care; whether or not we were meeting their expectations; did they find the whiteboard useful in their room; if they were being discharged, had the discharge instructions been reviewed with them and did they understand them; what more could be done to improve their patient experience; have we been responsive to their needs; did they or their family members have any issues or concerns that we could address; what was the level of noise that they have been experiencing especially at night; were they satisfied with the cleanliness of their room and do they have any immediate needs that we could assist them with.  
During our visits, some of the information that patients and families shared is as followed: we heard about our great nurses and some not so great staff; call light responsiveness, both the good and the bad; that we need TVs in every room in the ED; bed cleaning needs to be enhanced, especially in the evenings and at night so patients can get to their rooms faster; we need real decaf coffee on the units, not Sanka; the newly redesigned information booklets that patients are receiving are full of great information; that we have to be careful as to what we say about our patients at any time, but especially within earshot of a them; ED docs were great; some housekeeping issues exist that need to be addressed; ice in the water pitchers would be nice; that we need to do a better job of getting patients discharged once we tell them that they are going home; and that even though discharge instructions have been reviewed and explained that they may not be fully understood.
Nancy and I also had the opportunity to interact with a number of physicians while rounding.  They also exchanged great information and we will be addressing some of their issues as well.
We then returned to meet as a group and shared the information that was gleaned by each team.  We now have a treasure trove of information.  Some of the issues and concerns can be addressed immediately and some may take some time, but none of the information that was gleaned is out of our realm of accomplishment.  
We will be doing Purposeful Rounding on a monthly basis using the same format and expanding it to others in the organization.  This type of rounding will be a supplement to the rounding that occurs on a daily / weekly basis by members of the Executive Management team.  

As stated in the introduction, yesterday afternoon was time very well spent!  Thank you all for an experience that will now be hardwired into our culture at WMHS.

Friday, January 8, 2016

It's That Time Again

January brings a new year and a renewed commitment to get our lives in order.  Each year many of us make resolutions that we unfortunately break shortly thereafter.  I came across this article that I found to be most beneficial for those of us who do make resolutions.  These resolutions for the most part seem to be easily achievable as they are one-time events. It’s not that you couldn't do some of them multiple times throughout the year, like doing something else that you have always been afraid to do or telling more than one person how awesome they really are. 

I hope that you enjoy the list as much as I did.  I have already knocked off quite a few, but I am having a bit of trouble with number 12.  Happy New Year!