a product message image
{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade

Page 1

Inspiring Health SPRING 2020

Life-Changing Gynecologic Surgery How surgical removal of an ovarian cyst improved a patient’s quality of life

Zero Patient Harm Fine-tuning care delivery at Brookings Health System

One Patient. A Single Chart. Simplifying medical record access


The Laser Treatment Näva medical spa recently invested in the aesthetic medicine industry’s latest laser technology to perform skin rejuvenation therapy and hair removal procedures. “The laser allows us to resurface and tighten the skin to reduce wrinkles and fine lines,” said Tonya Buchholz, certified nurse practitioner at Näva medical spa. “It also allows us to reduce the appearances of blemishes and scars for patients.” Common conditions treated with laser skin therapy include facial wrinkles, age spots and brown spots, acne marks, pigment discolorations and scar reduction.


In addition, Näva now offers procedures to reduce face redness caused by conditions like rosacea, reduce active acne, and treat spider veins. For unwanted hair, common body areas for hair removal include several parts of the face, underarms, back, shoulders, chest, legs, abdomen and bikini area.

Tonya Buchholz

Interested in a laser procedure? Appointments are available every Monday and Thursday. Call or text Näva medical spa at (605) 695-7394.

Is Vaping Safe? With the recent deaths from e-cigarette, or vaping, product use association lung injury (EVALI), many people are questioning if vaping e-cigarettes are safer than smoking tobacco. While vaping exposes you to fewer toxic chemicals than traditional smoking, it still has risks. E-cigarettes contain nicotine, a toxic substance that increases your chance of heart attack. Users who ignore nicotine cravings suffer withdrawal and research suggests nicotine may be as addictive as heroin and cocaine.

Vaping also has many unknowns. While the CDC has identified vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent used in THC vaping products, as the chemical of concern in the EVALI deaths, there’s several other chemicals in the vapor make-up. How those chemicals impact overall health in the long run has yet to be understood. Emerging data indicates a link to chronic lung disease and asthma. The bottom line: don’t smoke and don’t vape. If you’re trying to quit, call the South Dakota QuitLine, 1-866-SD-QUITS.

WANT TO RECEIVE INSPIRING HEALTH ELECTRONICALLY? Opt out of paper and get our Inspiring Health newsletter delivered straight to your e-mail. It’s the same great content and information once a quarter in an electronic format. Ready to make the switch? Sign-up at www.brookingshealth.org/IH. brookingshealth.org

What’s the Difference Between BROOKINGS HOSPITAL &

BROOKINGS HEALTH SYSTEM? Brookings Health System’s roots go back to 1907 when the Brookings Hospital Company opened a 21-bed hospital on Harvey Dunn Street. As the Brookings region’s needs for health care grew and expanded, our organization evolved beyond just hospital care. A health system is defined as an organization that consists of at least one hospital plus a group of medical providers. It consists of two or more health care organizations that are affiliated with each other through either shared ownership or a partnership for payment and service delivery.

clinics in Arlington, White and Volga; Yorkshire Eye Clinic & Optical; our outreach clinic and the Medical Plaza — a physician office building that connects directly to Brookings Hospital. The name Brookings Health System also reflects our organization’s line of services that goes beyond hospital care. Our team also provides home health and hospice services; ambulance services; short-term and longterm care; and an extensive line of outpatient services, including therapy, cardiopulmonary, and diagnostic imaging, to name a few.

That definition is why in 2005 the Board of Trustees adopted the name Brookings Health System. It better described the joint relationship of the three main health care organizations at the time – Brookings Hospital, Brookview Manor nursing home (now The Neighborhoods at Brookview) and Brookhaven Estates senior living apartments.

Often the names Brookings Health System and Brookings Hospital are used interchangeably. However, Brookings Hospital is a distinct place for care within the Brookings Health System organization. While Brookings Hospital remains one of the mainstays within our organization, hospital care is only one of the several types of health services Brookings Health System provides to the community.

Furthermore, the new name positioned the organization for future growth to serve the community’s needs. Today Brookings Health System also includes primary care

Want to learn more about all of the services offered by Brookings Health System? Visit brookingshealth.org/Services.

spring 2020



Patient Harm

Hospital-acquired conditions are medical conditions or complications that were not present when a patient was admitted to the hospital, but developed as a result of errors or accidents while in the hospital. It’s a patient safety matter Brookings Health System takes to heart ­— implementing tools, tactics and best practices to create a system of safety.

“We frequently perform surveillance of our own team,” said Ruesch. “We’re making sure our care providers are following standard precautions and protocols, like washing hands and wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. If a patient is flagged with a certain condition while under our care, our infection preventionist takes a deep dive to understand how the condition came about.”

Analysis conducted by IBM Watson Health shows patients who experience a hospital-acquired condition, such as a surgical site infection, fall or medication error, stay in the hospital about 8 days longer and have an average increased cost of $41,917.

In addition, team members are encouraged to report errors and near misses — with no penalty — so those incidents can be examined, too. By understanding the root cause, Brookings Health can fine-tune the care delivery systems in place.

“No one wants to make a mistake and cause harm, especially health care workers,” said Quality Director Sandra Ruesch. “Patient safety is ingrained at Brookings Health. One error is one too many. Zero is always our goal.” In pursuit of zero mistakes, Brookings Health puts itself under the microscope — searching for areas of improvement.

“We’re constantly looking at evidence-based research and translating that into best care practices for our team,” said Ruesch. “We want to make sure we’re using the best science, the best medical supplies, and the best communication between ourselves and patients to deliver the best results.” Patients and their family members play an important role in healthcare safety, too. “We work very hard at trying to educate patients about their care, not just what we’re doing at the bedside, but what they, or their family members, will need to do to maintain their health and continue the healing process when they go home,” said Ruesch. That also includes encouraging patients and their loved ones to say something if they feel something may go wrong or see an error being made, like a care provider not washing their hands when they come in the room. “We want patients to feel comfortable in speaking up. They are the most important partner in the care team and we truly value what they have to say,” said Ruesch. Patients are encouraged to learn more about safety in health care during Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 8 – 14. To see how Brookings Health compares to national safety benchmarks, visit brookingshealth.org/Safety.


LIFE-CHANGING Gynecologic Surgery

Ovarian cysts are common, especially for women who still get their period. Most ovarian cysts are harmless and go away on their own. But when a cyst doesn’t go away or gets bigger, it can impact a woman’s reproductive health and everyday life. At age 19, Brittany McLagan learned she had a benign ovarian cyst that caused her discomfort. The cyst Brittany’s doctor found was small and not life threatening. To help guarantee Brittany’s best chance of having children, her doctor recommended waiting and watching the cyst as opposed to removing it. Over time, the cyst grew. So did the discomfort. “I just kind of got used to the pain on the right side,” said Brittany. After the birth of her second child, Brittany especially noticed a marked difference. In addition to irregular cycles, she often experienced sharp pain inside her lower right abdomen. She would take over the counter medication, but after a while it quit providing relief. The pain caused by the cyst was affecting her daily life. “I was on a run with a friend one day, and I couldn’t even function. I had to stop. It hurt so bad,” said Brittany. “I shouldn’t have to stop what I’m doing just because I’m in pain.” What was more, each time Brittany experienced an irregular cycle, she worried about what was growing inside her. “Your mind just instantly thinks cancer.”

Finally Brittany decided to visit Gynecologist Dr. Tara Haarsma at Avera Medical Group Specialty Care. Dr. Haarsma ordered an ultrasound; the cyst had grown to nearly twice the size of Brittany’s ovary. Because the cyst did not have any concerning features, Dr. Haarsma gave Brittany the option to either continue watchful waiting or to surgically remove the cyst. Brittany opted for surgery. “I didn’t want to be in daily pain.” Because of the cyst’s size, Dr. Haarsma cautioned Brittany her ovary may be removed, too. While Brittany and her husband were done having children, she still wanted to keep her ovary. If a woman has both ovaries removed prior to menopause, she is at increased risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. After surgery, Brittany was relieved to hear that Dr. Haarsma managed to preserve her ovary. “It’s an important organ,” said Brittany. “I know you can survive with one, but what happens if down the road I have to lose my other ovary?” Post-surgery, Brittany no longer experiences pain. Her quality of life has changed for the better. “There are some days I just think it’s weird not to have that pain — but it’s normal. It’s not weird,” said Brittany. “I also don’t have that thought in the back of my head, ‘What’s growing inside of me?’ It’s peace-of-mind now that the cyst is gone.” Hear more of Brittany’s story and learn about gynecologic surgery at brookingshealth.org/BrittanyM.

spring 2020


One Patient. A Single Chart. Brookings Health System and Avera Medical Group Brookings have joined forces to make it easier for patients to access their medical records. Starting March 1, 2020, if you doctor with Avera Medical Group Brookings and receive services from Brookings Health System, you can see all of your records together with a single login to the AveraChart patient portal.

Record Access for Sanford Patients 6

Brookings Health cares for patients who see Sanford providers, too. To give Sanford patients the best care possible, Brookings Health System has access to Sanford’s One Chart. One Chart allows Brookings Health System’s providers to see patient information within Sanford Health’s electronic medical record. It allows our providers to review patient information for continuing care and treatment. Any patient who receives services from Brookings Health System—regardless of where they see their primary care provider—can access their Brookings Health records on AveraChart. Learn more at brookingshealth.org/chart.

“Brookings Health and Avera partnered to make accessing your medical record as easy as possible for the many patients of either organization within the Brookings region,” said Brookings Health System CEO Jason Merkley. “Before we each operated separate portals for patients to access their medical records. That meant remembering two logins and knowing which portal was for your hospital stay versus your clinic visit. Having both records in one portal makes it much simpler for the majority of patients.” For patients who already have an AveraChart login, any visits to Brookings Health’s locations after March 1, 2020, will automatically flow in to the patient record. This includes services from Brookings Hospital, Arlington Medical Center, White Medical Clinic, Volga Medical Clinic and The Neighborhoods at Brookview. Additionally, services from Avera Medical Group Specialty Care and Avera Medical Group Brookings will now be grouped in the same chart with Brookings Health records. For example, if you went to Brookings Hospital’s ER with a broken arm and saw an orthopedic surgeon at Avera Medical Group Specialty Care, your ER visit, X-ray results, clinic notes and surgical procedures will all be accessible in AveraChart. If your primary care provider is at Avera Medical Group Brookings or one of Brookings Health System’s clinics, your provider would also see the care that was provided for your broken arm. “The biggest benefit of sharing an electronic health record is the seamless and vast amount of information that allows providers to better understand the patient’s entire care journey,” said Merkley. Any patient seen after March 1, 2020, at either Brookings Health or Avera Medical Group Brookings may sign up for record access. If you do not have an AveraChart login, you can obtain one by calling the AveraChart helpdesk at 1-855-667-9704. Helpdesk hours are Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Looking for more information on access to your medical records? Learn more at brookingshealth.org/chart.


Inspiring people to support Brookings Health System through philanthropy, recognizing the vital role of local health care in sustaining quality of life in our community.

SUPPORT $5.4 M in facility, equipment & technology upgrades


for heart attacks and stroke health with Million Hearts


from the hospital for patients without financial means needing transportation


Health events and wellness education for the community and employees

Special outings and events for residents at The Neighborhoods at Brookview

$58,100 raised for Tough Enough to Wear Pink by the Swiftel Center to promote cancer screenings and local resources Employees giving back to the community with over 575 gifts of time, talent & treasure annually

for hospice patients


provided to patients without financial means following hospital discharge


providing resources to newborn families and increasing SIDS awareness


through annual Aiming to Inspire Health Sporting Clays Tournament

SUPPORT THE FOUNDATION FOR DECADES TO COME! Visit brookingshealth.org/foundation or call the Foundation at (605) 696-8855 for more information.

300 22nd Avenue Brookings, SD 57006

This is a recyclable product.

Inspiring Health is published by Brookings Health System. This publication in no way seeks to serve as substitute for professional medical care. Consult your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.

See 20/20 in 2020! Receive 20% off contact lenses or 20% off frames when you have an eye exam with Dr. Taylor Kneip. Offer valid through 12/31/20.

To schedule an appointment call (605) 696-8870.

Profile for Brookings Health System

Inspiring Health Spring 2020  

Inspiring Health Spring 2020