Spring _____ 2014
Field Work Hospitals
& Pro Sports Teams Play Well Together
Divisional Innovators Award Recipients Announced
THE EYES HAVE IT
Virtual Observation Program Reduces Falls
Meet Milton Visions For Success From a 30-Year HCA Employee
you Spring 2014
After more than 24 years with HCA, I had the great privilege recently to be appointed chief financial officer for the company. I have spent practically my entire career at various levels with the company and I must say it’s a humbling experience to have this opportunity. I am also very excited by the prospect of the transformation we see coming for all of us who work in this profession. Current trends point to big changes for the future, and we have the chance to help shape some of that future because of the many contributions the people of HCA bring to healthcare. In this issue of YOU magazine you have the opportunity to meet Milton Johnson, our new CEO. Milton talks frequently about improving the patient experience, and I know he and all of the senior team are very focused on making sure patients receive the highest quality care possible, and a first-rate customer experience. As efforts to allow patients choice in their care increase, we are challenged to bring a more consumer focused effort to our delivery. There are many projects at work in our facilities that continue to move us further down this path. We are instituting a variety of navigation efforts to help guide patients and their families through the complex system. The increased use of mobile applications to help patients interact with physicians and hospitals continues to grow. Electronic patient records are becoming a reality, and HCA is working diligently on designing an EHR system that can provide the type of interaction that our patients, physicians and other caregivers need for the future. And, increasingly, the physical design of care settings is being changed to enhance the overall experience for patients. While we look toward this dynamic new day in healthcare, I think it’s important that we stay true to our heritage. I am reminded often of Dr. Frist Sr.’s quote that it is not about the bricks and mortar or the equipment; it is about the warmth and compassion of people that leads to quality care. Milton frequently talks about the cultures and values of HCA and the importance of putting the patient first is the way HCA does business. That’s how our company was founded, that’s how it grew and that’s how it will continue to prosper into the future. I’m very thankful for the opportunity I’ve been given to continue to serve a great company full of incredible, compassionate people who work every day at bettering the human condition. I look forward to sharing our exciting future with you.
HCA Mission Statement Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life. In recognition of this commitment, we strive to deliver high-quality, costeffective healthcare in the communities we serve.
HCA Values In pursuit of our mission, we believe the following value statements are essential and timeless. We recognize and affirm the unique and intrinsic worth of each individual. We treat all those we serve with compassion and kindness. We act with absolute honesty, integrity and fairness in the way we conduct our business and the way we live our lives. We trust our colleagues as valuable members of our healthcare team and pledge to treat one another with loyalty, respect and dignity. We foster a culture of inclusion and diversity across all areas of our company that embraces and enriches our workforce, physicians, patients, partners and communities.
HCA Chairman of the Board Richard Bracken CEO R. Milton Johnson Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs Jana J. Davis Vice President, Communications Operations Jeff Prescott Send comments to YOU.Magazine@hcahealthcare.com
Designed and Published by Parthenon Publishing www.parthenonpub.com President Bobby Stark Chief Operating Officer Carlton Davis Managing Editor Joe Morris Creative Director Michael Ray Nott
Bill Rutherford CFO & Executive Vice President
2 you spring | 2014
The team at Texas Orthopedic Hospital helps Mohammed adjust to his new leg.
F E AT U R E S
6 Nursing Innovation Challenge
When HCA asked its nurses for ideas on how to improve patient care, they responded in a big way.
7 The Singing Nurse
Hear that humming from down the hall? It might be Katie Orlofske, who turned judges’ heads on NBC’s “The Winner Is” singing competition.
8 Meet Milton Johnson
HCA’s new CEO has a long and successful history with the company, and is prepared to take its vision of healthcare into the future.
10 Innovators Award Update
Can’t wait for the national finals? Here’s a sampling of Innovators Award winners at the local and division levels.
12 Good Sports
Denver is a sports town, so HealthONE facilities make the most of their partnerships with the Broncos and other teams. D E PA RT M E N T S
5 HCA’s Top Performers
The Joint Commission has named 80 percent, or 110, HCA hospitals to its 2013 List of Top Performers on Key Quality Measures.
13 Rapid Response
When large-scale disasters strike, HCA’s Hope Fund makes sure all employees get assistance.
14 Keeping Watch
New camera-monitoring program reduces falls, lowers costs and frees up staff for other duties.
16 Healing Notes
Credentialed therapists help patients recover through music, art and other methods.
18 Happy Anniversary!
Methodist San Antonio and Alaska Regional Medical Center mark a half-century of community service.
Texas Orthopedic Hospital aids Syrian teenager with prosthesis, rehab Houston, Texas The ongoing civil war in Syria has displaced and wounded hundreds of thousands of citizens, many of whom are unable to access needed medical care. Happily for Mohammed Jammous, that wasn’t the case for him. Mohammed, age 14, lost his leg from a tank shell in August 2012. He, along with Fatima Asafar, a girl from the West Bank, was brought to Texas Orthopedic Hospital by The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, a nonpolitical, nonprofit organization dedicated to healing the wounds of war, occupation and poverty for Middle East children. They were both treated by physicians from the Fondren Orthopedic Group. Fatima underwent hip replacement surgery by Dr. Greg Stocks, who led an orthopedic surgery mission to the West Bank last summer. Dr. Gary Brock oversaw Mohammed’s treatment, which did not require stump revision surgery, but prosthesis fitting and rehab. “My wife and I had hosted two little girls from Gaza in 2011, so I had been involved with the work PCRF did,” says Dr. Stocks. “I also went to Ramallah to perform hip and knee replacement surgery in the summer of 2012. I got a call asking if I could come over to perform surgery on Fatima last fall, and I asked if she could be brought to Houston instead.” The organization was able to make Mohammed Jammous benefited that happen. At the same time he asked from top-notch HCA care. his partner, Dr. Brock, if he could oversee Mohammed’s treatment, as the two children would be arriving in Houston within days of each other. Then it was on to the hospital, where he found many willing partners. Continued on next page spring | 2014 you 3
REGIONAL ROUNDUP “We could not have done any of this without Texas Orthopedic Hospital,” Dr. Stocks says. “Both Trent Lind and Blair Callaway, the CEO and CFO, were so amazingly helpful and open to the idea of providing help for these two children. Their generosity and willingness, not only to provide surgery and care for free but also several weeks’ worth of therapy for Mohammed so he could adjust to his prosthetic leg, really made this thing happen.”
TriStar Greenview hospitalists honored as top performers Bowling Green, Ky. TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital has been named the 2013 PRC Top Performer Hospital in Hospitalist Services for Medical Staff Perception. The 2013 PRC Excellence in Healthcare awards are sponsored by Professional Research Consultants Inc., a healthcare marketing-research company based in Omaha, Neb. TriStar Greenview’s Hospitalist program was presented PRC’s highest honor, the crystal “Overall Top Performer Award,” which is Hospitalists Marty Casebier, Sara given to a healthcare facility Chou and Darren Fentress. scoring at or above the 100th percentile for the Overall Quality of Care in PRC’s national client database for the prior calendar year. The hospital has three hospitalists, contracted physicians whose job is to work solely with patients who have been admitted to the hospital, on its staff. One of them is Dr. Darren Fentress, who says that the team is gratified to receive this recognition. “I think it says something about the level of service that the hospital provides, and that everybody here is doing their part,” Dr. Fentress says. “It’s not just the hospitalist team, but all the doctors, nurses, technicians and other people who operate the programs here. This kind of recognition says that we are succeeding in treating people the way that we would want to be treated ourselves.”
Eastside Medical Center partners with Marshall Steele Snellville, Ga. Eastside Medical Center has introduced JOINT DESTINATIONS, a comprehensive program based on a national best-practice model for hip and knee replacements. Joint Destinations is structured around the fundamental principle of wellness, and was developed in collaboration with Marshall Steele, a physician-led healthcare firm nationally recognized for its joint replacement expertise. The results of this new approach to surgery are less pain, quicker recovery and superior outcomes. From the first visit through pre-op, patients are educated, encouraged and cared for each step of the way. “Mobility is our 4 you 2014 | spring
goal,” says Mary Jo Barnett, Director of Joint Destinations. “By educating patients on what to expect throughout the experience, we are able to involve them in their own recovery.” According to CEO Kim Drs. Larry Bircoll, Shaun Traub, W. Kehne Ryan, “Expectation setting Moeller, and Craig Mines demonstrate is a key component to our their operating skills at the ribbon cutting. program. The concept of patient involvement is paramount to the speed at which patients are able to recover. They get a sense of mobility that they might not have enjoyed for years.”
Therapy animals find special place in patients’ hearts Nashville, Tenn. Many HCA hospitals have successful pet-therapy programs. From dogs and cats and even parrots, animals visit patients and brighten a lot of days. At TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center, some very special dogs are able to forge an even deeper connection on the rehab unit. As a part of their therapy, patients here receive visits from Simon and Tripp, both of whom are missing a leg, as well as Ella the therapy cat. Because many of Southern Hills’ rehab patients are amputees, seeing the dogs moving around freely is very motivational, says Emily Wilkinson, an occupational therapist who works on the inpatient rehab unit. The therapy animals must go through special training (their owners must as well), and after certification, they are scored in a manner that determines what venues would best benefit from their visits. Some go to children’s wards, others to rehab, and so forth. “With a cat, you can’t just tell it to stay,” Wilkinson explains. “They have to be calm and not scratch. All the animals have to get familiar with wheelchairs, loud noises, people dropping or throwing things, yelling and screaming, even being hugged really tightly.” For owner Kim Davidson, all the training was worth it to see how Simon and Tripp are able to interact with veterans and other amputees as they recover. “After we adopted Simon, I Pet therapy takes on a whole new meaning when the animal shares a got to thinking about how many patient’s condition. military people come back home injured, and I thought he’d be a great ambassador for losing a limb and keeping your head up,” Davidson says. “Sometimes we put an extra leash on a dog, and let a patient who’s working on learning to walk again walk the dog,” Wilkinson says. “People working on hand strengthening love to groom them. It’s really wonderful to see everything they can do for our patients.”
HCA Top Performers
Honor Roll 80 percent of HCA hospitals make The Joint Commission list HCA has made quite a splash on The Joint Commission’s 2013 list of Top Performers on Key Quality Measures™ — 110 splashes, to be exact. Those 110 facilities, or 80 percent of HCA’s U.S. hospitals, are on TJC’s list of 1,099 top performers. The list is the top one-third of all hospitals reporting core measure performance data to TJC for 2012. Fifty-five HCA hospitals have been Top Performers all three years of the program’s existence, and 20 HCA hospitals are firsttime Top Performers. “This distinction by The Joint Commission is significant because the measures they use to determine Top Performers are based on scientific evidence about practices that lead to better patient outcomes,” says Dr. Jonathan B. Perlin, HCA’s Chief Medical Officer and
president of the Clinical and Physician Services Group. “We are pleased that 80 percent of our hospitals have been recognized for their clinical excellence and are listed among the top U.S. hospitals.” Hospitals on The Joint Commission’s list met the following criteria: • First, each hospital achieved performance of 95 percent or above on a single, composite score that includes all the accountability data for which it reports data to The Joint Commission, including measures that had fewer than 30 eligible cases or patients. • Second, each hospital also met a 95 percent performance threshold for every accountability measure for which it reports data to The Joint Commission, excluding measures with fewer than 30 eligible cases or patients.
Alaska Regional Hospital Belton Regional Medical Center Blake Medical Center Brandon Regional Hospital Capital Regional Medical Center Cartersville Medical Center Centerpoint Medical Center Central Florida Regional Hospital CJW Medical Center Clear Lake Regional Medical Center Coliseum Medical Centers Coliseum Northside Hospital Coliseum Psychiatric Center Colleton Medical Center Conroe Regional Medical Center Corpus Christi Medical Center - Bay Area Denton Regional Medical Center Doctors Hospital of Augusta Doctors Hospital of Sarasota Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center Edward White Hospital Englewood Community Hospital Fairview Park Hospital Fawcett Memorial Hospital Fort Walton Beach Medical Center Frankfort Regional Medical Center Garden Park Medical Center Grand Strand Regional Medical Center Greenview Regional Hospital Gulf Coast Medical Center Henrico Doctor’s Hospital JFK Medical Center John Randolph Medical Center Kendall Regional Medical Center Lafayette Regional Health Center Lake City Medical Center Lakeview Regional Medical Center Largo Medical Center Las Colinas Medical Center Las Palmas Medical Center Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute Lee’s Summit Medical Center LewisGale Hospital Alleghany LewisGale Hospital Montgomery LewisGale Medical Center Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center Medical Center of Arlington Medical Center of Aurora Medical Center of Lewisville Medical Center of Trinity Medical City Dallas Hospital Memorial Hospital Jacksonville Methodist Hospital Methodist Stone Oak Hospital MountainView Hospital
AK MO FL FL FL GA MO FL VA TX GA GA GA SC TX TX TX GA FL ID FL FL GA FL FL KY MS SC KY FL VA FL VA FL MO FL LA FL TX TX FL MO VA VA VA CA TX CO TX FL TX FL TX TX UT
MountainView Hospital NV North Florida Regional Medical Center FL North Hills Hospital TX North Suburban Medical Center CO Northside Hospital FL Northwest Medical Center FL Oak Hill Hospital FL Ocala Regional Medical Center FL Ogden Regional Medical Center UT Orange Park Medical Center FL Osceola Regional Medical Center FL Palms West Hospital FL Parkridge Medical Center TN Plantation General Hospital FL Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth TX Portsmouth Regional Hospital NH Rapides Regional Medical Center LA Raulerson Hospital FL Redmond Regional Medical Center GA Regional Medical Center of Acadiana LA Regional Medical Center of San Jose CA Research Medical Center MO Research Psychiatric Center MO Reston Hospital Center VA Rio Grande Regional Hospital TX Riverside Community Hospital CA Rose Medical Center CO Sky Ridge Medical Center CO South Bay Hospital FL Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center NV Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center VA St. David’s Medical Center TX St. David’s North Austin Medical Center TX St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center TX St. David’s South Austin Medical Center TX St. Lucie Medical Center FL St. Mark’s Hospital UT St. Petersburg General Hospital FL Terre Haute Regional Hospital IN Texas Orthopedic Hospital TX Trident Medical Center SC TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center TN TriStar Horizon Medical Center TN TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center TN TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center TN TriStar Summit Medical Center TN Twin Cities Hospital FL Valley Regional Medical Center TX Wesley Medical Center KS West Florida Hospital FL West Houston Medical Center TX West Palm Hospital FL West Valley Medical Center ID Westside Regional Medical Center FL Woman’s Hospital of Texas TX
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Thinking Big Nursing Innovation Challenge turns ideas into action early on There’s no shortage of good ideas within HCA hospitals. That’s why the annual Innovators Award is always such a success. Taking a cue from that ongoing effort, the Chief Nursing Officers Council is capitalizing on employees’ brainpower with the Nursing Innovation Challenge. The challenge was launched last summer and asked nurses one very important question: If you could design or create future technologies that would change the practice of nursing, enhance nursing workflow, streamline processes and improve patient safety, what would those be? That was followed by a pretty simple rollout: first, nurses took notes during two of their regularly assigned shifts. That information was then sent to the CNO Council, which combed through the data for ideas and suggestions. Then, those thoughts and ideas were analyzed to determine where common themes might lead to immediate, beneficial action. “We wanted to know what nurses perceived as needs, and how they wanted to create better workplace solutions,’” says Kelly Aldrich, Informatics Nurse Specialist and Nurse Informatics Officer. “We wanted them to go beyond any perceived barriers or limits and share those ideas.” From electronic documentation to real-time data collection, HCA is continuously making strides in innovation and technology. There’s a steady stream of vendors offering more solutions in these and other areas, but HCA wants to harness the creativity and intellectual capital of its nurses in order to grow its own solutions whenever and wherever possible. That’s why two major themes — a revised nursing module for MediTech and a smartphone app — are the first pair of ideas out of the gate from this year’s challenge.
they need to collect and spend more time at the patient’s bedside. “They want more time to care for the patient, so that’s our ultimate goal with all these projects,” Aldrich says. “Improved, evidence-based documentation will improve our overall quality of care.”
Mobile app seen as need The second-largest group of ideas, almost 30 percent of the total, focused on making caregivers mobile, whether that involved an app on their personal smartphone or another mobile device, so nurses could, again, spend less time at the computer and more at the patient bedside. To that end, two mobile solutions will be piloted at Nashville’s TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center in early 2014. “We have dubbed these solutions i-mobile solutions, and they will allow for secure text messaging, as well as access to healthrelated apps that can provide additional help to nurses in their work,” Aldrich explains. “Everything will be designed to help nurses on the fly.” The app, which is being created by staffers with HCA’s information and technology (IT&S) department, will be HIPAA compliant so that it can securely transmit patient data between caregivers and doctors, as well as push forward lab results and other information in a more efficient manner. Another app, currently referred to internally as i-nurse, will allow for secure messaging and offer other features, such as searchable drug databases, and more. “We were very pleased with the ideas that our nurses submitted, and also that so many of them were thinking along the same lines about processes and improvements,” Aldrich says. “We look forward to implementing these new programs, and for more input in the future with the next group of wonderful ideas.”
HCA wants to harness nurses’ creativity to grow its own solutions whenever possible.
MediTech improvements sought “Of the more than 700 ideas and requests we received, there were 275 that focused on our current electronic documentation system,” Aldrich says. “As a result, we’ve been working on a nursing-module rewrite. We’ve had 30 people from 11 divisions volunteer their participation, and we hope to deliver it to the facilities sometime during early 2014.” The goal is to enhance this aspect of MediTech in such a way that redundant screens are eliminated, and questions are posed in such a way that nurses and other technicians can quickly input the data
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Music and nursing both help Katie connect with people. “They’ve all been so supportive of me from day one … and they’ve really shaped who I am as a musician, as a woman and as a businessperson.” She fell in love with singing while performing at a Christmas show when she was 12 years old. “What I love about singing is just the feeling I get whenever I’m on stage,” she says. “Honestly, it’s almost like a high.” While pursuing her nursing career, music never left her heart, and she feels lucky that her passions work well in tandem. She often writes songs after her shifts in the ER, using her own experiences as inspiration. “Love and life and hardships,” she explains. “When the emotions are flowing, it seems like the songs come a little bit easier.”
Nursing her talents
ER Nurse “Katie Ohh” sings her way to $1 million on NBC’s “The Winner Is”
A love of connecting with people brought her to nursing in the first place. While she plans to use a portion of her prize money to fund her musical endeavors, she doesn’t plan to stop nursing just yet. “Nursing is definitely a love of mine, so I enjoy staying in my job and helping people on a day-to-day basis,” she says. “I’ve only been a nurse for about three years now, but it’s just really given me so much joy in helping the people I’ve been given the opportunity to help.” Her life has changed, though, since her big win. “I’ve definitely been a lot busier since then, trying to keep the buzz up on my own,” she says. “My life has really changed a lot for the better.”
What would you do with a million dol-
The secret to success
TriStar Centennial Medical Center’s “Katie Ohh” hit it big on NBC’s “The Winner Is” vocal talent show.
Singing Her Praises lars? It’s a fun question to consider but one that few people actually get to answer. Katie Orlofske is one of those people. A nurse at TriStar Centennial Medical Center, Katie won NBC’s “The Winner Is” vocal talent show in March 2013. Katie Ohh — as friends and fans know her — took top honors in the singing competition not only because of her powerhouse voice, but also because she was willing to bet on herself:
the show offers contestants increasing amounts of money to walk away if they are not confident they’ve won their headto-head matchups, so she constantly had to take risks to get to that million-dollar moment.
Supporting act Luckily, self-confidence comes easily to the singer because of her family’s support. “I have a very tight-knit family,” she says.
The hardest part of this experience for her? Keeping her win a secret until the final show aired in August, especially from her enthusiastic co-workers. “They were all watching the finale together and there was this huge explosion of screams and laughing,” she says. “It’s a rare thing to be able to say that you truly like everyone you work with, but we’ve got a great team here at Centennial.” spring | 2014 you 7
Up Through the Ranks Three decades with HCA gives new CEO unique insight on successes and challenges When he joined HCA back in 1982, Milton Johnson didn’t have his eyes on a corner office. He was just formalizing a relationship that had already been in the works for a couple of years. “I was with what is now Ernst & Young, and had spent a couple of years working with HCA’s accountants, so I’d been walking the halls over here since 1980,” says Johnson, HCA’s former CFO and president, who became CEO following Richard Bracken’s retirement at the end of 2013. “I’d been with them since right out of college, working in the tax department.” At that point in HCA’s history, the company had a large international presence, and Johnson worked with the executives in charge of managing hospitals in Saudi Arabia, Australia, the Philippines and Singapore. Over time he developed relationships with many of those men and women, even helping them with their personal tax returns. So when HCA offered him a position in its tax department, it was a homecoming of sorts. Right away, Johnson dug in and got down to the business of helping HCA succeed. In those days the company was busy growing by acquiring rural hospitals, and then integrating them into the HCA structure. Dr. Tommy Frist, one of the company’s founders, who is known for spotting talent, encouraged him to think more broadly about his career. So, Johnson began traveling the country with the development team, meeting the people who planted the seeds for what is his ongoing vision of HCA’s success. “I really got to see and get a sense of the importance those rural hospitals held in their community,” he says. “I learned very quickly that healthcare is a local business. People have an emotional attachment to their church, to the high school and to that hospital. When you talked about buying that facility, it was an emotional discussion. It really taught me 8 you 2014 | spring
the value of what we do.” “I’ve been very fortunate in that every five or six years I’ve been given a new opportunity,” he says. “I’ve tried to make sure that I get the most out of the opportunity the company gives me.”
Relationship building is key He credits company founder Dr. Tommy Frist and former executives Jack Bovender, Clayton McWhorter and Richard Bracken with helping him develop his executive vision. “I learned the value of relationships from them, and that healthcare is a relationship business,” he says. “You’ve got to put the patient first. Keep in mind that I came from the financial side, so it’s easy to get caught up in Wall Street expectations and investor expectations, but at the end of the day why we exist as a company is for the care and improvement of human life.” Johnson is well aware of HCA’s magnified role as a healthcare leader in the United States. He can quickly rattle off many examples of the work being done within HCA and in collaboration with outside organizations that continue to cement the company’s reputation in that regard. This includes nationally recognized efforts to reduce hospitalacquired infections, reducing MRSA in ICU populations and working to eliminate elective deliveries before 39 weeks. “I could go on and
“We have fabulous caregivers and physicians, and they are always trying to do what’s best for the patient. As long as we do that, we’ll be able to navigate through these times of change.” — Milton Johnson
HCA Chief Executives*
on,” Johnson says. “These are just some of the things that are being learned at HCA that have now become clinical standards around the country. But how is that intellectual capital going to line up with the change toward consumer-driven health care? Patients are making more and more choices about where they seek care, and how they get it. Our size and scale is going to give us many advantages.”
Patient experience is paramount That said, it is vital that everyone at HCA keep the patient’s needs first and foremost. That has become increasingly visible in a landscape that now features online ranking services and review sites, but it has always been the company’s main mission. “Top of the list of things we need to do for the future is improve the patient experience and improve quality,” he says. “A quality outcome is of paramount importance, but a higher awareness of what the patient is going through while we are achieving those great outcomes is important as well. It comes down to compassionate care. Are we communicating well? Are we managing a patient’s pain well?
JOHNSON’S HCA CAREER TIMELINE 1982: Joins HCA 1987: H eads HealthTrust tax department when HCA spins off company 1995: R eturns as vice president of tax when HealthTrust folds back into HCA 1998: Becomes senior vice president and controller 2004: Named executive vice president and CFO 2009: Named to the board of directors 2011: Named president 2012: Named CEO (beginning 2014)
Are we keeping our facilities clean? Are we making sure we have the best equipment? All these things are contributing to the patient experience, and playing an important role in where the patients choose to go for their healthcare.” And even in the midst of major healthcare upheaval, HCA succeeds because of its people. “We have fabulous caregivers and physicians, and they are always trying to do what’s best for the patient. As long as we do that, we’ll be able to navigate through these times of change,” Johnson says, adding that HCA’s consistent quality care also has a stabilizing effect. “Keeping the mission of the care and improvement of human life at the forefront has given us good financial results, which in turn allows us to ride out changes,” he says.
Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Sr.
John A. Hill
John C. Neff
Jack C. Massey
Donald S. MacNaughton
Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Jr.
Richard L. Scott
Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Jr.
Jack O. Bovender, Jr.
Richard M. Bracken
R. Milton Johnson
Honoring the HCA culture In the end, he says, success comes down to every single employee — and that’s where HCA will win out. “When I visit our hospitals and sit down with our employees, I see the indefatigable pride that they have in what we do,” Johnson says. “They know the need to improve our patient satisfaction and experience, and no single person has all the answers. But, collectively I know we’ve got the solution, and that’s the power of our organization — the 200,000-plus employees who are giving care to our patients every day and have seen it all. Our job is to harness this organization’s power to create meaningful change in healthcare. We can do that, and do it now.” As for Johnson himself, he plans to be actively involved at every level of the organization. In June, however, he might be forgiven for seeming a little distracted. “Our daughter is due with our first grandchild then,” he says. “I expect we’ll be spending a lot of time with that grandchild once he or she gets here. Other than that, I’m just focused on the job and its requirements. I am really blessed in that I enjoy what I do every day. It doesn’t feel like a job at all.”
*Held the title of President, CEO or President and CEO spring | 2014 you 9
IDEA Timely Communication of OR schedule Project Mary Echo Alert Protocol Improving Quietness Patient Valuable Box
Innovators Award division-level winners showcase creative thinking
Unique Ortho Spine Program Emergency Department Level Charge Capturing Enhancement Cath Packs - Cost Saving While Improving Processes Improving Safe Opiate Administration Missing Charges in the Emergency Room Department Cost Savings as Related to Purchasing Compliance Endokit Bed Replacement Process - Thinking Outside the Box Centralize Pharmacy Inventory and Reduce Budgetary Costs Medication “Flash” Cards Fall Prevention: “Grab and Go” Kits Wound in a Box: The Wound-Staging Game ELEVATE the Patient Experience The “Sali Cart” Surgical Decontamination Cart Eliminating MISC/Communication Orders to Nursing in the CPOE system Instant Display of MEWS Score on Clinical Review
The ideas poured in for HCA’s annual Innovators Award, and the crop of entries this year continued to build on the tradition of innovation that this award inspires. The three national award winners and runners-up will be announced in the next issue of YOU magazine, but in the meantime here are the divisionlevel winners in the three categories:
Cranial Nerve Test Kit Designing CPOE Physician Support Centers for Improved Optimization Bar Coding “Room Has Been Cleaned” Signs on Patient-Room Doors Call Bell Rail Clips End of Life Care C.A.R.E Tags - CARE = Convenient Accelerated Registration Encoding J-tip Needle-less System for Injections Improve Scheduling and Staffing Accuracy
Service Excellence TWO
Financial Impact THREE
Quality & Patient Safety
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Decrease Drug Errors with High Risk Medications WFD Clinical Downtime SurgiTrak Signage: What Color Scrub = What Department Biometrics Scanner
Douglas Burns/Lisa Offord
Quality & Patient Safety
Quality & Patient Safety
Quality & Patient Safety
Quality & Patient Safety
Quality & Patient Safety
Quality & Patient Safety
Quality & Patient Safety
Quality & Patient Safety
Quality & Patient Safety
Quality & Patient Safety
Quality & Patient Safety
Quality Patient Care
Last year’s overall winners show just how innovative HCA employees can be: “The Closer” program allows department directors to meet with patients just before discharge to make sure everything with their stay was all right. End result? Significantly higher patient-satisfaction scores. Bubble-gum colored crash carts for pediatric emergencies help doctors, nurses and other staff find the right equipment, right away — improving patient care and also reducing waste. And Real Time Reports, a comprehensive way to better track and manage patient data, continues to improve operational efficiency and patient care at every level. The bar has been set high, but based on the division-level winners, HCA employees again have risen to the challenge.
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FairPlay Play Fair
Denver’s pro sports athletes get involved with hospital visits and more From team visits to pediatric units to full-on halftime displays, Denver’s sports teams are interacting with HCA facilities in a big way. Athletes have long given generously of their time when it comes to making hospital visits, but in a sports-heavy town like Denver, that’s just scratching the surface. Many athletes and mascots lend their time and talents to fundraisers and other appearances as well. Last fall, the Denver Broncos turned their Oct. 13 home game into a total engagement event for breast cancer awareness, prevention and research. “We partnered with the Broncos and also worked with the Denver affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure to make the entire day a celebration of breast-cancer survivors, and also raise breast cancer awareness,” says Dan Davidson, Vice President of Marketing and Community Relations for HCA’s Continental Division.
Multi-layered partnerships The day’s activities included honoring more than 100 survivors on the field at halftime, as well as a pre-game brunch for the honorees. HealthONE (HCA’s system in Denver) hospitals’ staff set up tables outside the stadium and provided tribute stickers that resembled racing bibs, so that attendees could write down the names of friends and family members they wanted 12 you 2014 | spring
to honor or remember on that day. “This is a great sports town, and we’ve been able to work with many organizations,” Davidson says. “We were really excited about Oct. 13 because it was something new; it focused on raising awareness and survivorship. We really embraced it.” HealthONE was asked to nominate someone as a hero, and chose employee and breast cancer survivor Antoinette Paniagua, an oncology navigator at Red Rocks Cancer Center.
High-profile player visits and team events help boost wellness and prevention awareness. “Antoinette had been working in corporate America when she got her diagnosis, and as a result of that experience she went back to nursing school, got her degree and began working as a patient navigator,” says Elyse Gellerman, Sarah Cannon/ HealthONE Regional Vice President of Oncology Services. “Antoinette has dedicated her career to helping other patients have an easier time than she experienced. We thought it was a wonderful way to recognize her, as well as show how patient navigation is a vital component of our HealthONE oncology program.”
The Broncos were very happy with the Oct. 13 festivities, and hope to continue strengthening their partnership with HealthONE hospitals, says Brady Kellogg, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships. “We encourage our players to get out into and be champions in the community, on the field and off,” Kellogg says. “We want to work with the hospitals, but also focus on youth and health for the entire community.”
Hospital visits are highlights The Broncos, as well as the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rockies, Colorado Rapids and other teams, make time for visits to pediatric patients, a high point for everyone involved, says Erin Perejda, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Pediatric Clinic Specialties, a part of Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center. “The players and mascots will come in and split up between the hospital and clinic, so a lot of kids get seen on those days,” Perejda says. “It’s an amazing surprise for the kids, because they do not know these players are coming. Sometimes players develop relationships with kids and keep in touch, so everyone gets something out of it.” All these activities serve another purpose as well: community education. “The teams have loyal followings and large fan bases, so it really helps us capture public attention,” Gellerman explains. “In October, our message to women is to make sure they are taking care of themselves with regular mammograms, but throughout the year we are able to promote health within the entire community.”
Rapid Response Natural disasters and numerous applications don’t slow down Hope Fund help HCA facilities do a great job of supporting the Hope Fund because employees see how those funds help their colleagues. There also are usually one or two people who are willing to share their story of how the Hope Fund assisted them, which makes the point in a very personal way. At some facilities, however, those one or two stories can be multiplied by the dozens. Because when natural disasters strike, the Hope Fund is ready to help as many people as needed, and to do so quickly and efficiently.
Tornado relief comes quickly At OU Medical System, for example, hundreds of employees were affected by the tornadoes that ripped through the Oklahoma City metropolitan area earlier this year. People were glad to pitch in to help their co-workers, but it was a huge benefit to have something else to offer as well, says Chuck Spicer, CEO. “Sometimes programs like the Hope Fund have some distance in terms of seeing how they really work,” Spicer says. “You know it’s a good thing, but you don’t really see it. But when you see what’s happened to your co-workers, and you see the difference that even a few hundred dollars can make, it’s incredibly powerful.” Spicer called on a majority of OU Medical System’s more than 90 Hope Fund recipients in the days after the storms, and says he was overwhelmed by the gratitude and thanks that were shared with him. People Chuck Spicer were at a very vulnerable moment in their lives, and having something that they could depend on meant a great deal to them — and to him as well. “Our company was there when they needed us the most,” he says. “The Hope Fund staff in Nashville coordinated everything really well. In fact, we had a lot of people who were reluctant to ask for help. They may have lost a car or a roof, but they knew others who’d lost their entire houses. They would tell us that others needed the help more. We had to make sure they knew that they didn’t have to qualify their need — that we were here to help them.” As further testament to the Hope Fund’s effectiveness, the Oklahoma Hospital Association incorporated much of the fund’s application and review process into its own disaster-relief efforts, Spicer explains.
“That was a tremendous validation of our program,” he says. “People have seen how the Hope Fund works, and how disaster can happen at any time, to anybody. The Hope Fund is built to be extremely flexible, and that’s a great thing. I think you have a lot of ambassadors here now.”
Post-flood aid vital In Nashville, many employees of TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center had to cope with the aftermath of floods in 2010 that caused billions in damage. Thanks to support from the Hope Fund, the facility eventually merged its own benevolence fund into the larger operation, says Tom Ozburn, CEO. “Our own employees had that fund, which operated outside the Hope Fund,” Ozburn says. “It was a pretty robust program, and people liked it because it helped their co-workers here at our hospital. People knew about the Hope Fund, but they didn’t think it addressed everyday issues, only catastrophic events.” Because of the help people got in 2010, Southern Hills employees began to see the Hope Fund with new eyes. Soon they opted to merge their funds with the fund itself. Tom Ozburn “We kept our benevolence committee intact, so we still review those requests and then put them forward to the Hope Fund,” Ozburn says. “I think that helped me convince people to make this change.” To that end, he says he hopes other hospitals with separate funds will also consider merging their good works with those of the Hope Fund. “Together we can reach more people and change lives,” he says. Ozburn feels the Hope Fund’s work is further strengthened by a willingness to readjust how assistance can be rendered. “Recently the board voted to increase funding under the category of domestic violence,” he reports. “The Hope Fund board is very creative and active, and they want to grow the fund so we can make more payments and help more people.” To showcase that, Spicer tells the following story: “An employee lost her entire house, as well as her car, in the tornado,” he says. “The day after, her husband made it back into their neighborhood to see what was left. As he was leaving the neighborhood, his truck got three flat tires. He got to the tire store, but wasn’t sure how they could pay for replacements. She looked in her bank account, and the Hope Fund money she’d requested was already there. These people needed help with a pretty basic need — transportation — and the Hope Fund made that happen.” spring | 2014 you 13
Keeping Watch Virtual Patient Observation program pays off with reduced falls Preventing falls is a key element to quality patient care, and it also can be a costly element of hospital staffing. At Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, new technology has been deployed to both increase safety and lower costs — a win-win for patients and staff alike. “In Fall of 2012, a comparison of Clear Lake’s patient sitter hours against other facilities our size highlighted a costly patient sitter department and general lack of structure,” says Chad Lockhart, Assistant Administrator. “Sitter requests did not have clearly structured approval channels, giving way to the culture where sitters were used more for convenience rather than necessity. We were faced with the problem to implement in a timely manner, but also to tailor a quality longChad Lockhart term solution to keep patients safe and effectively manage staffing levels.” Nurses, tech support and other staffers sat down and began to work out a solution. The goal was to make sure that patients were properly monitored, and maintaining their safety was the primary objective throughout the design sessions. Everyone realized that a combination of nursing/sitter staff as well as technological monitoring would be necessary, Lockhart says.
Multiple goals to achieve In addition to patient safety, employee satisfaction was also a key component of the rollout, says Brenda Kotal, MedicalSurgical/ED Service Line Director. “We supported the staff side-by-side, getting and giving constant feedback, making necessary process changes and reinforcing to staff that it was all about patient safety and decreasing falls,” Kotal says. “Selvan Murugan, Bobbye Lafont, 14 you 2014 | spring
Program is scalable
Shelley Rakestraw and other leaders worked through the kinks daily to show them we were there to support them. Ultimately, they bought in as they saw the process working, the management support and the safety that it provided to our patients.” “Our nursing and service line directors did a lot of due diligence and developed new policies while we were engaged in this process, and without their involvement at every Brenda Kotal level, we would have been doomed at the beginning,” Lockhart adds. “Just adding new technology wasn’t enough; both the patients and the nurses would have suffered.” The facility partnered with a vendor to create a turnkey solution that involved cameras placed in patient rooms through a ceiling access point, and then a monitoring station so that patients could be supervised from a central point. Over 18 months technicians piloted a single room, then phased in more cameras and finally wound up with a system that allows one monitoring tech to watch up to 15 patients.
The program, which officially launched in January 2013, involves 40 cameras in six units across two buildings at the hospital complex. The system cost between $1,500 and $1,700 to install per room, and involves a call system and more. So far, it has realized about $80,000 in staffing and other savings, Lockhart says, and can easily be expanded to other areas of the hospital. “Along the way, we were sure to include patients to make sure they know they are being monitored, and the reason for the technology is only for safety,” he says. “They have to give their permission, or a family member does, before we can initiate the video monitoring. Although the video is one-way, the audio is two-way, so the patient can address the call center should he or she need help from a nurse or nurse tech. We were pleased to see that this twoway communication decreased phone calls to the nurse or nurse station.”
Staff gets time back In addition, Lockhart adds that “the ‘War Room’ is able to immediately respond to the patient, a satisfier, but also forward the message to the nurse without interrupting them. This has not only given some ‘phone time’ back to the staff, but also allows him or her to be prepared for the patient when the staff member next enters the room.” Sitter hours are the lowest they have been in two years, falls on units with Virtual Sitter have decreased and everyone is pleased, Kotal and Lockhart say. “We were afraid of patient opinions on privacy issues, but we were surprised to see how much the patients and their families liked the process and felt we cared about their safety,” Kotal says. “We never received pushback from patients and their family members, just support. Another surprise is that staff feel that we need more monitored beds!”
Lessons Learned Collaborative effort reduces readmissions across 24-facility test area Eliminating avoidable readmissions will always be a goal for all HCA hospitals — with the dual aim of improving the quality of care and conserving healthcare resources. So when a group of 24 hospitals formed the Avoidable Readmissions Collaborative and set out to redesign care processes and share their learning, the entire company Dr. Thomas Garthwaite was paying attention. The need is immediate. Beginning on Oct. 1, 2012, 77 percent of HCA facilities saw some reduction in Medicare payments under the CMS’s Readmission Reduction Program. The maximum reduction last year was 1 percent, but it is 2 percent this year and 3 percent in 2014. Further, penalties are calculated relative to other hospitals that care for Medicare patients and those hospitals are improving. Here are some of the key action items from the collaborative effort (the full Lessons Learned document can be found on Atlas):
• Conduct follow-up calls to clarify instructions and answer questions • Schedule timely follow-up appointments before the patient leaves the hospital • Improve collaboration with community/post-acute providers including data sharing • Improve communication between hospitalists and primary care physicians • Establish palliative care programs • Arrange in-home assessments where feasible • Support patient diet adherence, involving family members as appropriate • Improve discharge education including the use of teach-back • Improve the medication reconciliation process
“While most HCA hospitals have had ongoing efforts to improve the discharge process,” says Dr. Thomas Garthwaite, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of HCA’s Clinical Services Group, “the collaborative process added shared learnings, additional metrics and a timeline to those efforts. We think that all facilities will find something of value in the Lessons Learned document.” spring | 2014 you 15
OUR CARE The TriStar Parthenon Pavilion team: Back row: Stephanie Maldonado, MT-BC; Sarah Wieck, LCSW; Morgan Cothron, TR: Katie Meek, CTRS; Kevin Bolton, MT-BC; Paula Miller, CTRS; Yvonne Glass, MT-BC; Teresa Treloar, CTRS. Front Row: Olivia Griffith, CTRS; Christine Finnegan, MT-BC; Catherine Harris, ATR; Terri Giller, ATR (Not pictured: Taylor Morrison, CTRS; Grace Ann Visser, ATR, Catherine Solimani, MT)
Healing Notes Credentialed music therapists harness the power of music to treat patients Everyone has had the experience of hearing a song that not only sparks a memory, but also brings back the emotions attached to that memory in vivid detail. A melody may soothe our nerves, make us cry, bring a smile, even push us to keep running for just one more mile. So it is no surprise that music is also an effective tool in treating patients. “I work in behavioral health, using music to help patients develop coping skills, gain insight and learn to express feelings in a positive manner,” says Yvonne Glass, MT-BC, a board-certified music therapist at TriStar Parthenon Pavilion. “Music therapy is also used with patients who have physical disabilities, in palliative care, brain injury and stroke recovery.”
Turning talents to healing Glass was already pursuing music studies when she saw how it could be used to help others in a meaningful way. She did volunteer work at a center for developmentally disabled children and adults. A certified music therapist handed out bells to a group of young adults, and then instructed them to watch her hand 16 you 2014 | spring
selves through the process of drawing or painting. Artistic talent is not necessary, nor the goal. “I always start out by telling patients that what we are doing is not an art class and the work is not going to be hung on a wall,” says Catherine Harris, board-certified art therapist (ATR-BC). “The goal is to give them a different way to think about their feelings and open a path to discussing and managing those feelings.” Recreation therapists use leisure hobbies to help patients find ways to cope with situations that overwhelm them. They can then turn to those activities to manage stress, fear or grief. “We forget, as adults, how to play,” says Katie Meek, a certified therapeutic recreation specialist (CTRS) on the Adjunctive Therapies team. “But leisure is an essential part of our lives, that improves our mood in a way that watching TV or sitting in front of a computer can’t.” Just as she saw results in her volunteer work, Glass sees the impact of music on her patients. “What we do as music therapists is more than just playing some music to entertain patients,” she says. “For example, I work with dementia patients and do some very specific exercises using music that help them stay focused. There is a palpable benefit after the session is done.”
signals for cues to play. Different bells played different notes, and as she guided the group, they made music, but also gained strength in their arms, socialized with each other and focused their attention for a significant period of time. “I knew what I wanted to do right then,” Glass says. She started down the path to become a credentialed music therapist, earning a bachelor’s degree in music therapy, honing her clinical skills with a six-month internship in her field and then sitting for the national board certification exam to get the MT-BC credential, granted by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. At Parthenon PavilMT-BC – Music Therapist-Board Certified: Bachelor’s degree in music ion she is part of the therapy, 1,200 hours clinical training. Credential granted by the 15-member Adjunctive Certification Board for Music Therapists. Therapies team, which includes art, music and ATR-BC – Art Therapist-Board Certified: Master’s degree in art therapy, 1,000 hours clinical training. Credential granted by the Art recreation therapists, Therapy Credentials Board. who undergo similar education and training CTRS – Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist: Bachelor’s degree in their respective fields. in recreational therapy, 560 hours clinical training. Credential granted Art therapists help by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification. patients express them-
Certified Therapist terminology
Hitting Their Stride Coaching lays the groundwork for current and future success For HCA-affiliated employees who have gone through health and wellness coaching, the results have been significant. Participants have lost weight, lowered their blood pressure and cholesterol levels, begun to eat healthier and increased their physical activity level. More importantly, working with H2U health and wellness coaches has helped many people lay a foundation of healthier behaviors that successfully lead to long-term changes. As anyone who’s been through the process will tell you, coaching is great — but the lifestyle changes must continue long after the coaching sessions end. Meet a few employees who are going the distance. Michael Bullock Clerk, Clinical Appeals, Parallon Business Solutions Bullock was surprised when his employee health screening indicated he needed health coaching. At 6’3” and 215 lbs., he wasn’t dealing with weight issues, but he did have a lot of body pain. Soon after he started working with a health coach, he identified his diet as the culprit. “I thought I was healthy, but my assessment told me something else,” he says. “Looks are deceiving. I was having a lot of pain, and soon my coach and I figured out that it was how and what I was eating. She helped me cut out the sugar and processed foods. Now I shop around the store’s perimeter, where the fresh foods are.” As a result of his new diet, his pain has receded and he’s become quite the food evangelist, says Jill Ross, the H2U health coach who worked with him. “He wasn’t in horrible shape when I began to work with him, but now he is really thriving,” Ross says. “A light bulb really went off for him about how he doesn’t need physical therapy for swollen hands, and pain medication for body aches. I’ve never seen anybody go from having such a sugar addiction to ‘my body is a temple’ in two months!” Matt Green Occupational Therapist , Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center For Green, health coaching was recommended because he was overweight and had elevated triglycerides and high blood pres-
sure. The screening helped him see these issues for the dangers they were, he says, and motivated him to take advantage of the opportunity health coaching provided. “The screening gave me objective lab measurements and norms that I could use to set goals and achieve outcomes,” he says. “My coach had me write specific outcome-oriented health goals. Then I had to write a plan for each goal. He provided excellent guidance that helped me achieve the goals I set for myself.” Green worked with Eric Jackson, exercise physiologist and onsite health coach at the H2U Clinic at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, who says Green took responsibility for making lifestyle changes, and is committed to keeping the momentum going. “Matt was very motivated to make a change,” Jackson says. “He explained to me that having a coach was not only great for getting additional information, but for the support and accountability.” Participants also share their efforts and successes with others, which multiplies the positive impact of the HCA wellness program. “Often, participants seem fully aware that change is needed, but they have not been able to create a plan to make that happen,” Jackson explains. “Some feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Coaching helps the participants develop a road map on a journey to their own best health.” Yushunda Davis Clinical Coordinator, OU Medical Center “I had four red marks, and that’s not good,” says Davis, recalling the day she got her personal health report. “Getting a coach clued me in. When you don’t feel bad or miss work, you think you’re healthy. Having my screening and coaching showed me how I needed to pay more attention to myself.” Sometimes coaching is necessary to tackle many health issues at once because it can be hard to prioritize. Davis needed help with lowering her high cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as losing weight and quitting smoking. “Yushunda wanted to get started on a program that would address all her health issues, and she was very determined to make it happen,” says Ross, her H2U health coach, who says Yushunda never gave up on herself but, “stayed motivated, even though it was very hard in the beginning.” Today, Davis has quit smoking, lowered her cholesterol and blood pressure, and is making great strides on losing weight. She’s also gotten her entire family to the doctor for checkups. “Everyone around me is getting better every day,” she says. “I see my family physician and other doctors, like my eye doctor, on a regular basis. At work we are exercising more, drinking more water, doing the things we should do. This program has been wonderful for all of us as a group at the hospital, as well as for me and my family.” spring | 2014 you 17
Longtime staff and volunteers were honored at Methodist Hospital, below, while custom-made flags flew high over Alaska Regional Hospital, left.
Methodist Hospital Methodist Hospital was chartered in 1955 as an independent hospital. It began with 175 beds and 272 employees and has grown to 882 beds and more than 3,500 employees. In 1995, it became the flagship facility of the Methodist Healthcare System. Methodist Healthcare now is the largest provider of healthcare in South and Central Texas, with 26 facilities (including nine hospitals) serving 90,000 inpatients and 390,000 outpatients every year. The idea for the hospital came about in 1954, when business strategists, led by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the Bexar County Medical Society, learned the city was lacking in
50 Major Milestone Texas, Alaska hospitals mark 50th anniversaries
The climate and communities couldn’t be more different for
Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage and San Antonio’s Methodist Hospital, but when it comes to celebrating a half-century of service, the feeling was just the same. Both facilities have been recognizing their 50-year anniversaries with a variety of community events, showcasing all that they have done, and continue to do, for the citizens they serve. And if the last 50 years are any indication, the next 50 stand to be even better as each hospital continues to provide the most advanced treatments and compassionate care available.
Alaska Regional Hospital
Alaska Regional Hospital welcomed its first patient on June 18, 1963, just eight days after the hospital was dedicated. The 45-bed facility was a nonprofit operated by the national Presbyterian Ministries, Synod of Washington-Alaska, which built several hospitals in the territory as part of its mission to provide medical care for those in need. First known as Presbyterian Community Hospital, the facility in downtown Anchorage became Anchorage Community Hospital in 1968 after a group of local physicians took over. They sold it in 1976 to the Teamsters Union, and the relocation to its current location soon followed. The new, 200-bed hospital included an adjoining building that housed Teamster headquarters, which meant the Alaska Hospital and Medical Center was often referred to as the Teamsters Hospital. A few more name changes followed, but by 1997 it had become Alaska Regional Hospital. The facility now has close to 900 employees and a medical staff of 500 independent practitioners. Anniversary celebrations have included interviews with several of these professionals, which were used to write “at a glance” profiles that captured their memories of the facility over the years.
18 you 2014 | spring
hospital beds and would not be able to handle a mass casualty situation or epidemic. The Southwest Conference of the Methodist Church was approached to administer the hospital with ties to the church, and an agreement was reached in 1955. Within five years, land was donated and enough money was secured through donations and government grants to build a hospital using civil-defense guidelines. The hospital received national attention as the world’s first nuclear disaster-proof hospital, with two floors underground to be used as a fallout shelter. “I’m in awe of the leaders who had a vision for a Methodist hospital surrounded by enough land to develop a thriving medical center,” says Gay Nord, CEO of Methodist Hospital. “We saw the visionary spirit again almost 20 years ago when hospital leaders saw that in the rapidly changing healthcare landscape, a single hospital might not fare well,” continues Nord. “As a result, when Methodist Hospital became part of the Methodist Healthcare System, a family of hospitals was born, co-owned by HCA and a newly founded nonprofit, Methodist Healthcare Ministries.” The nonprofit receives half the system’s profits, and is the largest nonprofit community healthcare source in San Antonio and South Texas directed to low income clients ineligible for any medical assistance program, Nord says. The Ministries contributed $72 million to providing 800,000 client encounters in 2012.
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Worth 1,000 words Nurse, iPhone help new mom connect with baby When Heidi King went into labor last June and headed to TriStar Summit Medical Center, she expected a pretty routine delivery. Everything in her pregnancy had been normal, and she was fiddling around on Facebook and texting as her labor progressed. Then everything changed — fast. “I got a giant migraine, my blood pressure dropped and I began to get sick,” King says. “At that same time, my doctor walked into the room, looked at the monitor, threw my husband a set of scrubs and said, ‘Let’s go!’” She required an emergency caesarean section, and her son went without oxygen for a short period
Standing (L-R): Pat Woods, RN; Paige Whitaker, RN; Seated (L-R): Heidi, Brayden (baby) and Blake King
of time. That meant that he needed specialized care at another HCA facility, TriStar Centennial Medical Center, so he was whisked away moments after his birth — and before his mother could see him. And shortly thereafter, Heidi underwent an emergency hysterectomy. “All this was on my birthday, which was both the best and worst one ever,” she recalls. “Everyone was amazing, and they were working with my husband to make all the right calls because I was coming in and out of consciousness. I knew the baby was OK, that he was a beautiful baby boy, but that’s about it. Everything was really fuzzy.”
A unique solution The next day she was more alert, and while her husband and family were bringing photos of her son, Brayden, she wanted to see him for herself. As he was still across town, and she was in no condition to travel, this posed difficulties. Enter Paige Whitaker, an SICU (surgical intensive care unit) nurse who was part of King’s care team. “I heard what was going on, and I knew that she would be feeling really emotional,” says Whitaker, who had returned to work a few months prior
after her own maternity leave ended. “I knew her husband was at the other hospital, and so I asked, ‘What about Facetime?’” The iPhone camera-chat feature had seen heavy use from Whitaker as she returned to work, allowing her to see her own little boy when she was at lunch and on break. Pictures are one thing, but being able to interact was much better, she says. “Being away from your child for 13 hours is hard; I couldn’t even imagine what she was feeling,” she says. “So we found someone on that end who had an iPhone, and we called that number from my phone. Heidi got to see her husband and baby together for the first time, and it was just a really nice moment for her. It’s one thing to be told your child is OK, but until you can lay eyes on him, it’s still really scary.” King agrees, adding, “It was the first time I had really seen my child. It was a bittersweet moment because I wanted him with me, but at least I knew he was OK.” After a few days, Brayden returned to TriStar Summit, and he and his mother went home a few days after. He had a bumpy start, but his proud mother reports that after neurological and other check-ups during the fall he now boasts a clean bill of health. “Hooray for nurses who are techsavvy, because I would never have thought of it,” King says. “I was just hoping to see my baby at some point. What Paige and everyone else was able to do for me was really neat.”