Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Seasons Greetings

As we prepare to close the year, I want to thank our hospital family for your contributions. Collectively, your efforts touched the lives of thousands of patients and their families throughout the year.

As I look ahead, we have a very exciting year on the horizon. I seek your continued support and participation in all initiatives at Orange Regional: improving patient satisfaction and employee engagement; becoming a LEAN hospital; going live with our EHR System; opening our new facility and continuing to sustain existing and develop new service lines. Improving the health of our community by providing exceptional care requires dedication and commitment from everyone.

Please enjoy this holiday season. I wish you a peaceful, happy and healthy New Year.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Thanksgiving Message

As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our hospital family for your contribution to improving healthcare in our region.

Collectively, our efforts have touched the lives of thousands of patients and their families who turn to Orange Regional Medical Center each year. I would encourage everyone to take a few moments to reflect on the areas in your life that require gratitude.

Organizationally, there is a great deal to be thankful for. Examples include, but are not limited to, the countless lives saved with services such as angioplasty, as we are on track to perform more than 2,000 catheterizations by the close of 2010. Our Core Measures data continues to improve which means we are delivering quality healthcare using proven therapies, developed by The Joint Commission, to treat our patients. Our patient satisfaction scores are increasing which is a reflection of the care we provide. We are on time and on budget with the construction of our new hospital. To date, Capital Campaign contributions total more than $20 million toward our $21 million goal. Due to our commitment to manage our organization responsibly, we are financially stable which allows us to provide new and enhanced services to our community.

The magnitude of what we do everyday demonstrates the significant role Orange Regional plays in our community. For this, our patients thank us. I, in turn, offer my sincere appreciation for your dedication and focus in working to meet and exceed our patients’ needs as we continue to work toward being the best regional hospital in New York State.

I wish you and your families a safe and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Patient satisfaction improves

Congratulations are in order for the significant increase in our second quarter patient satisfaction scores! When we focus and work together as a team, our patients reap the benefits of a positive healthcare experience. Our second quarter results indicate that the inpatient and Emergency Department surveys have earned their highest scores to date. In addition, our combined outpatient scores show a positive and steady increase.

Hospitals across the nation are required to participate in patient satisfaction surveys offered by certified vendors. Our patient satisfaction results are gathered and reported by the National Research Corporation (NRC). NRC randomly selects patients to fill out a survey in an attempt to measure their satisfaction of the services received at our facility. Once all surveys are collected and the information is compiled, quarterly satisfaction results are tallied by the NRC, compared with national and regional scores and sent to Orange Regional. We then analyze the data and make adjustments where necessary while celebrating the successes where indicated. In addition, our satisfaction scores are submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and are publically available on the internet for patients to view and consider when making their healthcare choices.

Patient satisfaction surveys are designed to measure the “patient experience”. A positive experience influences how our patients rate their overall stay. Every interaction with a patient is important and is the responsibility of each and every employee, physician and volunteer. Remember, survey questions are not limited to clinical topics. They include questions that relate to kindness and compassion of the staff, demonstration of team work and camaraderie by all employees and whether the patient perceived staff members to hold each other accountable for delivering quality care.

Our priority at Orange Regional is excellence. By continuing to keep the patients’ comfort and favorable experiences forefront, as a team, we will continue to earn credibility and trust as a quality healthcare institution that people choose as their provider of choice.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

new hospital taking shape

Construction of your new hospital is rapidly taking shape. While it is still an active construction site, there are areas in and around the structure that are now well defined. We remain on schedule with an anticipated completion date of April 2011. Construction of the exterior is just about complete and, shortly, you will see the landscaping and exterior signage. The landscaping is set to include extensive plantings within the interior of the loop road around the perimeter of the hospital. An elaborate healing garden at the main entrance of the hospital will also appear soon. Exterior signage will include entrance signs, various signs for direction throughout the campus and signs attached to the building.

Inside, the mechanical, electrical and plumbing installations are 90 percent complete. The walls, flooring, ceiling and painting are 50 percent complete. Our $24 million medical equipment plan is in the final stages of implementation. GE was selected as the primary vendor for imaging and monitoring equipment. Smaller packages of medical equipment are also being finalized and over the next seven months, fixed medical equipment will be installed. Simultaneously, furnishings, fixtures and moveable equipment will be finalized.

Additionally, the information technology and telecommunications infrastructure is being installed to support the electronic health record, telemetry and other wireless applications. Our new facility will provide a state-of- the-art backbone for present and future technology requirements.

Helping to shape the extensive New York State Department of Health’s inspection process, our leadership team has recently developed an internal process and a Steering Committee to carry out the large number of tasks related to final approval. This requires the assistance of department managers. An organization chart of the Steering Committee has been provided to all managers along with a detailed explanation of the information required for your department.
Once construction is complete, it will take an additional 14 weeks for the new hospital to become patient ready. This 14 week transition period is mapped out in a move management plan that is being developed with the input of all departments. It is anticipated that the facility will be fully operational in late summer 2011.

Fundraising is a significant component in making our new hospital a reality. To date, we have nearly reached our goal of $21 million for the project. I greatly appreciate your contributions.
There is a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and positive energy surrounding this endeavor. Thank you for all you’ve done in helping our organization reach so many project milestones. I encourage your continued support and cooperation as we work toward the final phases of construction in the coming year.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A team approach to exceptional healthcare

Orange Regional Medical Center’s mission is to improve the health of our community by providing exceptional healthcare. Providing exceptional healthcare is not the lone responsibility of our clinical staff. The responsibility belongs to each and everyone working in the hospital, both in clinical and non-clinical areas. As a team, we have the power to create a positive patient experience. Everyone has a role in positively affecting patient satisfaction whether you’re delivering care to our patients, treating our patients and their family with compassion and kindness, being courteous to and supportive of each other, offering a smile or modeling professional behavior at all times.

In July, I received a letter from a gentleman, James Bair, who shared some words about his wife’s experience at The Bone and Joint Center. Mr. Bair was extremely thankful to all of the employees he and his wife encountered and, with their permission, an excerpt of his testimonial follows. It speaks volumes of our capabilities in providing exceptional healthcare as a team:
“I wish I knew the names of all the hardworking staff members that came in contact with my wife while she was in the hospital. Their attitudes were excellent. They were all, every one of them, focused on the mission to see that she was given the best care they could provide. This applies to the entire staff - the volunteers, the environmental services staff, the aids, the nurses, the surgeon and the food service employees. They all did their jobs efficiently, effectively and with a smile. Because of the way they approached their responsibilities, we knew that all these busy people were ‘in the game’!”

We need to be ‘in the game’ everyday if we are to exceed our patient’s expectations. It is necessary for all of us to foster an environment that promotes exceptional healthcare. When we do, we become the "provider of choice" for our community, the "employer of choice" for our staff and the "workplace of choice" for our doctors. Everyone wins!

I congratulate everyone who made Mrs. Bair’s stay an exceptional one.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Joint Commission readiness

Our Joint Commission survey is expected by December 31, 2010. The Joint Commission performs an intense review of the quality of care we provide to our patients once every three years. The exact survey time is unannounced and the survey usually lasts one week. A team of surveyors essentially consists of three components: nurses who trace the care of a patient from admittance through discharge; life safety experts who focus on the safety of our environment; and a physician surveyor who reviews all aspects of physician performance compared to the Joint Commission standards.

It is absolutely critical that we have a successful survey and receive full accreditation. The survey is the quality report card for our entire organization and is publicly reported. A successful survey is also required to receive funding from Medicare and Medicaid which accounts for 50% of our revenue.

With patient care being our top priority and a spontaneous Joint Commission visit imminent, each one of us must do our best to ensure that every patient is provided high quality care in a safe environment at every encounter while accurately documenting their care. Remember, “not documented, not done”; the care you provide must be properly documented in the patient’s chart to receive credit for your work.

We have organized Joint Commission rounding teams that are surveying all areas. Some teams focus on patient tracers and other teams are focused on the environment. It is time to step it up and get your work areas neat and organized; keep hallways and floors clear of equipment; secure medication carts when not in use; be certain patient care is properly documented in the chart; make sure you know what to do in a fire or other emergency; and follow all infection control procedures (especially washing your hands).

If we all work together we will have a successful survey that we can all be proud of. We will continue to provide updates on the rounding team results in preparation for the survey.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A special month

Last month was special for our organization. It was filled with honors and recognitions, celebrations and festivities. I’d like to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone who supported all the activities and took time to honor those who we spotlighted for excellence in quality care, length of service, dedication to their profession, outstanding leadership and commitment to the healthcare field. What better way to highlight our healthcare professionals than during a month that recognizes Hospital Week and Nurses Week. Special thanks to Food Services for the great employee picnics!

I’d like to extend special congratulations to Jessica Casey, RN, for her outstanding contributions to caring for our patients and their families. She was recognized as the 2009 Employee of the Year for her exceptional care and compassion. Likewise, several of our nurses were selected as semi-finalists by our Nurse of Distinction Committee to represent Orange Regional at 1199 SEIU’s New York State Nurse of Distinction Ceremony held in New York City. I was proud to accompany such outstanding caregivers to this prestigious event. All who were nominated deserved the honor for their top-notch skills and dedication to their profession, patients, peers and our medical center.

Selected by their peers and approved by the Board of Directors, Dr. Lewis Broslovsky was chosen as Orange Regional’s 2010 Physician Lifetime Achievement Award recipient while Dr. William Gotsis was chosen as Orange Regional’s 2010 Physician Leadership Award honoree. Their tireless service, guidance and expert delivery of healthcare services to our community should serve as an inspiration to all of us. My thanks to Dr. Broslovsky and Dr. Gotsis for the daily example they set and for reinforcing the values and mission of our hospital. They will be celebrated on June 13 at the Physician Recognition Event.

Congratulations are also extended to Ginny Rizzo, Immediate Past Chair of our Board of Directors and this year’s recipient of the Tribute to Women of Achievement of Orange County Honoree for Business. Guided by Ginny’s leadership and support, our organization advanced healthcare in our community with the expansion of services and the commencement of our new hospital construction.

I also applaud the 147 employees who were honored at the Employee Service Awards Dinner which celebrated their years of service to our organization. Special acknowledgement goes out to Robert Simmons of the Central Services department whose tenure covers 45 years.

These acknowledgements highlight some of our proudest moments because it means that members of our hospital family are committed to delivering excellent healthcare to our community. Dedicated to and passionate about the delivery of quality care to our patients means that Orange Regional moves closer to being the “provider of choice” for our community, the “employer of choice” for our staff and the “workplace of choice” for our doctors.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

New Hospital Update

In about one year, construction of our new hospital will be complete. The progress is amazing and the facility has taken shape. While it is still an active construction site, there are areas in and around the structure that are becoming well defined. To date, both the exterior fa├žade and site work around the facility are 99 percent complete with an extensive landscaping plan scheduled for implementation in September. The interior is being finished in stages from the ground floor up. In many areas on the ground and first floor, all walls, painting, ceiling and flooring is in process or complete. All of our 1,632 parking spaces are blacktopped. The address of our new hospital is 707 East Main Street, Middletown, New York, 10940.

With more than 600,000 square feet, the community’s new hospital will offer 353 private patient rooms. These rooms will provide increased infection control and restful recovery for our patients. Our new emergency department will be unmatched in efficiency and capability with 50 treatment areas, a planned Level 2 Trauma Center and a helipad. The Rowley Family Birthing Center will include 12 private labor, delivery and recovery rooms and 23 private post-partum rooms as well as a 10 bed, Level 2 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. In addition, the Peter Frommer, M.D. Heart Center will offer two cardiac catheterization labs, a state-of-the-art indoor rehabilitation track and all of the advanced cardiac services currently offered today, such as emergency and elective angioplasty. Our cancer center will include an inpatient unit and an outpatient infusion center while our young patients recover in their own dedicated pediatric unit.

Other features include, but are not limited to, a spacious Surgical Suite with 12 operating rooms; two Interventional Radiology Rooms; a 24-bed Bone & Joint Center/Neuroscience Unit; a 24 -bed Rehabilitation Unit; a 30-bed Behavioral Health Unit; an Electronic Health Record System; Wireless Technology; a non-denominational Chapel; Healing Garden and an expanded Cafeteria and Outside Dining Patio. We’ve also planned for future expansion, when needed, to accommodate technology advancements and or an increase in patient and visitor volumes.

Our new facility will be the first freestanding hospital built in the State of New York in more than 20 years. It will be one of the largest medical centers between the Tappan Zee Bridge and Albany. For this, we should all be proud of the opportunity our new facility will afford us in helping to deliver quality healthcare to our community.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The path to EHR

I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to all employees who worked during the snowstorm on February 25 and 26. Many of you worked double shifts and had to sleep overnight in the hospitals. This exemplifies organizational teamwork and I commend you for the overall care you provided to our patients. Thank you for your excellent work under challenging circumstances. It is greatly appreciated.

As previously announced last month, our Board of Directors approved the purchase of an EHR system. We will begin the implementation process next month.

Implementation of an EHR system will provide Orange Regional with a single, fully-integrated health information technology system that establishes and maintains a single, complete and current patient medical record within the system. In the past few weeks, approximately 35 EHR project management employees from Orange Regional have received specialized training in Madison, Wisconsin at Epic Systems Corporation: the company we are working with to implement the system. This training will continue over the course of the year and we will continue to work closely with Epic to train all appropriate staff. We anticipate hospital-wide “Go Live” in March, 2011.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

ORMC Haitian Relief Efforts

The Orange Regional Medical Center family is saddened by the recent devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragedy.

In response, Orange Regional Medical Center is donating over $10,000 worth of medical equipment and surgical supplies such as sutures, gauze, casting material, bandages, cauterizing items and procedure trays.

These supplies are being sent to the Afya Foundation in Yonkers, NY. The Afya Foundation is operating as a clearinghouse and conduit for medical supplies provided to voluntary physician groups, including Boston-based Partners in Health, which has set up field hospitals in Haiti to provide direct trauma care.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

As I reflect on 2009, it was a year filled with positive and exciting achievements. In fact, it was the most progress I have seen an organization make in one year. Whether your focus was on increasing patient satisfaction; participating in quality initiatives; assisting in the development of a new service line; supporting our fundraising efforts or making Orange Regional a better place to work, accomplishing such progress takes a tremendous amount of commitment, enthusiasm and team work. While we still have a way to go, I’d like to congratulate everyone who made our success possible and share a few of the highlights that have laid the groundwork for future success in 2010.

The expansion of our cardiology program was a key milestone. Due to our outstanding outcomes with emergency angioplasty, we received approval to perform elective angioplasty. We are the first hospital to bring this service to Orange County. The start of construction on our second cath lab, the integration of two new vascular surgeons and an electrophysiology physician, along with our continued affiliation with Montefiore Medical Center, all add up to positioning Orange Regional as the heart care leader in our area.

We were successful in adding new technology with the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System for urological and gynecological surgeries; the Varian Rapid Arc, a new radiation therapy system and the Constellation Vision Surgical System for advanced retinal eye surgeries.

By improving the quality and consistency of care we provided to our patients, we exceeded inpatient volume targets by 4%. Additionally, we saw an overall increase in patient satisfaction scores; successfully launched the LEAN Hospital initiative for purposes of enhancing the quality of care we deliver; added 50 nurses to our units and developed a Patient Navigator Program to accommodate our cancer patients.

Our New Hospital Project remained on schedule and structural steel, concrete floors, exterior framing and roofing have been completed. Additional highlights of the building project included the completion of medical equipment planning; coordination of a move management strategy; welcoming a Director of Organizational Development to assist with the merger of departments from both campuses; the approval for our Level II NICU and the completion of 18 successful new hospital site tours with more than 200 participants.

Our Capital Campaign received 272 new gifts and our overall campaign total reached $18.5 million, exceeding our 2009 target of $18 million. Some Campaign milestones include: the Board of Directors, physicians and employees all surpassing their goals.

Additional organizational accomplishments include approval to purchase a state-of-the-art Electronic Health Record system; Arden Hill’s Stroke Center designation; an increase in our participation rate for the employee and physician engagement survey and our successful support of Catskill Regional Medical Center.

I’m very proud of everyone for their commitment to excellence and for making quality our number one priority. It is an honor to work for an organization with such amazing potential. I’m looking forward to another exciting year. We’re just getting started.