Friday, October 21, 2011

Enhancing Patient Experience

As we approach our three month occupancy date of the new hospital, we continue to incorporate advancements in technology, implement new services and recruit qualified staff in an effort to meet and exceed our goal of providing exceptional healthcare to our community. During the past 12 weeks, there have been several suggestions from employees on physical enhancements to the facility that would make out patients’ experience even better.

Expanding our services and advancing technology is necessary to be the hospital of choice for our community. Our third catheterization lab is now operational which allows us to better meet the increasing needs of our cardiac patients. Also, our second interventional radiology lab is up and running. This all-digital vascular and interventional imaging system helps physicians treat various medical disorders including peripheral vascular, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, cancer and other conditions, in lieu of major surgery.

We recently added new technology to diagnose and treat more cancer patients. We are now using the HALO System, the latest in radiofrequency ablation (RFA) technology to treat Barrett’s esophagus, a pre-cancerous condition affecting the lining of the esophagus commonly caused by acid reflux. Additionally, we’ve added new endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) technology. EUS is used in diagnosing cancers throughout the digestive tract, as well as staging esophageal; lung; gastric; pancreatic; biliary and rectal cancers. Both procedures increase survival rates due to the ability to detect and treat cancer early.

The patient Room Service Dining Program has been very successful and is receiving rave reviews. Since opening the new hospital, Nutrition and Food Services reconstructed a portion of the kitchen to resemble the inner workings of a restaurant. This upgrade allows for a la Carte cooking and preparation of fresh food resulting in faster service and personal touches to custom orders.

We continue to recruit staff and leadership that demonstrate performance excellence. Please welcome Joanne Ritter-Teitel, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for the Greater Hudson Valley Health System (GHVHS). Joanne brings significant experience in nursing administration and will oversee Nursing throughout Orange Regional and Catskill Regional Medical Centers. Jeffrey Lieto, Chief Physician Strategy Officer, has also joined the GHVHS Executive Team. Jeffrey has an extensive background in Operations, Strategic Planning, Business Development and Physician Practice Management. He is responsible for physician integration throughout the System.

I’m also pleased to announce that we have signed a contract with the Schumacher Group to provide Emergency Medicine Services at both Orange Regional and Catskill Regional Medical Centers effective January 1, 2012. The Schumacher Group serves over 180 hospitals throughout the United States.

At Orange Regional, we always take employee suggestions into consideration to enhance patient care and maximize efficiencies for our staff. We’re installing 25 more automatic doors to ease the flow of traffic throughout the facility. We’ve also rewired the alarm system on the fifth floor to place greater emphasis on security in the Pediatric wing. Additional signage throughout the facility is in progress so staff and visitors can navigate more easily. You may have also noticed areas with increased swipe access and electronic keypad locks. These additional devices were installed to increase the safety of our patients, visitors and staff.
I am always interested to hear suggestions on how we can better serve our patients. Please don’t hesitate to share your ideas with me or your manager. I’ve also reinstated monthly anniversary lunches. This is a great opportunity for me to listen to your comments, ideas and feedback about the organization. Lastly, our employee survey will begin November 7. We take your feedback seriously. Please make every effort to take the survey.

While I’ve noted several advancements, it is vital that we stay focused and provide excellent patient experiences. Otherwise, the upgrades we make and the new services we add will mean nothing. Patients have choices for their healthcare needs. Please make sure that you are providing quality care and excellent customer service to ensure patients continue to choose Orange Regional as their healthcare provider.