A salute to the North Texas hospital workforce, the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation’s (DFWHC Foundation) Annual Employee of the Year Luncheon celebrated its 18th year on April 22 with the announcement of the 2014 recipients at Irving Convention Center. More than 700 attendees turned out to honor the 14 winners introduced from a pool of 50-plus area hospitals.
“We hope this luncheon can serve as a tool for hospitals to inspire great employees,” said Kristin Jenkins, president of the DFWHC Foundation. “Our goal is to make a difference by helping to build morale in our hospitals, improve quality of care, quality of life and recognize the importance of each individual. Every nominee, the best of the best of North Texas, deserved to be recognized.”
Rex McRae Scholarship
• Erik Sletten, VA North Texas Health Care System/UT Arlington College of Nursing
Nurse Preceptor Award
• Milagros Cruz, Registered Nurse, VA North Texas Health Care System
• Dr. Ignacio Nunez, Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital
• Lou and Synthia Pisz, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth
Community Service Award
• Cameron Brown, Staff Care Chaplain, Cook Children’s Health Care System
Corporate System Award
• Dale Munday, Graphics Center Specialist, Methodist Health System
Special Recognition Awards
• Al Sypniewski, Registered Nurse, Baylor Medical Center at McKinney
• Prabh Jit Batra, Nurse Supervisor, Baylor Medical Center at Garland
• Victor Vera, Registered Nurse, Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine
• Latora Scott, Heart Failure/Lung Disease, Baylor University Medical Center
Employee of the Year Awards
• Patti Wren, Rehab Supervisor, Our Children’s House at Baylor
• Alpha Jalloh, Sous Chef, HCA’s Medical Center of Lewisville
• Kathryn Davitt, Child Life Specialist, Cook Children’s Health Care System
• Glenn Timmons, Security Officer, Children’s Medical Center Dallas
David Hira, illusionist and inspirational speaker, served as guest keynote speaker in honor of the 2014 theme “Great Employees bring Magic to Healthcare.” Daniela Decell, CEO of HCA’s Las Colinas Medical Center, and Harvey Fishero, chair of the DFWHC Foundation, served as masters of ceremonies. Board members of the Dallas-Fort Worth Healthcare Human Resources Association judged nominations with the names and hospitals removed.
Interns of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation (DFWHC Foundation) presented their research during a “poster session” at the University of North Texas (UNT) Health Science Center, April 15. The event was an opportunity for students Rajasree Sarah Das and Richa Bashyal to display their research on public health practices.
For more than five years, the DFWHC Foundation has provided numerous internships to students from the UNT Health Science Center. The internship, in addition to the “poster session,” is one of many requirements for students to obtain their Masters of Public Health (MPS) degree. During the event, Das and Bashyal presented research conducted while interning at the DFWHC Foundation.
Das (above) summarized the DFWHC Foundation’s study evaluating electronic video devices that communicate discharge instructions to patients to reduce congestive heart failure readmissions at hospitals. The study reported that 66 percent of the patients found the videos helpful following discharge from the hospital. Survey results indicated a 30-day readmission rate reduction of 24 percent. The study’s conclusion suggested use of the electronic video tablet to be an affordable option for hospitals in the future.
Bashyal’s study (above) highlighted the importance of integrated healthcare informatics in public health. Healthcare informatics deals with the understanding and promotion of effective analysis, management and use of data information in healthcare. Bashyal’s work demonstrated the potential of healthcare analysis combining Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping with the DFWHC Foundation’s data on emergency room visits. The effort identified “hot blocks” in the community, in addition to patients with high emergency room use. The study concluded that the combination of healthcare informatics and analytical tools identify disparities of diseases in specific zip codes. These studies can render the community transparent, allowing resources to be efficiently used for prevention and management.
For more information on the DFWHC Foundation’s internship program, please contact me at email@example.com.
Last month, I commented on how 2014 will be the year for better time management and addressing technology costs, based on an article “Top 10 Challenges Facing Physicians in 2014” (J. Bendix, D.R. Verdon, A. Ritchie, D. Marbury, in Medical Economics, 12/15/13). This month I would like to discuss how 2014 will be the year for better staff training and a “new” patient.
Staffing and Training
For many physician practices, surviving the changing healthcare practice landscape (such as Meaningful Use Stage 2, Clinical Quality Measures and PQRS) will require all staff members to move into a team-oriented culture and take on new roles within the practice. These changes have also created a significant hiring and retention problem with all practice employees. The good news is that the additional training required to implement ICD-10 has been postponed for another year (now Oct. 1, 2015).
Regardless of the ICD-10 delay, the requirement for staff training will be very high in 2014. As a practice group, you should budget a significant amount time and dollars to staff training throughout 2014.
2014 May Be the Year of the New Patient
Under the Affordable Care Act, many new patients, formerly without medical insurance, will now try to see a primary care physician in 2014. This will require the practice to diligently collect the co-pays (some of which may be quite high) and any other service charges up front at the time of service. Physicians and/or their staff will have to discuss costs and payments with their patients before performing various services. Most physicians typically have not done this and will find this a new cultural change for themselves – again, more staff training.
In addition, with easy Internet access and search engines, patients will come into the office armed with “self diagnosis” information backed up by obtained data. This will require physicians to “partner” with their patients in more of a team-care approach. The good news is these “online diagnosers” tend to be more active and involved in their care, and ultimately this should help improve the overall outcomes. Again, a physician data analytics approach in your practice can help track and monitor the outcomes of these patients.
In order to utilize physician data analytics in your practice, you must first be on an Electronic Health Record (EHR). The North Texas Regional Extension Center (NTREC) has grant subsidized services to help you get there. For a preview of our services, check out this video link: http://youtu.be/k2omtt6_bsk.
Wondering if it’s still worth it to join (or continue) the Meaningful Use EHR Incentive program in 2014? Regulations are steeper, incentive payments declining, software upgrades required and other priorities are knocking on your door – a lot to consider.
But here’s the “glass half-full” perspective. If you haven’t yet reached Meaningful Use, 2014 is actually not a bad time to start. Here’s why.
The EHR market has shaken out considerably – 2014 certified vendors are probably here for the long haul. And they have learned a thing or two – some bugs have been worked out. The “cloud” has figured out HIPAA compliance while delivering better performance. CMS has clarified their regulations much more than at the dawn of Meaningful Use. The IT infrastructure environment you need to satisfy data exchange requirements (HIE’s, secure email, public health registries, other provider EHR’s) has grown.
Plus, as the REC program enters its fifth year, we’ve had four years to gain priceless experience helping providers succeed. For first-timers, the REC program still offers subsidized consulting assistance to hold your hand through the attestation process. And because here in North Texas we have already helped over 1000 providers successfully attest, you’ll get the best help we’ve ever delivered. After 2014, when our federal grant runs out, RECs will have to charge more or you’ll have to go it alone. Free professional IT consulting assistance with Meaningful Use and HIPAA is worth a lot!
And while the EHR incentives aren’t what they once were (under Medicare), each new enrollee can still bank $21,250 (under Medicaid) or up to $11,760 (under Medicare) in 2014 with additional payments still available in coming years. Plus, you avoid a year of impending one percent Medicare penalties.
If you decide to go for it, we’re here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council will host a complimentary “Hot Topic” meeting on Wednesday, April 30th from 8:30am-10:30am at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. This event is sponsored by Wilson Elser, LLP. Linda Stimmel and Mary Jean Geroulo, Attorneys at Law will lead this informative and open discussion titled:
“The Toughest Decisions: Issues That No Hospital Wants to Discuss,”
Topics to include:
Faith-Based Concerns of Medical Staff
Pulling the Plug
Preferential Treatment of Big Admitters
Termination of Physician-Patient Relationship in a Hospital Setting
Refusing to Treat a Patient
Free Parking and continental breakfast are included.
REGISTER HERE or click on the image below.