RPH OFFICIALS REFLECT ON 2011, DISCUSS 2012 PLANS
The hospital has received several notable recognitions over the last year. Thomson Reuters named RPH one of the top 100 hospitals in the nation and one of the top 50 hospitals for cardiovascular services.
RPH President Marie Droege said this was the eighth year in a row RPH received top recognition for its cardiovascular services, and that it is one of only three hospitals in the nation to have received the recognition for so many consecutive years.
The hospital also received recognition from the Delta Group as the top facility in the Pennsylvania for gall bladder removal. It also ranked in the top 10 percent state-wide for gastrointestinal hemorrhage treatment, joint replacement, and pulmonary care.
The Delta Group also recognized RPH as a top 100 facility nation-wide for major cardiac surgery and gall bladder removal. The hospital also ranked in the top 10 percent nation-wide for overall hospital care, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, joint replacement, pneumonia care and pulmonary care.
RPH had a number of programs rank high in patient safety. Neurological care at RPH was ranked by the Delta Group as the best in Pennsylvania and one of the top 100 in the nation for patient safety. Gall bladder removal and overall medical care also ranked in the top 10 percent for both Pennsylvania and the United States.
RPH was also one of 700 U.S. hospitals to receive Quality
Respiratory Care recognition from the American Association of Respiratory Care.
Improving quality of care
Droege noted several items that the hospital has added over the last year to improve the quality of care provided. New cardiac monitors are being ins talled throughout the facility, which Droege said will provide a more state-of-the-art monitoring system.
The hospital also added two new linear accelerators for radiation oncology and a new mobile PET/CT unit.
New, expanded programs
The hospital has also added new programs and expanded others to improve the quality of care. A new endoscopic ultrasound program and bariatrics program were added over the course of the last year.
The hospital also extended its sleep lab operations to seven days per week.
“The sleep lab has been a very busy program,” said Droege. “We needed to extend its hours to accommodate the need.”
A new program entitled “No One Dies Alone” was initiated by the hospital’s pastoral care department. Guthrie Public Relations Manager Carolyn Handrick said the program consists of volunteers who provide a comforting presence at the bedside of a dying patient who would otherwise be alone.
Addressing increased patient volume
Droege also discussed several steps the hospital has taken to address its increasing volume of patients.
“Volume has been steadily increasing over the last few years,” said Droege. “We’ve taken several steps to address this.”
Anew discharge lounge was opened, which Droege said will be available for patients who have been discharged, but are still waiting to be picked up by a friend or family members, thus freeing up space for care. The registration/ triage/emergicare areas in the emergency department were also redesigned to increase efficiency.
Droege also noted that several additional care partners, unit clerks and emergency services technicians have been hired to manage increasing volume.
The hospital is also working hard to increase its nurse to patient ratios. Droege said in the last year, the hospital has added 53 new registered nurse positions, increased RN salaries, enhanced nurses’ sign on referral bonuses and established a professional nursebranded web site for recruiting.
“We’re working hard to enlist experienced nurses and retain the ones we already have,” said Droege.
Helping the community
Droege made mention of the hospital’s response to September’s flooding, noting that Guthrie provided more than $440,000 to community members and Guthrie employees for flood relief.
“We would be remiss if we didn’t mention flood relief since it was such a major event,” said Droege.
In addition to monetary donations, Droege said Guthrie housed 80 displaced residents from the Ashton Healthcare facility in Athens, administered over 3,000 free tetanus vaccines to the community and distributed personal protective equipment throughout the Valley and Owego. Droege said the hospital also provided temporary housing for its employees who were affected by the flood.
Droege also announced RPH’s plans for the upcoming year.
“Since we’re continuing to grow, we’ll continue to invest in our campus,” said Droege.
She said the hospital will be redesigning the radiology department this year. It will also begin the process of adding a new intensive care unit this year.
It will also add more medical and surgical beds, new observation beds, some private rooms and some acuity-adaptable rooms.
Colin Hogan can be reached at email@example.com.