Sunday, May 23, 2010

Triathlons and The Hospital Experience...Getting Your Transition Times Reduced

(tr-thln, -ln)
An athletic contest in which participants compete without stopping in three successive events, usually long-distance swimming, bicycling, and running (
This past Sunday, St. Joseph Medical Center served as the official medical partner for the Kansas City Triathlon at Longview Lake (KCTri).

We had a great turnout of staff assisting and participating in the event:
From our Emergency Department: Barb S. (and her sisters) and Laurie S. From our Rehab Department: Jenn L., Stephanie B. and Christy R. Jenn let me know they would have a relay team next year including Stephanie B. and Christy - your committed now :)
Some of out physicians included: Drs. B. Brodine (Cardiologist), D. Dunker Cardiologist), P. Donnelly (Opthalmologist) and L. Wilson (Radiology).
Both Drs. Wilson and Donnelly finished 1st in their age division along with 7th and 17th place overall respectively. Dr. Brodine finished 3rd in his age division - just amazing.
It was my first triathlon (outside of a mini one I did a few months back) and it felt least at the finish line!
Triathlons and hospital exeriences are similar in some ways:

Both focus on some core essentials...
- The triathlon has a focus on swimming, biking and running along with a waiting period before the swim and two transition points after the swim and bike.

- A hospital visit may consist of a trip to the emergency department followed by surgery followed by an inpatient admission. It may include a wait at the start along with two transition points...waiting/prepping to go to surgery and waiting/prepping to get to an inpatient unit after surgery.
Both scenarios improve their outomes with shorter waiting at the start and reduced transition periods. And for me, at least, the swim felt like an emergency visit!
Lindsay A., with our Quality & PI Department is in the process of working with a team to better define the entire patient experience along with key 'transition' points. This visual should further everyone's understanding of the expected patient experience and outcomes.
Enjoy some pictures taken by Laurie (note: The canned beverages were not consumed while working the Emergency & Rehab tent).
Special Thanks to those
who put on the KC Triathlon - well organized and many, many hours of preparation to keep us all safe.
Ryan Robinson
Race Director

Sandy Cohen
Marketing and Sponsorship

Mark Neace

Jim Caskey

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Way to Go Annnette!

Check out the pictures of Annette Small, our St. Mary's Medical Center CEO getting her Lifestyle Change Award.

Oh, and did I tell you she just completed her MBA!

Way to go Annnette!

Friday, May 21, 2010

We have the Greatest Volunteers & Auxiliary

Check out Jeri Grimes (front and center in group picture with Mary Ann, our President Elect of the Auxiliary), our Director of Volunteer & Auxiliary Services with our great group of volunteers.

Thank you all for attending the AHA Heart Walk.

The Happiness Project

This morning I hosted another CEO breakfast meeting.

The conversations are always so insightful. We spent a lot of the time on areas of communication and ways to continuously improve how we care and watch after one another. In addition, improve the consistency of what we communicate to each other (e.g., review key priorities and focus areas during staff meetings)

As always, the summary of information will be shared with our management team to discuss what processes and communication forums we could improve.

Kathy R. attended and shared the following blog. She let me know that this most recent post translates to all aspects of your life, including work.

Gretchen Rubin is a Kansas City native and now lives in New York. Her book was published in December 2009 and has been on the NY Times Bestsellers list.

Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Have you Heard the Latest?

Kansas City is a very competitive healthcare market. I know, everyone thinks their market is competitive. We have over 20 hospitals in the area to provide some perspective. In many ways it is an overbedded marketplace. Many days, concerns circulate about different health systems. I have included a letter addressing recent concerns. It was sent to our medical staff from me and our Chief Medical Officer.

Since word gets around town quickly, I thought I could expedite things. Please let me know if you have additional questions.

Sent: May 18, 2010

Dear St. Joseph Medical Center Physician:

Perhaps never before has there been more challenge with regard to the business of providing healthcare. Our medical staff is extremely important to us and vital to our continued success. Please know we will continue to foster communication as we build our future. We felt the need to communicate with you and emphasize that Carondelet Health is in a solid clinical and financial condition poised to compete and gain market share.

The recent passage of healthcare reform begins what will be years of changes and challenges. We are just beginning to realize the impact of this legislation and what it will mean for hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers. While consistent and sustained volume has been a challenge for us in recent years, we are a strong and vital health system. The difficult decisions we have had to make this year are putting us in a position to earn capital for reinvestment in our organization. We are turning our organization around to experience the type of growth and success that has kept St. Joseph Medical Center strong for more than 100 years. Although we have had to make some changes similar to many businesses in the current economy, we have been unwavering in our decision to do what is needed to maintain a nurse-to-patient ratio which you know ensures the highest quality care for your patients.

There is no denying that the past few years have been challenging for the Carondelet Health family. We firmly believe that we now have a solid foundation on which to build for many years to come. We appreciate the hard work of all our physicians, associates, nurses and volunteers as they provide the high quality, compassionate care for which St. Joseph is known. As we continue to focus on growth initiatives, we look forward to updating you on the many successes we know are in our future. Thank you for your ongoing support of St. Joseph Medical Center.


Scott Kashman Steve Stoops, MD
Chief Executive
Officer Chief Medical Officer

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Feeling Stressed?

As a society with busy lifestyles, we understand the importance of time management. There are many demands on us so it is important to stay mentally, physically and spiritually strong. I was recently asked what helps keep my stress level down. At first I joked as long as you don't go on vacation and start to relax, you never realize the stress you take on daily.

On a serious note, running hospitals is similar to training for me. For me, a daily dose of exercise (I try for 7 days and usually exercise 5-6) and eating clean (I try my best) helps me keep the stress down. In particular, I enjoy marathon and triathlon training programs. Almost everyday, there is someone who pushes me (in person, by phone, email or text). Jenny, my wife, always keeps me motivated through her own exercise and eating regimen. Dr. Mark pushes me 2-3 days a week through running and biking. Dr. Luke and the master swim group keep me going hard in the pool and Brad keeps me honest with push-ups every Sunday (balanced on 3 exercise balls). By the time I get to work, I am ready to go....and much more relaxed. Taking on my work day is a joy relative to the beatings I take through exercise.

I run 3 days/ week (I follow the program in the book Run Less Run Faster by Pierce, Murr and Moss) biking 1-2x, swimming 2-3x and strength training 1-2x. Given the long hours at work, I usually start at 5:30a and work out for an hour. I exercise around 3 hours Saturday morning (golf is not on my schedule unfortunately). This allows me to spend evenings (when not at work functions) and most weekends to spend with my family. This schedule gives me a fighting chance for some sort of work-life-family balance.

All about training for life.

Other stress management tips you would like to share?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Success Stories...Medical Records Processing Team

Yesterday I had a chance to meet with our Medical Records Processing team. We have a great team and we had a very good discussion. Barb B., the Regional Director shared a couple success stories. The success stories were both around helping get the documentation and charts ready for coding.

Recently we needed to make a change in reducing our time of scanning documents after date of service to viewable scanned images to support a shorter coding goal. This new scan goal was established so that we could have the charts available to the coders in a shorter time from discharge to assist in reducing the time from being coded to bill drop. Therefore, we put the issue before the Record Processing Team and asked for their input on what we as the scan team do to reduce the time from discharge to scanned image.

The team jumped in with solutions. One staff person is now going up to the units and gathers part of the charts for patients discharged when she gets in at 5 a.m. instead of waiting for the regular staff person who comes in at 8 to bring the charts down at 9. This allows staff coming into work at 6:30 to start the prep sooner and allowed for one team member who can begin the scanning as soon as some charts are prepped. This adjustment in the process now starts about 4 hours earlier in the day. The staff discussed and implemented a plan to assist the person who took on the chart pick up with some of her regular duties so that those duties did not fall behind. Thus we have meet our new scan goal for 4 consecutive weeks.

The second scenario was that everyone in Record Processing is being made aware of what physicians that we need to complete documentation that is need for the code team to be able to final code and drop the bill. We monitor that list physicians, communicate in person and via faxes to the doctors office that we need that doctor to complete documentation so that the coders can do the coding and drop the bill. Everyone is made aware of that list and is on the watch for what charts need to be completed for this purpose, we flag the charts as priority so that when that doctor comes in he/she knows it the dictation is needed ASAP. We then communicate with Transcription to let them know when the report has been dictated and then transcription notifies the coding staff when it is available for viewing.

Thank you Barb and Vicki for your leadership. Your team truly helps make SJMC the preferred place for physicians to practice medicine.

Associate of the Year- St. Joseph Medical Center: Envelope please...

Congratulations to Marcia Herpich, in our Nursing Floats department for being selected the 2009– 2010 Associate of the Year for St. Joseph Medical Center

The Associate of the Year is selected from the group of previous Associate of the Month recipients from Jan - Dec 2009. Below is a list of the 2009 Associate of the Month recipients. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate each of them on their selection as Associate of the Month and thank them for their dedication to the Mission and Values of St. Joseph Medical Center:

Associate of the Month recipients from 2009

Danielle Iselin Labor & Delivery
Mahin Mehr-Rafiee Environmental Services
Eleanor Childs Pre-Admit
Robin Bennett Nursing Administration
Joyce Rogers Transcription
Louie Juan Nurse Floats
Cheryl Strickland 4 South inpatient unit
Judy Switzer Carondelet Heart Institute
Brandi Stanton Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Joanne Agin Data Quality
Marcia Herpich Nurse Floats
Lauren Ross Mammography

This years nominations have a total of 129 total years of service.

Please join me in congratulations to all our associates of the month in 2009 and Marcia Herpich for winning Associate of the year.

Is that Really an Omelette?

Is that really an Omelette? That seemed to be the most frequent question asked of me last night. The 10p-midnight Omelet Bar last night was a great long as you were ok with long lines and odd shaped omelettes (excluding those cooked by our Iron Chef, Andrew B. - also a former Military Chef). Thank you Dolores S., Cynde G., Jenn L., Larry R., Maggie R. and Jarnail K. for all your help in set-up and serving.

I think we served over 1,000 people (well, maybe 100 but it seemed like more). Great time.

Enjoy the pictures.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Healthy Food & Good Wine - Iron Chef: Kitchen Stadium St. Joseph

What a great time we all had at our Health Food and Good Wine event last Saturday. I had the distinct honor of serving at the “Alton Brown” (from Iron Chef) of Kitchen Stadium – St. Joseph. Over 400 people attended the fundraiser which raised funds for our Neuro Microscope as we further our Neuroscience service. Our Neurosurgeon, Dr. Norman Bamber and his wife Jill, served as our co-chairs along with Laura Foley and her husband David Cimpl.

A special thanks to Dorene, Sally, Caroline and our Foundation team. We also had many other volunteers from the hospital (please see list below). Thank you all for making this an amazing event. I also want to thank our restaurants, wineries, farmers and all our gursts. JJ (Jaspers) and Michael (Farmhouse) and Tate (EBT’s) were our Iron Chef competitors.

Please check out additional pictures which will be available through my twitter account, posted to the right side of this blog.

Special Thanks to:
St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation Staff
- Dorene Shipley Executive Director
- Suzanne Dell-St. Clair, Manager, St. Mary’s Foundation
- Malinda Maddox, Development Assistant
- Caroline McKnight, Major Gifts Officer
- Carla Simpson, Executive Assistant
- Deborah White, Marketing and Communications Officer
- Sally Wilson, Special Events Officer

St. Joseph Medical Center Board of Directors
- Sam H. Sabaugh, Jr., Chairman
- Laura Foley, Vice Chairman
- John L. Brown, Treasurer
- Karin Morgan, Secretary
- Christine H. DeMarea
- LeeAnn Orscheln
- Daniel J. Durkin
- Edward J. Reardon, II
- Charles F. Jensen
- Mark Teahan
- Paul McGannon
- Dennis Thum
- David Meiners
- Margaret Vincent CSJ
- Susan M. Mou, MD
- Ronald R. Weis, MD
- Kevin Winters
- Fleury Yelvington - President & CEO, Carondelet Health
- Steve Cleary, CFO, Carondelet Health
- Dorene Shipley – Executive Director, Foundation

Board Advisors:
Gerald M. Mancuso, MD Lynne G. McElhinney, MD

And the many amazing number of other volunteers who made this event a great success.
- Cheryl Anderson
- Rich Bradford
- Dave Buckles
- Kevin Corcoron
- Kim Gorman
- Kathy Frierson
- Dwight Hawkins
- Barbara Hurt
- Norvel Johnson
- Cheryl Johnson
- Joseph Jones
- Jarnail Kandola
- Stacey Kinney
- Shirley Kohly and her husband, Andy
- Mike Kruger and our Public Safety Officers
- Emily Larson
- Wanda Lipari and her husband, Steve
- Tinna McMahan and her husband, Pat
- Vicki Morris
- Kathy Mulcahy, Volunteer Chair
- Penny Murphy
- Frank Oliphant
- Darci Petty
- Larry Reimer and our plant services team
- Larry Rubin and our facilities and environmental services team
- Stefan Sapenaro
- Lauren Stewart
- Evelyn Summers
- Justyn Taylor
- Michele Vanoni
- Nan Whalen
- Georgia Zeller
- Amy Barash
- Darlene Campbell
- Michael Foust
- Patty Herr
- Jenny Kashman
- Vickie Lewer
- Gretchen McCarter
- Jasper Mirable, Jr.
- Karin Morgan
- Kathy Muehlbach
- Kathy Mulcahy
- Darci Petty
- Cindy Reynolds
- Sue Sabaugh
- Lynne Schlosser
- Tom Spencer
- Carmen Thum
- Michele Vanoni
- Mayie Vilkins
- Diana Walz
Just about a 1:5 ratio of volunteers to attendees.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Monday, May 10, 2010

National Hospital Week

A note to our associates, volunteers and physicians...

This week marks National Hospital Week, a celebration of people. This week is special because it celebrates each and every one of you who dedicate yourselves to making our medical center a place of hope and healing. Interesting fact: the celebration of National Hospital Week began in 1921 when a magazine editor suggested that more information about hospitals might alleviate public fears about them.

We all understand that healthcare has evolved over time to become a more complex and integrated healthcare delivery system. Change is inevitable but our goals and our mission are constant. The role each of you plays is essential in helping Carondelet Health and St. Joseph Medical Center fulfill that mission: to be the best place to be a patient. Our employees, physicians and volunteers want the very best for our patients, and that's what you bring to our hospitals every day of the year. Whether you work in a patient care unit, the Business Office, Environmental Services, Spiritual Care or one of our other support or ancillary departments, your contributions matter.

Please accept my heartfelt thanks for the difference you make every day to our patients and our community.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker

Saint Joseph
Detail from the right wing of Triptych of the Annunication - Robert Campin, Netherlands (Bruges), ca 1378-1444 (Oil on Panel)

The Cloisters Collection, 1956 - The Metropolitan Museum of Art
-- Invitiatory Antiphon for Saint Joseph the Worker

Today we enjoyed some celebration with our nurses. In addition, we had a chance to recognize in celebration of the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker.

Saint Joseph is the patron saint of the hospital. In the Catholic Church, a special honor is given to Saint Joseph on May 1st each year in recognition of the ways that this simple, humble man went about his work as a carpenter to provide for Jesus and Mary.

Further, Saint Joseph is also the patron saint for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the Sisters that founded St. Joseph Hospital, the first private hospital in Kansas City in 1874.

Every department received a coupon for each employee that is redeemable for a drink at Cafe' Josef. This is not only to celebrate the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, but also a small token to express our appreciation for all who work hard each day to alleviate the pain and suffering of our patients and their families.

Thanks to Bob F. for organizing this celebration.

I look forward to hearing ways your organization celebrates different traditions.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Doctoring the Food and Wine

We are very excited for our upcoming Healthy Food & Good Wine event with an Iron Chef Competition featuring Chefs Jasper Mirabile Jr., of Jasper's v. Michael Foust of the Farmhouse vs. Tate Roberts from EBT Restaurant. After watching several Iron Chef shows this week, I was more prepared to help host this competition in Kitchen Stadium St. Joseph.

It was interesting to see how similar a framework the event is to healthcare:

I had several questions for our Chefs...and my thoughts on similar questions we get asked in our hospitals:

Iron Chef...Hospital Setting

What you will be cooking for the event?...What procedure will you be doing?

What ingredients?...What type of instruments or supplies will you use?

How many dishes will you make with these ingredients?...How many parts will you work on during this procedure?

Information and Inspiration on each ingredient including background, origin, how it impacts flavor, etc.?...What are you choosing to do this procedure in the way you described and how will it impact me?

Order you will add each ingredient, order, cook each ingredient, plate each, etc.?...What is the process you will follow during this procedure?

What will your other chefs (if any) be working on?...What is everyone's role in the room?

Oh yes...
And tell me some facts about your background...Before we get started, please tell me about your medical school education, healthcare background, years of experience.

Perhaps a stretch on the similarities and comparisons!

I look forward to seeing some of you at the event. Enjoy your weekend.