Posts Tagged ‘health care’

Emory Healthcare Ranks Nationally for Quality and Safety Excellence

UHC Quality Leadership Winner 2014University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), a national organization comprised of most of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, has ranked Emory University Hospital (which includes Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital) eighth in the nation in the 2014 UHC Quality Leadership Awards. This is the fourth consecutive year that Emory University Hospital has ranked in the top 10 for demonstrating superior performance in delivering high-quality care and safety excellence.

Emory University Hospital Midtown, which is Emory Healthcare’s second academic and eligible hospital, ranked in the top quartile as 22nd nationally.

The Quality Leadership Award honors top performers in UHC’s Quality and Accountability Study, which ranks performance in the areas of: mortality, effectiveness, safety, equity, patient centeredness and efficiency. These rankings are the most rigorous in health care and look at how major teaching hospitals are doing in multiple dimensions of quality and safety. They are traditionally looked upon as providing the best, most non-biased national quality measurement system available for teaching hospitals.

Since 2006, we have been on a journey to have our two academic hospitals – Emory University Hospital and Emory University Hospital Midtown – rank highly by the UHC. In 2012, we met our goal as Emory University Hospital ranked number two and Emory University Hospital Midtown ranked number six. We have made outstanding progress, and ranked 2nd and 3rd last year. “We are proud of our successes, as our number one priority at Emory Healthcare is to provide safe, high-quality care for our patients,” said John Fox, president and CEO of Emory Healthcare.

A top ranking by UHC means more than just great care. Since UHC ranks only academic medical centers that typically treat America’s sickest, most complex patient cases, and a disproportionate number of patients who are uninsured, underinsured or indigent, ranking highly on the list of the 101 participants reflects the ultimate assessment of organizational performance in setting the standard in quality and safety.

We’re All In This Together: Meet Our New Brand!

Emory Healthcare New Brand

If you’re reading this blog or have visited the Emory Healthcare website recently, you may have noticed something a bit different. Our logo and website of yesterday are gone, and in their place is the shiny new look of the Emory Healthcare brand.

But a brand is more than a logo, more than a trademark, more than a mission. Our brand is a promise- a promise to live up to our goals, serve our community, and hold ourselves accountable in providing the standard of care our patients and families expect and deserve.

Every year we make strides in care innovation, quality outcomes and community health, because every year, we set goals that hold us accountable to our community. The residents of Atlanta and the state of Georgia depend on Emory Healthcare and the Emory Healthcare Network of providers, clinics and hospitals, to deliver on our promise.

We could tell you that Emory University Hospital was ranked as the best hospital in Atlanta in 2013, or that over 50% of the “Top Doctors” in Atlanta are Emory physicians, or that we are the only health care system to have two hospitals simultaneously rank in the nation’s top 10 for quality; but the truth is, these honors and accolades are only evidence of our promise to deliver, but that promise lies in each of us.

From one of our transplant nurses donating her own kidney to a patient in need, to our human resource team members stepping in as cooks during the Atlanta Snowpocalypse, to our Winship physicians running side-by-side to support their patients in raising money for the fight against cancer, it is our team that is our brand.

We are Emory and we are not afraid to challenge the status quo. We’re not afraid to tackle the most difficult cases and questions. We’re not afraid to lead the discussion on what’s broken about our nation’s healthcare, instead, we’re looking forward to playing a part in fixing it. We’re not afraid to discover new cures and treatments and share them with the world.

We are researchers and teachers discovering what’s next in medicine and improving health today. We are practitioners taking exceptional, compassionate care of our communities. We are a dedicated team, 16,000 strong, committed to sharing our skills and our knowledge, combining our strengths, and working together – for and with patients – to help you and your loved ones be well.

We live our promise every day, and we will continue to do so for our community. After all….We’re all in this together.

Emory HealthcareLearn More About Our New Brand!

 
 
 
 

So Many Hospital Rankings, So Little Time – What Should You Look for as a Patient?

Understanding Hospital RankingsWhen you’re trying to price a car, you probably go to the Kelley Blue Book. When you’re looking for a go-to restaurant rating system, you probably choose Yelp or Zagat. When you’re looking for a cancer treatment center, you probably make sure it is designated by the National Cancer Institute. So, when you choose a doctor, or a clinic, or a hospital, what resources do you have to help you make that decision? Aside from the input of your trusted friends and family members, or checking out a health care system’s website, there are many organizations that seek to help patients make decisions about where they seek their care. Some of these organizations rank hospitals with hard data, i.e. – metrics on quality levels and patient outcomes, or by program survival rates. Others seek to measure quality as it relates to consumer or marketplace perception, and some even use fee-based systems, excluding hospitals who don’t pay to participate.

So if you want to make sure you can trust your health care team, you probably also want to make sure that the ranking system you employ to choose them is also trustworthy. Here are 3 things to look for when you choose what hospital rankings you rely on to choose your care provider:

Hard & Tangible Data

Whatever ranking system you choose, make sure that it uses reliable, unbiased data. As an example, some hospital rankings system includes data such as mortality rates, but be careful here. Mortality rates should be adjusted to take into account how sick patients were when they arrived at the facility; otherwise, the data is misleading. Make sure the ranking system you choose is straightforward in its disclosure of how ranking data is collected and used.

Validation from Independent & Credible Industry Associations

Just as there is a large volume of rankings out there, so too is there a large volume of established and reliable accrediting and governing organizations in the health care space. Ranging from large governmental organizations such as the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the American Medical Association (AMA) and the reliable publications they produce, i.e. – Journal of the American Medical Association, to nonprofits such as the American Cancer Society, there are organizations out there you can trust to give you the honest scoop on what you should look for in your care team and what ranking systems do a good job of helping you find them.

Collaboration in Rankings

If it was up to the organizations being ranked to choose their rankings, every business would be #1. It’s important when you choose a hospital ranking system to rely on that you also know who was involved in the process. In general, rankings that incorporate input from consumers, hospitals, physicians, and accrediting organizations are the most reliable. Look for rankings that are tangible and transparent in their language about who is involved in the selection process and how entrants are qualified.

What else do you look for when picking a hospital, clinic or doctor? Do you use ranking to help inform your decision? Let us know in the comments below!

Related Resources:

Screenings & Health Services with No Appointment, 7 Days a Week – Could Health Care Get Any Easier?

Emory Healthcare CVS MinuteClinic Partnership

Do you have a cough? Need a cholesterol screening? Allergy symptoms? All of these are things that as patients, many of us have experienced enough times to feel like we don’t need to schedule a formal doctor visit for them. But, because in the past, these services were usually only offered through a doctor’s office, there haven’t been too many other options. Now there is! Emory Healthcare has partnered with MinuteClinic, CVS’ retail health care division to provide access to high quality health care at your local CVS location for over 20 different common health services.

We know coming to Emory for more serious treatments or conditions is something that as an Atlanta resident, you probably already know exists as an option for you. But for those times where your earache at 7pm is a hassle and there isn’t a hospital or clinic location nearby or open, we’re hoping that our partnership with CVS means that you now have even more access to the high quality patient-centered health care provided at Emory.

You can trust that the care that you’ll receive at the 31 walk-in CVS MinuteClinic locations across Atlanta will be on par with the care you expect from Emory. Our physicians are serving as medical directors for MinuteClinic locations in Atlanta, and will also be collaborating on various patient education and prevention initiatives on a per-location basis.

So, what happens if you go to a CVS MinuteClinic location in Atlanta thinking your hives are due to allergic reaction, but really prove to be something more serious? The beauty of our partnership with CVS is that it opens up access to high quality health care for our patients in a variety of ways. If you require a level of care that is not provided at an Emory Healthcare supported MinuteClinic location, the care team onsite will be able to refer you. Emory Healthcare will accept patients who need a level of care not available through MinuteClinic.

If our partnership with CVS on its own doesn’t make getting access to high quality health care in Atlanta that much faster and easier for you, the fact that the 31 walk-in CVS MinuteClinic locations that we’re helping support are open 7 days a week, with no appointment necessary and visits as short as 15 minutes. MinuteClinic accepts most insurance and locations are open Monday-Friday, 8:30am-7:30pm; Saturday, 9am-5:30pm; and Sunday, 10am-5:30pm.

Emory Makes UHC Quality Hospital Rankings History

Emory Hospital UHC Quality Hospital RankingsIf you frequent our health care blog, engage with us on Facebook or Twitter, or have spent any time on our website, you have probably noticed that there is a theme woven through all Emory Healthcare’s presence. That theme is our dedication to our top priority here at Emory Healthcare, which is to provide high quality health care that is truly patient-centered. Because this mission is the focus of our Emory Healthcare team, five years ago, we implemented a five-year strategic goal to hold ourselves accountable in achieving it. That goal was to rank in the top academic medical centers in UHC. To anyone who doesn’t work in health care, you may be wondering what UHC is and why the organization’s rankings matter.

UHC was formed almost 30 years ago, and is an alliance of 114 academic medical centers and 255 hospitals affiliated with those academic medical centers. As described by UHC, their vision is “to help members attain national leadership in health care by achieving excellence in quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness.” To reach this goal, UHC uses quantifiable measurements of hospital quality and hard data to determine how academic medical centers measure up in their ability to provide the highest quality patient care.

Since we challenged ourselves to set the pace for academic medical quality five years ago, every individual that makes up the Emory Healthcare team has played a role in our commitment to quality patient-centered care and has been regularly reminded by our Emory Healthcare leaders of the improvements in our quality rankings as a result of our team’s efforts.

After setting a very lofty organizational goal five years ago, we are extremely excited to announce that our team’s commitment to providing high quality patient-centered care has paid off in a big way. Not only did we reach our goal, but this year, UHC has recognized these efforts and the undeniable data that demonstrates Emory Healthcare’s commitment to quality. As of 2011, UHC ranks the quality of care provided by Emory University Hospital (including Emory University Orthopaedics and Spine Hospital) as 10th among the more than 100 academic medical centers ranked by UHC. The quality of care provided at Emory University Hospital Midtown has been equally as impressive, as it ranks 11th by the UHC. The 2011 UHC rankings mark the first time in UHC history that two facilities from the same organization have placed this highly in the rankings of hospital quality.

Just last year, Emory University Hospital and Emory University Hospital Midtown were ranked 45th and 42nd, respectively. The significance of our jump in the rankings is a true testament to the compassion, dedication and commitment of our Emory Healthcare team to truly put our patients, families and community first by devoting themselves to providing the highest quality of care. It’s also a testament to our patients, families and communities who entrust us with providing them the highest quality care each and every day. We thank our entire Emory Healthcare family and community for their critical role in helping us achieve a goal that has such a positive impact on all of us.

Top 5 Ways to Get Back to the Basics for Better Health

Back to Basics for Better HealthThere’s a lot of hype around health care. For example, there’s been tons of recent chatter around fad dieting and the potential for trendy yo-yo diets to have negative health impacts. Recent news stories have also frightened many about the potential for cell phones to cause cancer. Obesity is at an all time high, with over 34% of Americans now considered to be obese, according to the CDC. Not to take away from any of these issues or the hype around them, but what happened to the basics? What happened to focusing on living healthy, happy lives and taking proactive steps to make this a reality? All too often, it seems, we get caught up in health hype and forget to prioritize healthy living. With that said, below you’ll find some of the easiest ways you can prioritize your health and wellness.

     

  1. Breathe Deeply

  2. Breathing is the only bodily function that we do both on a voluntary and involuntary basis. It is also the key to lots of immediate health benefits. Abdominal, or diaphragmatic breathing can have a tremendous impact on stress levels, and according to the AMSA1, can also help prevent infection of the lung and other tissues and improve the venous return of blood back to the heart.

  3. Nap

  4. As a culture, Americans are becoming more and more sleep deprived. There are countless negative side effects of sleep deprivation, but an easy remedy for most of them– napping! Alertness and physical performance can be improved by napping, and so too can our psychological well being. Remember, no matter how busy you are, sleep is not a luxury, it is a priority.

  5. Drink More Water

  6. We recently did a blog post on hydration and benefits one can realize via sufficient hydration. Weight loss, younger and fresher looking skin, increased mental and physical energy, and disease prevention are just a few of the many benefits of staying hydrated. Learn more on hydration and its benefits and the harms of dehydration.

  7. Think Visually When it Comes to Your Plate

  8. ChooseMyPlate.govAs was mentioned above, it’s easy to get caught up in health hype. One easy way to prioritize health from a nutritional standpoint is to focus on color. In general, the more colors on your plate (not via food coloring), the better. Did you know that white produce, such as garlic, parsnips and brown pairs have respiratory, heart & health benefits? Or how about that red produce, like tomatoes, watermelon, and beets can help lower risk for prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease? For a boost to your health, think in color! Additionally, the dreaded food pyramid, which most of us never used and certainly couldn’t remember, has been updated! Now, you can simply visualize your plate to help you determine how much protein, dairy, produce, and grains you need in your daily diet!

  9. Laugh & Smile…Genuinely

  10. When you were in school, a friend or parent may have advised you to smile while walking into a test to improve your performance. It is true that smiling releases endorphins and can boost your mood, but according to more recent evidence, the smile must be a genuine one. This is good news for you! It means that just by surrounding yourself with people, places, and things that make you happy, your health could be improved. According to recent studies, smiling boosts positive emotions, and “those who experienced high levels of positive emotion were able to recover from a heart attack more quickly.” Furthermore, research conducted in Australia demonstrated that “those who genuinely smiled for a group photo had greater well-being and were healthier, even 30 years later.”2 So smile, it does a body good. And as for laughter? Laughter can improve blood flow, increase infection fighting antibodies, and even burn calories. I don’t know about you, but if happiness can be used to improve my health, I’m by all means going to prioritize smiling and laughing more regularly.

These are just a few of the simple ways we can improve our health. What else? What do you do to decrease stress and improve your emotional and physical well-being? Share your ideas with me in the comments below!

1http://www.amsa.org/healingthehealer/breathing.cfm
2http://mentalhealthnews.org/a-genuine-smile-found-to-improve-health-happiness/84834/

Top 5 Tips to Beat Pollen Sensitivity This Spring

pollen allergy season

*Update*: On March 19, 2012, the pollen count in Atlanta was 8,164, breaking the old record of 6,013 set in 1999.

With today’s pollen count at a startling 2258, we thought it a good idea to share with you some tips for beating sensitivity to pollen as best you can this Spring. Over 35 million Americans are sensitive to pollen, if you’re one of them, this list should help:

Know the Pollen Count

Here’s a great website for residents of the Atlanta, GA area to check the pollen count, which changes daily – http://www.atlantaallergy.com/pollenCount.aspx Staying on top of the pollen count makes it easier to take proactive steps to avoid sensitivity before it starts. As a general guide, here are the ranges for pollen count levels:

  • Low: 0-14
  • Moderate: 15-89
  • High: 90-1499
  • Extremely High: 1500+

Exercise in the Evening

Pollen counts are highest in the morning, but because pollen travels freely on warm, dry and breezy days, pollen levels can often peak midday. If you exercise outdoors, plan on doing so in the evening, after 5 p.m. during days with high pollen counts. For your safety, please be sure to exercise with a partner.

Wear a Mask When Doing Yard Work

If you’re sensitive or allergic to pollen, it is not ideal to also be responsible for yard work. But if you must, wear a mask. You can pick one up at your local hardware store or pharmacy. Try doing yard work very early in the morning, while there’s still dew out, or in the later afternoon/evening, once pollen levels have subsided.

Proactively Treat Your Allergies

If you are allergic or particularly sensitive to pollen, there are plenty of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines available to help you control your symptoms.

You should consult your allergist for the medication and treatment plan that’s best for you, but getting your symptoms under control before they have the opportunity to get out of hand is wise during pollen season.

Protect Your Home, Your Car & Your Body

Keep doors and windows to your residence and car closed as much as possible when the pollen count is high. Pollen particles are no wider than a single strand of human hair, and they can easily pass through holes in window screens. Also, if particularly sensitive, change clothes and shower after returning home to remove pollen from your person and to avoid spreading it throughout your home.

If you’re interested in sinus, nasal, and allergy treatment at Emory, you can visit our Sinus, Nasal & Allergy website. Have any other ideas for how to limit pollen sensitivity this Spring? Feel free to share and leave them in the comments section below!

Quality and Convenience at the Pharmacy at Emory

Pharmacy at Emory

We’re always looking for ways to make things easier for our patients and families here at Emory. Back in May, for example, we made filling and picking up prescriptions that much easier by opening the doors to our new Pharmacy at Emory. The Pharmacy’s location at the Emory Clinic means added convenience for our patients. It also means we get to see lots of patients, family members and staff each day.  Thankfully, they’ve been keeping us very busy! Since the Pharmacy’s opening 10 months ago, we’re filling over 100 prescriptions per day at the new pharmacy.

In the spirit of patient ease, we’re adding two new features to boost convenience at the pharmacy- online refills and our new bedside delivery program.

Online Refills

Beginning today, patrons of the pharmacy can visit: http://www.emoryhealthcare.org/pharmacy and refill their prescriptions online before they come to see us.

Bedside Delivery Program

For patients of  Emory University Hospital and the Winship Cancer Institute Infusion Center, medications from the Pharmacy at Emory can be delivered directly to patient rooms between the hours of 9am-5pm.

It’s our hope that these two convenience additions to the Pharmacy at Emory give our patients, families, visitors, and Emory community members even more reasons to fill their prescriptions while on-site.

Pharmacy FAQs

If you’re curious about what else is happening at the pharmacy to make things easy on our patients, here are a few fun facts below:

  • We fill prescriptions from both Emory and non-Emory practitioners. So even if you’re not a patient of Emory, but the pharmacy’s location is convenient for you, we’re here to help!
  • We accept all major insurance plans.
  • We offer a full array of generic and branded medications. Medication pricing at the Pharmacy is competitive and comparable to prices you’ll see elsewhere.
  • We keep a full stock of general health and wellness supplies. If you’re on-site and need to pick up supplements or bandaids, for example, stop on by!

We’ll keep you posted on all the latest happenings with the Pharmacy as they develop. We hope to see you there soon!

Thank You, Team For Putting Patient Care First

John T. Fox, President & CEO of Emory Healthcare

John T. Fox, Emory Healthcare President & CEO

What an incredible week it’s been for the team at Emory Healthcare. From the moment we tuned into weather reports and anticipated that this was the “real thing” I was amazed at the tremendous response of our healthcare professionals as they started to make their way back to work before a drop of snow hit the ground.

What we witnessed over the course of several days following Georgia’s first snowfall of 2011 was absolute acts of heroism by our Emory Healthcare team of nurses, physicians, leaders and staff. Our employees demonstrated their commitment to patient-centered care, and made our patients their first priority, using any creative means necessary to join their team at work. One of our team members even put on her golf cleats and trekked many blocks through the snow to be here. Other employees demonstrated their commitment by volunteering to step into roles outside of their own without hesitation.

I am always proud to be a part of Emory Healthcare, but this week, my pride has been elevated to the deepest admiration for our outstanding team of nurses, doctors, and staff. You are all a true inspiration, and our patients are truly fortunate to receive compassionate care from individuals like you. Some of you were too snowed in to make it to work, but I know you were with your colleagues in spirit as they kept operations running smoothly.

It is our priority at Emory Healthcare to deliver outstanding patient-centered care each and every day. I want to thank the thousands of dedicated professionals who make up our Emory Healthcare team and who, over the past week, again rallied around our patients and each other during one of the worst winter storms in Atlanta’s history. I also want to acknowledge and thank your families and loved ones, many of whom did not see you for three or four days while you spent day and night in our hospitals and clinics.

I thank you for the dedication that you have shown this week and that you show each day at Emory Healthcare. I am truly honored to work with you. And thank you, thank you and thank you for living our commitment to our patients and putting all the words of our Care Transformation model into real action.

Health Care Heroes Lending Helping Hands

If you follow us on Twitter or are friends with us on Facebook, you may have seen some of our recent “storm stories,” spotlighting acts of heroism our Emory Healthcare team members demonstrated this past week despite the snow. While this past week’s storm was one of the worst in Atlanta’s history, it didn’t stop our EHC team from stepping up to do what we do best– put patients first.

Larry Hodges, Marion Oglesby, Demetrice Fullard, Marsha Bruce, Kathy Charles, Michael Cobb, Brenda Wilbanks, Jewell Hudson, Nicole Bansavage, and Chrissy Day are stellar examples of what it means to be part of the Emory Healthcare team:

Emory Healthcare Employees Brenda Wilbanks, Jewell Hudson, Nicole Bansavage, & Chrissy Day

Chrissy Day, Jewell Lazzette, Brenda Wilbanks, & Nicole Bansavage

Brenda Wilbanks, Jewell Hudson, Nicole Bansavage, & Chrissy Day

When Brenda Wilbanks, EUH Hematology 6E, saw the storm was coming, she knew her motor home had a new use – accommodations for her and a few of her co-workers during the days to come! Therefore, her husband drove the family motor home down on Sunday night. Brenda set up shop across the street from CRM in an area where Emory University is getting ready to tear down aging dormitories. This put the motor home within easy walking distance of our tunnel system via CRM. On Sunday and Monday night, co-workers Jewell Hudson and Nicole Bansavage joined Brenda. On Tuesday night, Chrissy Day headed over, as well.

Michael Cobb

The storm may have made transportation via an automobile a challenge, but it didn’t deter Michael Cobb, EHC Office of Quality and Risk, from figuring out a way to make it to the nearest EHC location. Michael lives about a quarter of a mile from EUOSH, so he decided to walk in each day – Monday through Wednesday – to see how he could help. On Tuesday, he took on a new role outside of his everyday EHC responsibilities. He sat with a patient – referred to as 1:1 observation – to ensure the patient remained in bed and had everything he needed.

As Michael said, “I stayed with him until about 7:30 on Tuesday night. We talked about all kinds of things and I made sure he was comfortable. … I was really impressed with the way the nurses cared for him. There is definitely a patient-centered focus here – and now I have had a chance to see it in action.”

Emory Healthcare Payroll Team

Marion Oglesby, Demetrice Fullard, Marsha Bruce & Kathy Charles

Marion Oglesby, Demetrice Fullard, Marsha Bruce, & Kathy Charles

Just because there is a storm doesn’t mean that our team members can go without getting paid. And EHC Payroll made sure payroll was still processed in time. In fact, they were hard at work beginning Sunday evening and continued into Tuesday to ensure our team members received their compensation on time.

EHC Cooks in the Kitchen

Larry Hodges with Nutrition Assistant, Vernon Mathis

Larry Hodges

During the storm, Larry Hodges, from EHC Human Resources, jumped into a new role to help Food & Nutrition Services at Emory University Hospital Midtown. Larry not only served customers during lunch, but he also helped prepare food – peeling eggs to make egg salad. He’s a shining example of how our team members showed extreme flexibility to help things run smoothly during tough times!

If you have an EHC team member to recognize for their efforts during the storm, please post your story in the comments below. We will continue to feature stories on our employee intranet and on Emory Healthcare’s Facebook and Twitter profiles. Thank you to the whole EHC team for all that you do!