Click on a year to view the awards received by MGH&FC for that time period.
Information Systems is “Heart-Beat Central” for Patient Care
When you walk into the office of Tom Hornburg, MGH&FC’s chief information officer – you know right away you have stepped into an area that is the backbone of important “information.” You see large monitors that bring up “tech” information and actions as simple as a mouse-click. If one wants to be creative, they could call Information Systems (IS) Heart-Beat Central for Mason General Hospital and its eight Clinics. This department of 11 employees touches, in one way or another, nearly every patient visit, and the work-activity of more than 550 Hospital District employees. This is a department that never sleeps – it runs 24/7.
To the average person, an information system is “just hardware and software” or “wires,” as non-computer experts routinely call it. In a medical environment, however, it is much more than just “wires”. According to Hornburg, an information system is not merely “wires” ‒ but clinical information and patient data which are all central to the purpose of communicating information to enhance MGH&FC’s continuity of patient care. Hornburg explains, “Our mission throughout the Hospital and Clinics is patient-centered care. And it all begins with information – from Registration, to the line nurse, to the healthcare provider, and in some cases ‒ to Pharmacy and then on to patient accounts. Wherever the patient goes – to the Hospital or to a Clinic – there is a continuity of care made possible through the information system.” An example is when the Emergency Department physician puts information in the patient’s chart, it will follow the patient to the next care site – Laboratory, Diagnostic Imaging, Pharmacy, Patient Resources, Respiratory Care, Surgery, and other departments, including the Clinics (when the patient receives follow-up care).
It’s easy to see that MGH&FC Information Systems excels in patient care by looking at the last six “awards” they have received for being one of the “Most Wired Hospitals” in the nation, according to Hospitals & Health Networks (H&HN). H&HN uses the Most Wired Survey to evaluate Information Technology (IT) systems across four categories: infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety, and clinical integration. It focuses on how hospitals use information technologies for quality of care, customer service, public health and safety, business processes, and workforce issues. Most Wired Hospitals have better drug formulary checks and drug interaction alerts than hospitals in general, and are better prepared for security breaches, employing more tools to protect patient data. They monitor their IT performance more closely, and monitor their health system’s overall performance more thoroughly, as well as engaging more patients online in social media sites.
“This honor isn’t about just having the best “wires”, added Hornburg. “This recognition is a testament to the dedication of the providers and our District staff - who maintain the most efficient exchange of patient information possible, that maximizes the coordination of care in order to improve the patient experience and outcomes.”
In addition to Hornburg, 11 people in IS make up the three departments ‒ Information Technology (IT), Clinical Informatics (CI), and Decision Support (DS) ‒ Gary Diemert, Supervisor, IT; Karl Hentschel, Network Administrator, IT; Sara Perrott, Network Administrator, IT; Justin Stromberg, Network Administrator, IT; Angela Lewis, R.N., BSN, Director, CI; Susan Powell, R.N., CI; Savanna Dominguez-Alvarez, Analyst, CI; Kris Davies, Quality Coordinator, DS; Shayne Albaugh, Analyst, (DS); and Won Lee, Database Analyst, (DS).
“I would put my staff up against any world-class staff. I know we’d come out on top. We have the technology and skills you’d find in any larger hospital,” added Hornburg. “My pride is in my staff.”
Dr. Hoffman Receives "Emergency Service Award"
Joe Hoffman, M.D., board-certified Emergency physician at Mason General Hospital, recently received the “Emergency Service Award”, sponsored and presented by the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce and the Thurston-Mason County Medical Society. An emergency medical services (EMS) physician at MGH since 1998, Dr. Hoffman also serves as the Mason County EMS Medical Program Director. The award was given to him for developing a regional approach to standardized EMS protocols and transfer procedures for cardiac and stroke patients in Mason County.
He was the first in Washington State to develop and obtain approval for EMS protocols that ensure emergency patients receive the best treatment and care at the right facility. Dr. Hoffman’s commitment to this is evidenced by his ongoing review of data, ensuring that the care and treatment of patients provided by EMS staff not only meets, but exceeds, standards.
Hospital and Clinics Receive "2012 Most Wired" Award
For the fifth consecutive year, MGH&FC has received the prestigious, “Most Wired” Hospital award, this year competing with 1,570 hospitals surveyed across the nation in information systems capability. The Hospitals & Health Networks (H&HN) Most Wired Survey identified MGH&FC as one of 215 hospitals in the country that were given this designation. MGH received the “Most Wired”- Rural Hospital award in 2008 and 2009, and in 2010 it was reclassified to be included in not just rural, but all hospitals, nationwide. Every year since then ‒ 2010, 2011, and now 2012 ‒ it has received the Most Wired Hospital award for information technology (IT) that implements systems to ensure quality and improve efficiency in the delivery of patient care.
H&HN uses the Most Wired Survey to evaluate IT systems across four categories: infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety, and clinical integration. It focuses on how hospitals use information technologies for quality of care, customer service, public health and safety, business processes, and workforce issues. Most Wired hospitals have better drug formulary checks and drug interaction alerts than hospitals in general, and are better prepared for security breaches, employing more tools to protect patient data. They monitor their IT performance more closely, and monitor their health system’s overall performance more thoroughly, while engaging more patients online in social media sites.
“We continue striving to stay on the leading edge for the most advanced information system available,” said Eric Moll, CAO for Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics. “This award is a testament to the dedication of the Board and our staff to maintaining the most efficient exchange of patient information possible, that maximizes the coordination of care in order to improve the patient experience and outcomes.”
The Most Wired Survey is conducted annually and publishes its findings and the names of the nation’s Most Wired hospitals and health systems in Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, a publication of the Journal of the American Hospital Association.
Bob Appel Receives "Healthcare Champions" Award
Shown above is Bob Appel(right), CEO, MGH & FC, accepting the Health Care Champions Community Impact Award earlier this month at the Heritage Room at Capital Lake. Jeff Rounce (left), publisher of the Business Examiner, made the award to Bob.
MGH&FC CEO, Bob Appel was honored during the 2011 Health Care Champion awards ceremony. This annual event is organized by the Thurston County Chamber and Thurston-Mason County Medical Society to honor four individuals or medical practice groups for their leadership, innovation and involvement in health care issues that have impacted the communities they serve.
Mason General Hospital Wins “T-System National Award for Emergency Department Excellence in 2011
Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics was recently chosen from more than 1,700 hospitals nationwide to receive the 2011 T-System Client Excellence Award. T-System, Inc., an industry leader in clinical, business and IT solutions for emergency medicine, annually recognizes hospitals that have most effectively used its solutions to improve the quality of patient care, operational processes and financial results in the emergency department (ED).
“We are thrilled to receive this prestigious award as a result of the hard work and progress made over the past year to improve our emergency department and the professional lives of our dedicated emergency medical staff,” said Dean Gushee, MD, medical director at Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics. “Using T-System solutions has helped our physicians, nurses and staff to increase our efficiency, reduce length of stay, and improve patient contact and coordinate care between providers.”
In addition, Tom Hornburg, chief information officer at MGH&FC added, “The T-system solution highlights our continuing effort to provide exceptional medical care while taking advantage of the latest technologies.”
The Emergency Department of Mason General Hospital is known for high quality and efficient care. The hospital has leveraged the experience of T-EV in deploying technologies to the rest of the facility. T-System provides a best of breed model to compare with enterprise documentation solutions.
“Congratulations to Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics for being chosen as a 2011 T-System Client Excellence Award recipient in demonstrating superior patient care and financial improvements in attaining their goals,” said Sunny Sanyal, T-System chief executive officer. “Their commitment to the use of technology to enhance the practice of emergency medicine is an inspiration to all hospitals. Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics’ deployment, use of our solutions and outstanding collaboration with T-System employees is both exemplary and a best practice in emergency medicine.”
In recognition of Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinic’s accomplishments, T-System will make a donation to Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinic. MGH&FC will also receive a commemorative plaque and special recognition at the 2012 T-System user conference.
Lab Scores High in Survey
MGH Laboratory successfully completed a Joint Commission regulatory inspection in July. By law, laboratories are required to be inspected every two years. The Joint Commission has been inspecting MGH Laboratory since 1993.
According to Dee Ann Kline, Ph.D., director of Laboratory Services at MGH, the inspections are an opportunity to both acknowledge the quality work in a laboratory and gain insight on how to continually improve. Because laboratory activities are dispersed throughout the organization, the inspection also surveyed activities in the nursing units and the various Clinics.
“During the last year, the Lab team has actively engaged in a number of projects aimed at improving work flow, standardizing processes and creating a culture of positive teamwork. The hard work had a definite impact on the quality of the Lab and success of the inspection,” said Dr. Kline. She went on to compliment her staff by adding, “Several of the staff came in on their day off or when off-shift to meet with the inspector. Technical staff and Lab assistants readily answered questions or demonstrated skill.”
“It was impressive to watch the staff interact with (the inspector) Dr. Sherman,” said Eileen Branscome, MGH&FC COO. “Their pride in what they do and confidence in how they do it reflected in Dr. Sherman’s comment to (Hospital) Commissioner Scott Hilburn, as he summed up the survey by saying, ‘You’re in good hands’.” Ms. Branscome, who oversees the Laboratory, also participated in the inspection, coordinating survey activities on the nursing units and in the Clinics.
Mason General Named Most Wired - Again!
Once again, Mason General Hospital has been named as one of the nation’s “Most Wired” hospitals, according to the results of the 2011 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study released in Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. MGH received “Most Wired - Rural” status in 2008 and 2009, and then in 2010 and 2011 it was reclassified to compete across the board ‒ not based on size, but solely on IT capabilities ‒ with all major hospitals in the United States.
“We are very excited to receive this prestigious award again,” said Eric Moll, CAO, MGH&FC. “It demonstrates that in a rural community you can enjoy the benefits of the most advanced information system available. This is a direct result of the commitment put forth by the Board and our staff over the past five years to find ways to improve our systems. With their strategic vision we have built the foundation for a seamless exchange of patient information throughout Puget Sound, the full potential of which has not yet been realized. The ability to share electronic information reduces the duplication of patient tests, as it increases the coordination of care to improve the patient experience and outcomes”. MGH&FC continues to upgrade its technology, including the use of electronic medical record-keeping of patient information.
“Receiving this award shows the commitment of our staff to using electronic technology to its fullest while providing excellent care,” said Tom Hornburg, CIO, MGH&FC. “Patients are more engaged in their healthcare as treatments become tailored to the individual through advances in technology.” The latest IT addition at MGH&FC includes “MyMasonHealth.com”– an online service that allows patients of MGH and its eight clinics 24-hour-a-day access to their medical visit summaries.
American Hospital Association Names Mason General One of Nation’s "2010 Most Wired" Hospitals
Mason General Hospital, for the third straight year, has received national acclaim for its health information technology, according to the results of the American Hospital Association’s Journal’s “2010 Most Wired Survey.” Hospitals & Health Networks conducts the voluntary Most Wired Survey annually, and uses its survey results to name the nation’s Most Wired hospitals and health systems. This award is based on the facility’s level of achievement in four focus areas: business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety, care continuum, and infrastructure. Results indicate Most Wired hospitals show better outcomes in patient satisfaction, risk-adjusted mortality rates, and other key quality measures through the use of information technology (IT).
“Once again, we are pleased to receive the prestigious ‘Most Wired’ hospital designation. This year we received the award not based on our size, but solely on our capabilities in providing comprehensive IT,” said Eric Moll, CAO at Mason General Hospital. “It reflects the ongoing hard work of the staff who move our technology to the cutting edge of the industry. We are very committed to making sure we have the most advanced tools for providing the best in patient care.”
Mason General Hospital continues to upgrade its technology, including electronic medical record-keeping of patient information. “This designation doesn’t just focus on IT equipment, but all areas of patient care” said Tom Hornburg, IT director at MGH. “Technology makes patient care more efficient, as it focuses on immediate delivery of the patient’s needs, making for better outcomes.”
Hospital Awarded Recognition In Diabetes Education in 2009
Mason General Hospital’s Diabetes Wellness Center was recently awarded continued Recognition from the American Diabetes Association for its self-management education program. This prestigious award recognizes MGH for offering high-quality education services to its patients.
This was a voluntary process on MGH’s part, but once recognized, the award assures that approved education programs have met the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education criteria. Programs that achieve Recognition status have a staff of knowledgeable health professionals who can provide the most advanced information about diabetes management for patients.
The criteria gives professionals a national standard by which to measure the quality of the services they provide,” said Sue Barwick, R.N., certified diabetes educator, and director of the Diabetes Wellness Center at MGH. “And, of course, it helps consumers to identify these quality programs.”
Professionals and staff who have contributed to this exclusive award were Michelle Merrin, Diabetes Wellness Center assistant; Kris Davies, Quality Improvement assistant; Terry Mallory, ARNP, diabetes nurse educator; Sarah Fulkerson, RD, certified diabetes educator; Candy Mattson, RD, diabetes dietitian educator; Mark Schlauderaff, MD, Diabetes Wellness Center director; Diane Stillman, RN, COO, Diabetes Wellness Center advisory board member; Doug Haskins, Diabetes Wellness Center advisory board member; Bob Appel, CEO; and Eric Moll, CFO. Additional professionals who regularly serve as expert faculty in the outpatient Living Well With Diabetes classes are John Rice, MD, James Wright, MD, Gretchen Rice, MSW, and Cheryl Woods, PT.
MGH Diagnostic Imaging Receives National Accreditation in 2009
Mason General Hospital’s Diagnostic Imaging department was recently awarded another three-year term of accreditation as the result of a recent survey by the American College of Radiology (ACR).
The survey is based on a peer-review evaluation of the department that is conducted by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field of radiology and diagnostic imaging. They assess the qualifications of the healthcare personnel and the facility’s equipment, and report this to the ACR’s Committee on Accreditation, which then provides a comprehensive report of the facility based on the survey’s findings. “We are honored and proud that our Diagnostic Imaging department is receiving this award again,” said Bob Appel, CEO at MGH. “It reflects a standard that we encourage all the Hospital departments to work towards.”
The ACR is a national organization serving more than 32,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, and nuclear medicine and medical physicists with programs that focus on medical imaging and radiation oncology, and the delivery of comprehensive healthcare services.
MGH is approved by the Joint Commission, and is a licensed and accredited acute care hospital with a level four emergency trauma designation. There are more than 100 physicians on staff in 21 specialties, caring for all of Public Hospital District No. 1.