Archive for the ‘MCDH Clinical Services’ Category

Generous Winesong Bidders Donate $116,000 For New Ambulance
—Posted Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 at 8:29 pm— « »

L to R: Former Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation board member and supporter Joan Selchau, Foundation ED Jeri Erickson, Paramedic Kirk Thomsen, John Rochat, MD, EMT Davey Beak and Paramedic Morgan Daniel offer a happy pose after getting the news that Winesong Charity Auction participants donated $116,000 to buy a new ambulance for the hospital. Dr. Rochat donated $5,000 toward the ambulance purchase.

L to R: Former Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation board member and supporter Joan Selchau, Foundation ED Jeri Erickson, Paramedic Kirk Thomsen, John Rochat, MD, EMT Davey Beak and Paramedic Morgan Daniel offer a happy pose after getting the news of getting new ambulance.

In a stunning five-minute display of generosity, 66 people held up their paddles at the 2013 Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation (MCHF) Winesong Charity Auction on Sept. 7 and donated $116,000 to buy a new ambulance for coast residents.

“The Hospital Foundation once again did an outstanding job producing another tremendously successful Winesong fundraiser,” said Hospital CEO/CFO Wayne Allen. “Foundation Executive Director Jeri Erickson and her team deserve a huge debt of gratitude for their effort to help fund two ambulances in two years and so much other life-saving equipment for the hospital and the community.”

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MCDH Mammogram Program Wins ACR Accreditation
—Posted Monday, April 8th, 2013 at 8:27 am— « »

Mammogram Technologist Margaret DeMarinis with ACR accreditation.

“The American College of Radiology accreditation is a designation which affirms the quality of the service and reports produced by the MCDH Diagnostic Imaging Center,” explained Diagnostic Imaging Center Manager Noe Hinojosa.

The ACR Mammography Accreditation Program provides peer review and feedback on staff qualifications, equipment, quality control and assurance, image quality and dose. Accreditation is required for all U.S. facilities. To learn more, visit ACR.Org.

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MCDH Patients Avoid Contaminated Steroid Noted in National FDA Investigation
—Posted Friday, October 5th, 2012 at 5:24 pm— « »

I pleased to say that our patients were not injected with contaminated steroid because of our “best practices” approach of buying our drugs only from reliable sources.

Lois Leister, the pharmacy Director at MCDH, has confirmed that Mendocino Coast District Hospital has at no time purchased any methylprednisolone acetatate injection which has been  produced and distributed by New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts.

The FDA investigation into the exact source of the outbreak is still ongoing, but the outbreak that has been associated with this product is preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate (80mg/ml),  an injectable steroid , produced and distributed by New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts.  CDC’s interim data show that all infected patients received injection with this product.

To read the MedWatch safety alert, incliding links to the FDA statement, Q&As, and list of recalled products, click here. The Dept. of Anesthesia would like to alleviate any concerns by patients or their families, by stating that only methylprednisolone, manufactured by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, has been used in epidural steroid injections performed at the Mendocino Coast District Hospital.

 

 

Hospital’s Surgical Sterilizer Back in Operation
—Posted Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 at 10:58 am— « »

As many of your know, we have been sending our surgical instruments to other medical facilities to have them sterilized for surgeries. This procedure was undertaken while a new state-of-the-art sterilizer was being installed. While outsourcing sterilization is common and entirely safe for patients, it was a great inconvenience for our staff, one of whom accompanied the instruments to Frank Howard Memorial in Willits or a Ukiah outpatient surgery center to supervise sterilization and return the sterilized instruments to our hospital for use.

I’m pleased to announce that the installation process of our new main sterilizer has been completed and approved for use by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD). More importantly, it has been thoroughly tested to make sure it is working properly.  Our tests have been perfect, according to Paul Williams, R.N., manager of surgical services, and he and his staff are confident that our new equipment completely sterilizes all instruments to be used for surgery.

Our new machine was manufactured by Steris, the world’s pre-eminent infection prevention, decontamination, and surgical and critical care company, with a long list of first-to-market products and industry-leading service innovations and thousands of customers in more than 60 countries.

We now have a new primary surgical instrument unit and a new backup “flash” sterilizer, which is used when only one or two instruments need to be sterilized for a case in progress.

The installation process was a long one — nearly a year — because of new construction standards for hospitals and the State’s complex approval process. But we finally made it. I want to personally thank all of you who supported the hospital, doctors and staff during this trying time. A big thank you also goes to the surgical crew who worked extra hours and made many, many trips over the hill to ensure safety for our patients.

MCDH Maintains High Quality Standards During Challenging Financial Times
—Posted Monday, March 12th, 2012 at 8:10 pm— « »

During this time of navigating Mendocino Coast District Hospital through challenging financial waters, it is important to remember that the quality that our hospital has become known for, is still our number one priority.

Every change that has been made, or been contemplated, is carefully weighed according to how MCDH can best be a champion for the lives that depend upon us for their medical care and their health every single day.  Our resources are not unlimited, so we must choose wisely as we decide how to best spend the precious resources that are available to us.  It is a task that we do not take lightly.

One thing that won’t change is the quality of our services. We are especially proud of these achievements dedicated to patient safety and maintain quality of care:

OB Award

Quest for Zero Award in Obstetrics

• MCDH is nationally accredited by the Joint Commission, a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

• Our Obstetrics Department is one of only a handful of hospitals in California that has received the “Quest for Zero – Excellence in OB” award for three consecutive years.

• We have received HealthGrades 5-Star Ratings for our orthopedic joint replacement program, pneumonia care and gynecological surgery.

• We consistently receive extremely high patient satisfaction ratings – in the 90+% range.

• MCDH has one of the lowest surgical infection rates of any hospital in California or the U.S

 

The reason that we have received all of these awards and accomplishments is because of the quality of the people that have dedicated to working here at Mendocino Coast District Hospital.  It is an honor and a privilege for me to be able to work side by side with these high quality professionals.

Pharmacy Moving Day
—Posted Friday, September 23rd, 2011 at 7:12 pm— « »

Pharmacy Staff

Pharmacy staff members pictured, Margaret Bradshaw, Lois Leister, Lil Paoli, Marie George

Mendocino Coast District Hospital is 38 years old and has a great need for a new Pharmacy department.   We have a top notch staff of Pharmacists and Pharmacist Technicians who work in a Pharmacy that has changed very little in all of those years.  Thanks to our U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson and the U.S. government, grant funds have been made available so that we can upgrade and expand our pharmacy.  The first step in expanding our Pharmacy is to vacate the existing department.  That step was accomplished today with the hard work of, not only the entire Pharmacy staff, but also the tireless work of our Plant Maintenance Staff.  The Maintenance Staff handled all of the “heavy lifting,” while the well organized Pharmacy staff pulled stock from shelves and placed it on carts that were wheeled from the current department into a temporary department that will be the home for our Pharmacy for the next 6 months.

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MCDH Mammography Service Receives $55,000 USDA Grant
—Posted Friday, August 19th, 2011 at 1:36 pm— « »

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Reef Atwell of USDA and Riki Thoreson-Schaefer, Mammography Technician

Mr. Reef Atwell of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) made a visit to Mendocino Coast District Hospital on Wednesday of this week to inspect our new digital mammography equipment.  USDA awarded MCDH a $55,000 grant which has been used towards the purchase of the new equipment which is housed in the hospital’s new Diagnostic Imaging Center.  Mr. Atwell, who is based in Santa Rosa, California was performing a part of his responsibilities to check and verify that the new equipment had, indeed, been purchased and that it is working.  “I am very impressed with the new center and all of it’s new equipment,” said Atwell.  The total cost for the new digital mammography unit, including a picture archiving system was $412,783.   USDA provides millions of dollars each year for rural America.  “We are always glad to help the Mendocino Coast,” he said.  USDA has made hundreds of thousands of dollars of grants to MCDH over the years.  The last one before this was for funds to purchase a new ambulance in 2008.  We are very thankful to our Congressman Mike Thompson, who supported this grant for Mendocino Coast District Hospital and to the United States Department of Agriculture for their support of rural America.

Helping Hands of Case Management
—Posted Thursday, August 4th, 2011 at 7:31 pm— « »

Kitty Bruning, Case Manager

Kitty Bruning, Case Manager

I always look forward to my Adopt a CEO Day, or as some have called it “Bring Your CEO to Work” Day.  This week I spent an entire day working with our Case Managers, Phil Sullivan, Kitty Bruning and Ann Marie Cesario.  I soon learned that Case Managers hold the keys to helping our hospital patients (and their families and loved ones) make it through the , sometimes difficult, maze of services offered by our hospital.  They are also invaluable members of the team in assisting our doctors and nurses to accomplish their jobs.   It is not unusual for a patient to receive services in our Emergency Department, ICU, Medical/Surgical Unit and even our Swing beds.  All in one stay!  So it takes careful coordination and an incredible repertoire  of skills to assist in all of these areas.   (more…)

The Technology Age is Here
—Posted Sunday, July 24th, 2011 at 11:38 pm— « »

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Last week I had the privilege of attending the InTouch Health Company’s 6th Annual Remote Presence Clinical Innovations Forum in Santa Barbara, California.   In the 6th year of its existence, this was the largest gathering yet of institutions, educators, clinicians and administrators who come together each year to learn about the latest in technological advancement from one of our Nation’s  Clinical Technology leaders.   

InTouch Health’s signature product is the RP7 “robot.”   Just like the one that we have named “Dr. Don,” that we see roaming our halls.  I saw that the same robot that we use to bring specialists to Mendocino Coast District Hospital is used in hospitals from coast to coast in some of our Nation’s finest Academic Teaching Hospitals, as well as small rural hospitals like MCDH.   I also learned that the RP7 robot can be used to enhance advanced surgical techniques in hospital surgical suites, as well as in the Emergency Department of major trauma centers.  I attended the conference because I was invited to participate in a Focus Group Session for the use of telemedicine in rural settings.   As is usually the case, I am certain that I learned more and I am bringing home more valuable knowledge than I was able to contribute.    Johnathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association, one of many prestigious presenters, said it best when he said “2011 is the most exciting year in telemedicine innovation and acceptance, that we have seen in the past 18 years.”  And its very satisfying to know that Mendocino Coast District Hospital is one of the hospitals that is leading the way.

JAMA Article on Quality of Care in Critical Access Hospitals
—Posted Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 at 5:48 pm— « »

MCDH Front Entrance

Tomorrow a Nationally respected Medical Journal (the Journal of the American Medical Association) is issuing a report on “Quality of Care and Patient Outcomes in Critical Access Hospitals.”  The report uses a scientific approach to determining if there is a difference between critical access hospitals (CAHs, such as Mendocino Coast District Hospital) and non-Critical Access Hospitals when it comes to quality.  The report provides evidence that when looking at Nationally recognized hospital quality data, that critical access hospitals consistently come in with lower quality scores than non-critical access hospitals.   I have 2 reactions to the report.  First, I think that the report misses the boat by not recognizing that there are some fundamental differences between CAH hospitals and non-CAH hospitals.  The most major difference is that the CAHs exist in smaller rural markets with much less availability of physicians, specialist physicians and advanced clinical capabilities (such as cardiac catheterization labs).  Also, critical access hospitals are focused on keeping only those patients that can be treated safely in a smaller hospitals and transfering the more acutely ill patients to larger hospitals.  In the JAMA study, patients that were transfered to a larger hospital were excluded from some of the analysis.  So my first reaction is that quality in critical access hospitals needs to be measured differently than quality in urban hospitals.  My second reaction is that our hospital, Mendocino Coast District Hospital, compares very well to the National database that the JAMA article uses.   The data that they are using is available to anybody with a computer and internet access.  It’s available on a website called “Hospital Compare” on the Medicare site,  http://www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov/   We have an ICU here, which is a big advantage for a critical access hospital (only 30% of them do, according to the report).  And in the areas of “processes of care” and “clinical outcomes” we compare pretty well.  In those 2 areas on the Medicare Hospital Compare website, we report and we consistently show as being comparable to larger hospitals.  The one caveat that I would point out is that, due to our low numbers, many of our scores have a footnote number 1.  Footnote number 1 says “the number of cases is too small to be sure how well a hospital is performing.”  So, in other words, even though the report says that our numbers are good, it is also saying that small numbers are unreliable.

My conclusions from reading the JAMA article are that (1) there needs to be more study on what constitutes high quality in critical access hospitals and (2) Mendocino Coast District Hospital is doing all of the right things to ensure that we are providing a high quality of care here on the Mendocino Coast.

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