What’s in store for GCH in 2014?

by Cyndy Platt, Director of Public Relations

Published in The Daily Union, February 22, 2014

 

In 2013, Geary Community Hospital CEO Joe Stratton and his team laid the groundwork for the progress that should occur at the hospital in 2014. Among his goals are to:

1) Continue to progress through the 61 action steps of the three-year strategic plan—the hospital’s roadmap of success, according to Stratton.

2) Continue the retool and refocus quality, so that all employees understand the GCH definition of quality in all departments and in all functions of care.

3) Continue to offer advanced medical technology, like the MRI and CT scanners.

4) Participate in The Joint Commission Survey and receive continued accreditation.

5) Measure employee workplace satisfaction.

6) Comply and work with healthcare reform.

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If that’s not mindboggling enough, Stratton is also planning and working on the financing of an upgrade of the Martha K. Hoover Women’s Health Center. He believes this upgrade will improve patient care and staff satisfaction and keep the women’s health center competitive in the market.

The women’s health center was built in 1996 and hasn’t had a major upgrade in the patient care and staff work environment since then. Melissa Wells, RN, unit manager of the center, and a team are working on a conservative plan, which includes new flooring, wall coverings, bathroom improvements, signage and more for around $115,000. The Geary Community Healthcare Foundation’s Holiday Glitz proceeds of $50,000 were dedicated to the project. Its board of directors will possibly consider funding additional dollars toward the project at the end of the month, Stratton said.

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With the lease of the new Toshiba Aquillion Prime CT (Computerized Tomography) and Toshiba Vantage Titan 1.5T MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanners at the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014, respectively, patients have noticed the improved comfort and accessibility of the table on which they lie. Both machines are incredibly fast, provide outstanding image quality, feel less claustrophobic and can accommodate larger patients.

“We the CT and MRI installed and are using them,” said Stratton.

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By May, the hospital will have participated in an unannounced accreditation survey from The Joint Commission (also known as The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.) Passing this multi-faceted survey gives patients and staff confidence that the quality, procedures and delivery of care is as it should be at this hospital. The surveyors come every three years and have already done advanced surveys on the laboratory and homecare services. Of course, the staff passed with flying colors.

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A happy workforce equals happy patients, or so Stratton believes. To that end, GCH is participating in an employee satisfaction survey through the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Employees began signing in this month to express their satisfaction with training opportunities, the mission, involvement in the decisions, employee benefits and more.

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The pharmacy will be installing an automated medication dispensing system, which will make providing medication to patients safer and more efficient while improving inventory controls, improving staff morale and helping staff communicate more effectively when specific medications are needed, according to Stratton.

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And finally, new mission and vision statements were adopted at the January Board of Trustees meeting. The mission statement is: Providing quality healthcare and promoting the well-being of those we serve. The vision statement is: To be the trusted choice for healthcare and wellness in our communities. Focusing employees on delivering care based on the mission and vision statements will lead future strategic plans and give the hospital a lasting future.