Today (August 26, 2014) St. Anthony’s Medical Center had the pleasure of hosting a clergy luncheon for some of our local religious leaders. Our senior leadership enjoyed the opportunity to personally thank them for the work they do in our hospital and our community. So glad they could come!
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has certified St. Anthony’s Medical Center, St. Louis, as one of the first 78 hospitals out of 4,993 in the United States (top 2 percent) to attest to Stage 2 of meaningful use of electronic health records (EHR). The current federal fiscal year 2014 is the first year health care providers are eligible to apply for Stage 2 certification. St. Anthony’s is one of the few hospitals in the country to achieve this status using the Epic System, which is a leader among EHR providers.
Achieving Stage 2 meaningful use required a significant investment of time, effort and money to reach 19 core objectives, which include processes such as automatically tracking medications electronically from order to administration; giving patients the ability to view online, download and transmit their health information within 36 hours after discharge from the hospital; recording electronic notes in patient records; making imaging results accessible through Certified Electronic Health Records Technology (CEHRT); and recording patient family health history.
“Being one of the first hospitals in the country to achieve this level of use of electronic health records is a reflection of St. Anthony’s commitment to our patients and our work as a team,” said Jim Weldon, Chief Information Officer. “We believe setting the pace for use of EHR will improve the quality of care we are able to provide our community.
“Our leadership showed its commitment to this important advancement by bringing in the right people to do the job and giving them the resources they needed to reach this goal,” said Weldon. “Given that support and their own hard work and dedication, our team members showed they are the clinical and IT leaders we believed them to be.”
St. Anthony’s also has achieved stage 6 out of 7 levels of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMMS) Analytics EHR Adoption Model. Stage 6 and stage 7 recognition accounts for only 15 percent of U.S. hospitals.
A new fall-prevention steering committee and a hands-on, multidisciplinary workgroup headed by Beth Riemer, nurse manager of the fifth floor, has improved patient safety at St. Anthony’s Medical Center. The group developed a program that has achieved a 23 percent reduction in patient falls since it went live April 1.
“Now, among other measures, we have a risk assessment tool,” Karen Gist, Director of Medical-Surgical Services, said. “For instance, does my patient have cognition issues? Specific interventions go with that, such as taking them to the bathroom regularly, since they may not remember that they need to ask for help. We’ve also added injury risk questions. If they’re older and have osteoporosis, they may need a hip protector and helmet.”
Every patient door now has a sign on which staff indicate fall and/or injury risk, and the assistance necessary to help the patient get out of bed. This allows anyone entering the room to help the patient immediately.
“Our caregivers have embraced the program and made it an integral part of their daily practice,” Riemer said. “They own patient safety.”
Dr. Weis earned her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, completed her residency at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and completed her Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine from St. Louis University.
Dr. Weis joins a premiere group of pulmonary and critical care physicians which includes Drs. Robert Griesbaum, Gary Marklin and Shyam Ivaturi and their nurse practitioners: Pamela Lynn, Monique Tindle and Rob Westerheide. St. Anthony’s Pulmonary Specialists is located at 4850 Lemay Ferry Road, Suite 210 in South St. Louis County.
Dozens of families no longer need to worry how they will be able to afford school supplies at the start of this school year, thanks to the generosity of St. Anthony’s Medical Center employees. St. Anthony’s Franciscan Outreach Team coordinated a back-to-school drive that collected backpacks, binders, notebooks, pens, crayons, glue and all the other necessary school supplies.
The back-to-school drive benefited the Lemay Child & Family Center and the Jefferson County Salvation Army, which will each distribute the school supplies to families in need. The donations are expected to help an estimated 70 families through the two organizations.
When students head back to school parents will be back to packing lunches. It’s easy for parents to give in to their children’s lunch requests or pack whatever is easiest to get out the door quickly, but with a little extra thought at the grocery store and a little effort, parents can prepare healthier lunches for their children and themselves.
“If you have the right foods in your home, serving healthier meals will be much easier,” said Lisa Galati, registered dietitian at St. Anthony’s Medical Center. “It starts with investing time for grocery shopping at least once a week and having healthy food choices in your home. I like to think of my home as a ‘healthy environment’ when it comes to food choices.”
“This doesn’t mean you have to serve your children only foods they don’t like,” said Heidi McClintock, registered dietitian. “Parents just need to know all the healthy food choices available to them.”
Scott Kremmel is the kind of person who likes to stay busy. So when he’s not working as a lifeguard at his neighborhood pool or delivering pizzas for a local restaurant, you’ll find him volunteering his time in St. Anthony’s Medical Center Same-Day Surgery department. He might be cleaning beds, helping patients with leg compression devices or other needs, restocking galleys and patient rooms, or delivering wheelchairs to the lobby.
“Anything I’m asked to do, I’m happy to help,” said Kremmel, 22.
Kremmel is among the more than 50 high school and college students from throughout the St. Louis area who are providing service this summer to departments throughout St. Anthony’s, largely in areas with patient contact. They represent a variety of cultures.
Several of the volunteers are children or grandchildren of St. Anthony’s employees or volunteers, and many aspire to careers in the healthcare field. This fall, Kremmel will be a junior at the University of Missouri-Columbia, majoring in respiratory therapy.
“I knew I couldn’t sit behind a desk for nine hours—I’ve always been better with hands-on things,” Kremmel explained. “I’ve always wanted to help people and make their lives a little easier.”