Friday, February 28, 2014

Pre-diabetes and Diabetes Education Classes Offered

Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Nutrition Therapy department will offer two different educational classes on diabetes and eating. These are free and open the public.

Area residents are invited to join a GRMC registered dietitian for a two-hour general program to learn more about eating when you have pre-diabetes or diabetes. The group education class will cover the food and blood sugar connection, how to use carbohydrates to control the blood sugar, meal planning with carbohydrate choices and how to read food labels.

Classes to be offered are:
“Diabetes and Your Diet” – Monday, March 17, and April 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m., East Tomasek. Reservations required by noon on March 14 for the March 17 class, and April 18 for the April 21 class.
“Pre-Diabetes and Your Diet” – Monday, April 28, 5:30-7:30 p.m. East Tomasek. Reservations required by noon on Friday, April 25.

“This is an interactive class that’s open to anyone, not just people who are new to diabetes or pre-diabetes,” explains Elaine Hammes, MS, RDN, LD, GRMC dietitian. “We invite individuals with diabetes or pre-diabetes, people who have family members with diabetes, and anyone who wants to learn more about how to live well with pre-diabetes and diabetes. Individuals who just want a review of using the diet to better control their blood glucose level are welcome as well.”

Reservations are required so the instructor brings enough materials. Please call GRMC at 641-236-2412, and leave your name and phone number if voice mail is received.

Janet Lacey Appointed to Iowa Lean Consortium

Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s director of patient experience and quality has been tapped to serve a three-year term on the Iowa Lean Consortium. Janet Lacey, a 36-year veteran of GRMC, plans to support the mission of the consortium as well as garner Lean practices for the medical center.

Lean is a collection of principles and tools designed to reduce waste in any process, resulting in improvements to time, cost, and quality.

“I felt the Iowa Lean Consortium’s educational programs were fantastic and have taken advantage of many of their offerings. Lean processes are universal and the members of the consortium come from all arenas including manufacturing, business, government, and education as well as healthcare. I feel honored to have been asked to serve on the ILC board,” Lacey says. “Integrating Lean practices into healthcare is essential to increasing safety for our patients and efficiency in our processes. Lean is all about eliminating the waste that currently is so prevalent in healthcare allowing caregivers to spend time focusing on what is most important­ – caring for our patients.”

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Grinnell Regional Mental Health Welcomes New Staff

In working to fulfill the commitment for additional mental health services, Grinnell Regional Mental Health added two new counselors to the team. Jan L. Walker, LISW, clinical social worker, and Beth M. Gallegos, LISW, clinical social worker, recently began providing care at the mental health clinic.
Walker brings 23 years of experience in the mental health field to the Grinnell clinic. She most recently counseled patients at River Hills Community Health Center, in Ottumwa. Her work experiences include positions with the State of Iowa, Johnson County Mental Health Services, Crisis Intervention Services, and Ottumwa Regional Health Care.

Her education background includes a BA in social work from Clarke College in Dubuque, and a master’s in social work from the University of Northern Iowa.

Walker grew up in southwest Minnesota, in the town of Wabasso. She shares her interest in social work.

“I believe people can heal from all kinds of hurts (the resiliency of people),” Walker says. “Sometimes people just need another caring nonjudgmental individual to walk alongside them for a while and perhaps give a different perspective on their life. Or, they may need someone to assist in building new skills and strategies.” 

In the clinic, Walker uses cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, narrative therapy, and play and art therapy techniques when appropriate.

Within play therapy, there is a subsection of sand tray therapy that is useful with those who are interested, not only children. I work with a variety of individuals from ages 3 to 103.” Walker adds, “I love that GRMC is dedicated to providing mental health care along with medical care, treating the whole person is so important.”

Walker and her husband, Lee, live in Barnes City. They enjoy being in the timber and caring for their cats. She also enjoys decorating, cooking, and music.      

Gallegos brings 24 years of social work experience to the Grinnell Regional Mental Health Clinic. She moved to Grinnell from LaCrescenta, Calif., where she has provided management of a school based counseling program with Foothill Family Services in Pasadena. The majority of her two decades of experience has been working with children, adolescents, and young adults, but also has worked with adults and families. She also has experience and training in working with adoptions and foster care. 
Gallegos earned her master’s in social work from the University of Southern California – Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s degree from California State University – San Bernardino. Her life experiences help shape her practice. She was born in Seoul, South Korea, as her father was a missionary, and moved to the Chicago area when she was 7 years old. Her family moved to Southern California where she has resided until recently. 

“I wanted to explore social work after reading about Jane Addams and her work in Chicago during my high school days,” Gallegos says. “I believe that we are all in a constant state of growth and development and I learn from everyone with whom I have contact. My philosophy is also based on the concept that challenges are based on unmet needs and together we strive to find ways to meet those needs.”

Gallegos became interested in Grinnell when her daughter came to Grinnell College. She explains, “We seriously started considering life in Grinnell after visiting here and moving our daughter here. This community has so much to offer. When I learned of the open position on the GRMC website, I felt it was a great match.”

 When not working she spends time with her family, which includes her husband, Carlos, and their two daughters. She enjoys being part of their activities and supporting their interests. She also enjoys gardening, baking, and traveling.

For more information about Grinnell Regional Mental Health Clinic, call 641-236-2347.

Iowa Patient Safety Initiative Reduces Errors, Saves $51M

The 127 hospitals participating in the Iowa-based Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) prevented potential harm to more than 4,300 patients in 2013 and reduced health care costs by more than $51 million, according to data released Tuesday by the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC), which administers the network.

Grinnell Regional Medical Center is a participant in the initiative and contributed to the improved safety performance for the state. The data in the report covered 2012 and 2013. During this time, GRMC had no early elective obstetric deliveries; no central line infections; and no catheter-associated urinary tract infections. The readmission rate (for all causes 30-day readmissions) decreased 1.48 percent, from 8.25 percent in 2012 to 6.77 percent in 2013. The patient fall rate also dropped significantly at GRMC. In 2012, the rate was 5.33 percent and was reduced to 1.1 percent in 2013.

“GRMC began implementing best practice measures several years ago that addressed these safety concerns associated with hospitalization. We continually look for improvements that can be made to our processes and safety protocols that will make a difference in the lives of our patients,” says Janet Lacey, GRMC director of quality. “In the past few years, GRMC has been recognized nationally for high quality and safety scores. We earned these working as a committed team of clinical and support staff who are not afraid to implement changes in the best interest of our patients. Even though we are demonstrating progress here at GRMC, these scores are not yet acceptable. It is our mission to continually strive to provide the best and safest patient experience possible.”

The announcement by the IHC provided state-wide aggregate data on the measures. Among other improvements, participating hospitals reduced early elective baby deliveries (which can increase complications) by 90 percent; catheter associated urinary tract infections by 44 percent; adverse drug events by 28 percent; central line-associated blood stream infections in intensive care by 24 percent; surgical site infections by 24 percent; patient falls by 23 percent; and avoidable readmissions by 11 percent.

This work has taken place as part of the federal Partnership for Patients initiative, with the goals of reducing harm by 40 percent and hospital readmissions by 20 percent. The program has helped the hospitals develop the infrastructure, expertise, and organizational culture that will support further improvements for years to come. 

In addition to reducing costs, the Iowa HEN reduced the time that patients spent in the participating hospitals by 17,758 days. It’s estimated that at least 32 lives were saved because of the HEN.
“Through the HEN program, Iowa hospitals and their 71,000 employees are ensuring that patients are safer when they are in the hospital and less likely to return to the hospital, all of which reduces the cost of care,” explained Tom Evans, MD, IHC CEO.  “In many ways, Iowa was already a leader in these measurements, but our hospitals have taken up the challenge to do even better – and they are succeeding.”

“Iowa physicians and hospitals are committed to raising the quality and safety bar in all parts of the state,” said IHC Board Chair Jeff Maire, DO, of Mercy Surgical Affiliates in Des Moines. “Through that commitment we are increasing value and bending the cost curve for all healthcare consumers.”

About IHC:  The Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) is a provider-led and patient-focused nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting a culture of continuous improvement in healthcare. Proactively created by the Iowa Hospital Association and Iowa Medical Society in 2004, IHC's mission is exceptional healthcare in Iowa.  IHC plays a unique role in putting healthcare providers (doctors, nurses and hospital executives) in a leadership position to drive clinical improvements and accelerate change.  By encouraging communication, collaboration and transparency, IHC ultimately raises the quality, patient safety and value of healthcare in Iowa.

About the Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Network:  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched the national Partnership for Patients initiative to make health care safer and less costly by targeting and reducing the millions of preventable injuries and complications from health care acquired conditions. The Partnership for Patients set two crisp aims: reduce hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and reduce preventable hospital readmissions by 20 percent by 2014.  Iowa’s hospitals rallied behind this call to action, with 100 percent of hospitals pledging their commitment to the partnership.

Shortly after the launch of the campaign, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center launched a nationwide public-private collaboration termed the Hospital Engagement Networks (HEN) to identify and create innovative solutions designed to reduce patient harm and improve care coordination. CMS awarded 27 organizations a contract to help identify the key innovations and spread improvement across their defined population. Nearly 4,000 hospitals across the country are currently in a HEN, with the goal to have the over 5,000 US hospitals committed. The Iowa Healthcare Collaborative was awarded the sole Iowa-based contract to serve Iowa hospitals and patients in this campaign.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cancelations Due to Weather

The Light Center for Community Health will close at  2 p.m. Thursday. Home health and hospice patients may use the on-call number for any urgent needs. For Home Health: call 641-236-3491; for Hospice, call 1-800-365-7789

Announced earlier:
Grinnell Regional Medical Center will cancel the Babies Room education class, scheduled for 4 p.m. today.
The GRMC Wellness Center group exercise classes will be canceled after 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20. The Fitness Center will close at 5 p.m. and open at 7 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 21. No group exercise classes before 7 a.m.
Grinnell Regional Family Practice will close at 2 p.m. today due to the anticipated bad weather. Please note that the Manatt Family Urgent Care at Grinnell Regional Medical Center will remain open until 7 p.m. tonight.

Deer Creek Family Care and Victor Health Center are closed today.