We are getting very close to the annual Cherry Blossom festival here in Macon. I have my pink sport coat at the cleaners, ready to wear for this community event. I want to thank our marketing department for getting us in the spirit with the window paintings in our cafeterias. If you are new to Macon, there are a lot of great events surrounding this festival including a street market, food, parade, music events and much more. A great excuse to showcase our city and enjoy the beautiful spring weather!
We are now 2/3 of the way through the first quarter of 2018! As you will see in the above video from our Division President , Hugh Tappan, our big themes for this year are expansion and experience. The expansion comes from our acquisitions (Memorial Health in Savannah and Memorial Satilla in Waycross) joining our network in Georgia and our local expansions (ER, Radiology upgrades and robotic programs) in Macon at both hospitals to better serve our community. Along with expanding our business, we must improve the quality of the patient experience where we always put the patient at the forefront of our decisions, actions and planning. Everyone has to be “all in” on every patient encounter from nursing to EVS to pharmacy to registration. Only through a committed team working together will we be able to raise and sustain a high level patient-centered experience for our patients. We have initiatives around all of our pillars: People, Service, Quality, Growth, Finance and Community. Each of these pillars are important in supporting our mission.
This week, we launched another quality initiative for our patients called Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS). This program is designed to modify the physiological and psychological responses to major surgery and reduce complications and hospital length of stay, improve cardiopulmonary function, earlier return of bowel function and earlier resumption of normal activities. The key principles of the ERAS protocol include pre-operative counselling, preoperative nutrition, avoidance of perioperative fasting and carbohydrate loading up to 2 hours preoperatively, standardized anesthetic and analgesic regimens (epidural and non-opioid analgesia) and early mobilization. This will enable our patients to recover faster and go home sooner to their families, which is always our goal as care providers.
This week also marked the beginning of our Palliative Care Program to improve the quality of care for our sickest patients. Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to specialized medical and nursing care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress of a terminal diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the person and their family. Palliative care is provided by a team of physicians, nurses, and other health professionals who work together with the primary care physician and referred specialists and other hospital or hospice staff to provide additional support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided as the main goal of care or along with curative treatment. Although it is an important part of end-of-life care, it is not limited to that stage. Palliative care can be provided across multiple settings including in hospitals, at home, as part of community palliative care programs, and in skilled nursing facilities. Interdisciplinary palliative care teams work with people and their families to clarify goals of care and provide symptom management, psycho-social, and spiritual support. This enables us to extend our mission (the care and improvement of human life) beyond the walls of our hospital as we partner with Pruitt Health to continue this care after the patients discharge from our hospital.
The annual UndyRunWalk sparks conversations AND helps kick colon cancer’s butt! Race starts tomorrow, Saturday, March 3rd at 9AM at Wesleyan College (4760 Forsyth Road in Macon) starting from the Mathews Fitness Center. I look forward to seeing many of our Coliseum colleagues at this great event!
Thanks to everyone who took the AHRQ survey to tell us where we need to focus our quality efforts in 2018. Our goal was to have 80% participation and as of today, with only 12 hours left to take the survey, it is too close to call. You have until midnight tonight so don’t miss this chance to have your voice heard!
As many of you know, I serve on the Otis Redding Foundation Board of Directors. I want you to be aware of a great new charter school opening this fall near our campus on Walnut street for kids K-6th grade. DREAM Academy, in partnership with the Otis Redding Foundation and other committed stakeholders, aims to expand student access to music, creative arts, leadership and entrepreneurship programming in a structured, sustained and effective education model. The school will open in August 2018 and offer families an educational option for their K-6 students focused on building capacity for conceptual thinking, inquiry, analysis, interpretation, self-expression and self-esteem through the Authentic Arts Integration (AAI) curriculum. This educational model combines arts into standard-based instruction to develop creative thinkers and problem solvers. National statistics show that a child gifted with the opportunity of self-expression and creativity paired with strong academics provides a well-rounded and well-prepared leader for a world of tomorrow. At DREAM, our students will use the arts to learn about math, science, social studies and literacy every day in every classroom. There is no tuition and any student in Macon or Georgia can apply now online at: https://www.dreamacademycharter.org/enrollment. I hope to have representatives in our cafeteria next week to provide more information.
Have a great weekend!