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Happening in Healthcare

  • HCA buying Asheville-based Mission Health: Levine predicts little impact on Ballad - bjournal.com

    Monday, April 2, 2018
    Ballad Chairman and CEO Alan Levine said the day after the announcement he does not anticipate significant changes in the competition between Mission and Ballad. “Mission is a good system and I don’t expect that our posture toward Mission would change any with HCA there. I have always said our competition wasn’t just (Mountain States vs) Wellmont. It was Asheville and Knoxville and Nashville. That doesn’t change.”...Levine was empathetic, having discussed those very challenges at length in the past, but did express surprise that Mission chose a for-profit partner. “It doesn’t take me by surprise from the perspective that there is so much consolidation. I am somewhat surprised because I had not heard anything from Mission. They had not reached out to us at all, and I’m not aware of any other systems that they reached out to.“In looking at their balance sheet, they’ve got almost $1 billion in cash and only about $500 million in long-term debt,” Levine said...It just surprises me that their board would want to give up control of their community-based not-for-profit assets to a for-profit system that will now take that cash flow and send it to Nashville.”

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  • 34 healthcare partnerships and transactions in March - beckershospitalreview.com

    Monday, April 2, 2018
    The following healthcare mergers, acquisitions, partnerships and general transactions took place or were announced during the month of March...18. HCA looks to expand into North Carolina with acquisition of Mission Health. The board of Mission Health, a six-hospital, nonprofit system based in Asheville, N.C., has signed a letter of intent to join Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare.

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  • Mission Health Joining HCA Is Not 'Great News' - transylvaniatimes.com

    Monday, April 2, 2018
    The announcement that Mission Health is considering joining the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) as reported in your lead article and the Guest Column by Michele Pilon in the March 26 Transylvania Times has me greatly concerned. Unlike the views expressed by the Mission Board members and hospital executive, I do not see such a move as “great news.” I believe that such an action might well be disadvantageous for our community and should be viewed soberly. And, my concern is heightened by our learning of this proposal only after a letter of agreement has already been signed...Here are some of the negatives that concern me. HCA hospitals are not known for their quality. Look at any of the numerous published appraisals of hospital quality and you seldom, if ever, see any HCA or for-profit hospitals included.Further, why have an organization with a history of Medicare fraud take over our health care system? In the early 2000s HCA settled for $1.7 billion, the largest Medicare fraud case in U.S. history. Since then there have been other smaller settlements with one as recent as 2017.

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  • HCA Has Committed Fraud - transylvaniatimes.com

    Monday, April 2, 2018
    As a comment on the article on HCA and Mission Health, consider the following section of the Becker Review of Hospitals with HCA mentioned with Medicare fraud, kickbacks and procedural problems. What a partner for Mission Health! “A company as large as HCA is likely to encounter lawsuits, and some rather large ones have bubbled to the surface during the course of its history. One of the most noteworthy occurred in 2003, when the Department of Justice and HCA agreed to a $2 billion settlement, resolving allegations of Medicare and Medicaid fraud and physician kickbacks. HCA also reached multimillion-dollar settlements in 2000 and 2002 related to allegations of systematic overcharging of government payers, among other charges. Last year, The New York Times ran two investigative pieces that criticized the company’s cardiac procedures and emergency department practices, claiming HCA has continued allegedly noncompliant practices raised in previous lawsuits. HCA has recently faced DOJ probes related to implantable cardiac defibrillators.”

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  • Asheville Earns Longstanding Reputation for Innovative Health Care and Wellness - livability.com

    Monday, April 2, 2018
    A major player in Asheville’s history as a health-care destination is Mission Health, which began as a small, five-room hospital in downtown Asheville, which a group of women opened in 1885. Today, the health system serves families from 18 counties and includes six hospitals, including Mission Hospital, the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center, and the planned Mission Hospital for Advanced Medicine, which will combine Mission Hospital's Memorial and Mission St. Joseph campuses in downtown Asheville...“As the region’s only state-of-the art, tertiary-quaternary medical center, the new Mission Hospital for Advanced Medicine facility will equal or exceed the world’s best,” says Ronald A. Paulus, M.D., president and CEO of Mission Health. “We believe that when combined with the exceptional skill and compassion of our nurses, physicians and other caregivers, this unprecedented new facility will establish a new standard in patient care and ensure that everyone in western North Carolina will have access to state-of-the-art technology and the best possible care for many decades to come.”

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  • Duke, Mission join UNC in Apple collaboration - bizjournals.com

    Monday, April 2, 2018
    Through the updated Health Records feature in the Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) Health app, patients of UNC Health Care, Duke University Health System and Mission Health can now view and access their medical records on their iPhones...It places control of health information in the hands of patients, she added, putting “more data at their fingertips.” Ultimately, the more patients are able to understand their data and use it, “that’s going to circle back to how they interact with providers and systems to improve their health.” It will also allow for patients to “be more independent in their health care.”“I think this is particularly exciting for patients in the Triangle because they have the ability to combine their medical records from both Duke and UNC within one app — Apple Health — and pull together a more complete picture of their medical history that they can carry in their pocket on a device they use constantly,” Katie McMillan, associate director of Duke Mobile App Gateway and innovative portfolio manager of Duke Health Technology Solutions, said in an email.

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  • How To Select the Best Hospital - The Morganton News Herald

    Sunday, April 1, 2018
    Before you suffer an injury, become ill or have a medical emergency, it is important to know where you will choose for your healthcare services. While all healthcare facilities have similarities, not all provide similar experiences. As the President of Mission Hospital McDowell, and having spent the last three years developing and building a new hospital for the community,I would like to share my perspective on how Mission Hospital McDowell is positioned to be your facility of choice! One of the largest investments in McDowell County, Mission Hospital McDowell officially opened on March 9th, 2018. At a time when smaller community hospitals are closing their doors, this is a testament to the significant commitment that Mission Health has made to our community with the aim of providing exceptional care in a state-of-the-art facility, close to home for decades to come.

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  • Bigger buttons aren't always better - The Asheville Citizen-Times

    Sunday, April 1, 2018
    I immigrated some 20 years ago and opened an account at the Clyde savings bank. When I asked if the bank was for sale, the clerk said no way, for the depositors own it. Now the same bank is a multibank firm in four states. It will be efficient the founders said.HCA Healthcare may acquire Mission Hospital and the public is promised greater efficiency. AT& T and Time Warner seek to merge, and I presume they will promise greater efficiency. Big is beautiful.

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  • Mission may be surprised by HCA deal and newfound devotion to the stock market - citizentimes.com

    Saturday, March 31, 2018
    I asked the Mission brass if they had concerns that Mission ultimately would fail without some kind of move. Ball, a physician who once ran a large hospital system in Philadelphia, did not mince words. "It would ultimately fail," he said. "We would bleed to death over a long period of time. Our projections were we’d have to take out $70 million a year from here to eternity, and at some point, you fail when you do that because you have to take out so much cost, because then you start cutting quality, you cut programs, you cut people. Ultimately, you cannot survive." Paulus quickly dialed that back a bit, saying, "Mission Hospital would never go out of business, but it would be very different and people would have to leave the community for many services that are available today."

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  • Technology can help restore humanity to the practice of medicine - modernhealthcare.com

    Saturday, March 31, 2018
    At Mission Health, we are actively piloting our own machine-learning algorithm to better target care-management team interventions. Every morning our model combs through nearly a hundred variables on patients discharged the day before, then serves a prediction on each patient's likelihood of readmission before our care managers even wake up. It's not perfect, but it's already better than the LACE algorithm used by most hospitals nationwide. And both the actual model and how we use it improves each day. More importantly, the better we get at identifying who our care managers should help, the more time they can spend doing what brings them joy: helping patients.

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  • Mission Hospital wants acquisition by Tennessee firm - Hendersonville Times-News

    Saturday, March 24, 2018
    A North Carolina hospital says it expects no significant job losses if it is taken over by a Tennessee company, as it hopes. The board at Mission Hospital in Asheville voted this week for acquisition by Nashville based HCA Healthcare Inc., local media outlets reported. Mission executives say the move would provide the hospital a stronger position for years to come. The hospital did say there would be some changes in jobs and eliminations of some positions, but said it should be nothing more than what would occur because of “market demand.” The Asheville hospital said it expected the move would provide new jobs, especially for clinical staffers. “Mission has put itself in a position because of (CEO Dr. Ron Paulus’) leadership and his team’s work to take Mission from a good regional hospital to one of the top 15 hospitals in the country,” said board member Tom Oreck.

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  • Possible sale of Mission Health to HCA concerns mountain mayors - wlos.com

    Friday, March 23, 2018
    The possible sale of Mission Health to Hospital Corporation of America has mayors of mountain towns chiming in. Mission runs the Highlands-Cashiers Hospital. Highland's mayor met with residents Friday morning to discuss the deal. Mayor Patrick Taylor said he understands the costs involved with health care, but he wants more community involvement in the decisions being made for his local hospital. “I think we ought to be able to have many different options. Maybe a merger with HCA and Mission wouldn't be the best thing for our hospital and maybe we need to look at other affiliations,” Taylor said. Taylor said options should be considered. “Could we affiliate with possibly another provider, like Duke Lifepoint, in this discussion and realignment,” he asked. Resident Griffin Bell thinks a change could be an improvement.

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  • Mission Health begins talks on anticipated acquisition - themountaineer.com

    Friday, March 23, 2018
    The Mission Health Board of Directors has signed a letter of intent with HCA Healthcare and negotiations are under way for the WNC holdings to be acquired by the Tennessee-based company.“As a result of the contemplated transaction, Mission Health would become part of the HCA Healthcare family,” said Mission Health spokesperson Rowena Buffett Timms. “The Mission Board of Directors knew that it was essential that we act from a position of strength to shape our desired future,” Timms said. “Given the inevitability of consolidation, we wanted it to be our choice long before we are forced to make one.”Both Mission Health and HCA Healthcare are committed to efficiently moving through the due diligence phase in order to complete the transaction before end of the current calendar year, she said.A key component of the proposed agreement is the establishment of a new foundation that would provide substantial annual investments.As part of HCA Healthcare, Mission Health is expected to generate millions of dollars in tax revenues for the area, which would be dedicated to serving patients, according to a statement from Mission Health. Mission Health and its facilities will remain in Western North Carolina after the transaction is completed.

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  • HCA signs letter on intent to acquire Mission Health - awesomecapital.wordpress.com

    Friday, March 23, 2018
    HCA Healthcare plans to add North Carolina to its massive, 20-state system by acquiring Mission Health. Mission, a six-hospital health system based in Asheville, N.C., made the announcement Thursday after its board of directors voted unanimously to sign a letter of intent to enter exclusive discussions to join Nashville-based HCA. Mission is a not-for-profit health system, while HCA is for-profit, a dynamic that will likely draw added scrutiny to the deal. Mission CEO Dr. Ronald Paulus said in an interview that until this year, he had thought staying independent was the best plan for the health system. But the ongoing pressure from insurers and “chaos in Washington” changed his mind. “We knew we had the potential and the capacity to go on an independent course for many years, but from my lens, that’s exactly when you want to make that decision,” he said. “You don’t want to be pressured into sort of a bad choice when you don’t have any other choices left.”

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  • Behind the Deal: Mission Health is gearing up to be acquired - bizjournals.com

    Friday, March 23, 2018
    Mission has inked a letter of intent to enter exclusive discussions to join Nashville-based HCA Healthcare (NYSE: HCA) – which has 179 hospitals and about 1,800 outpatient facilities in 20 states and the U.K., but is lacking a presence in North Carolina. “We’re anticipating a due diligence period of 90 to 120 days,” says Mission President and CEO Dr. Ronald Paulus, with the signing of a definitive agreement in late summer. With a 90-day regulatory review slated to follow that agreement, the deal could complete in late 2018. The deal would be subject to review by the Federal Trade Commission and N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein, related to purchase price and a new foundation set to be created, he notes. HCA’s lack of presence in North Carolina is expected to aid in FTC review. Mission board of directors member Tom Oreck says that the time was right for the deal, given where Paulus and his team have positioned Mission in terms of quality of care coupled with “the tremendous pressure from the government and payers on cost.”

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  • 'Inevitablity of consolidation' motivated nonprofit Mission Health to open talks with HCA - healthex

    Friday, March 23, 2018
    For-profit hospital giant HCA has entered into discussions to acquire Mission Health, a nonprofit six-hospital system based out of Asheville, North Carolina, in a deal Mission admitted may result in some jobs being eliminated. The two systems announced on March 21 they had signed a letter of intent to begin exclusive acquisition talks. John Ball, MD, board chair of Mission Health, said it was “confident that HCA Healthcare is the right and best choice for Mission’s team members and providers, its patients and the communities we are privileged to serve.”In a FAQ released along with the press release, however, Mission said the flurry of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity among hospitals made it “essential” for the western North Carolina system to seek a partner.

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  • BC-NC--North Carolina News Digest, NC - reflector.com

    Friday, March 23, 2018
    A North Carolina hospital says it expects no significant job losses if it is taken over by a Tennessee company, as it hopes. The board at Mission Hospital in Asheville voted this week for acquisition by Nashville-based HCA Healthcare Inc., local media outlets reported.

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  • Healthcare Roundup-Mission Health could join ACA; Slafsky out as 340B Health CEO - fiercehealthcare.

    Friday, March 23, 2018
    Mission Health announced Wednesday that it has signed a letter of intent to join HCA, one of the largest for-profit healthcare companies in the country. Mission Health's hospitals, if the deal is finalized, would be HCA's first in North Carolina. The merger would expand access and improve care quality, Mission Health said in the announcement.

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  • Why a Mission Health merger has physicians' support - citizen-times.com

    Friday, March 23, 2018
    Earlier this week Mission Health announced it has entered exclusive discussions to consider joining HCA Healthcare of Nashville, Tennessee. Given Mission’s proud, successful 133-year not-for-profit history and its ranking as one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems in five of the past six years, some might find this surprising. As physicians unwilling to compromise when it comes to always providing high-quality patient care for everyone in our region - including those most vulnerable - we find it incredibly exciting. Here’s why:HCA Healthcare shares our core values and offers important clinical benefits for our region. Consider that last year alone HCA Healthcare invested $2.8 billion in capital to expand or bring new services to the communities in which they operate. They are equally committed to giving back to their communities, providing an equally astounding $2.8 billion in uncompensated care and $23.6 million in cash donations to local charitable organizations just last year.

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  • Ascension could shift away from hospital focus, Modern Healthcare finds - healthcaredive.com

  • 2 quick thoughts on the hospital industry - beckershospitalreview.com

    Friday, March 23, 2018
    1. As I watch Milwaukee-based Aurora Health Care and Downers Grove, Ill.-based Advocate Health Care merge, and Asheville, N.C.-based Mission Health agree to terms with Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America, it reminds me of the Netflix series "Orange is the New Black."In this case, $10 billion or so in revenues is the new $1 billion-plus. Systems seek scale as a buffer against change and to have greater resources to compete. Whether it's good or bad, and the right or wrong strategy, there are some movements in that direction. 2. Many systems in the face of rapid noise or threats from the external non-healthcare world are in a state of hardcore blocking and tackling to make them anti-fragile. Rather than new expansive growth initiatives, many seem to be focused on making sure they have their houses in order on several fronts to be able to withstand and respond to a variety of external pressures.

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  • HCA signs letter of intent to acquire Mission Health - healthcaretipsarticles.com

    Friday, March 23, 2018
    Mission Health announced Thursday it plans to join HCA Healthcare, a move the Asheville, N.C.-based system wrote in a statement reflects its long-term vision and commitment to quality in a rapidly consolidating healthcare industry. Mission’s board of directors voted unanimously to sign a letter of intent to enter into exclusive discussions with HCA to join the Nashville-based system. Mission, which runs six hospitals, wrote in its statement that the deal would keep it well positioned to continue to meet the needs of western North Carolina by leveraging HCA’s “extensive resources.” “HCA Healthcare is a leading healthcare operator that offers advantages on a scale that would be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve otherwise,” Mission’s Board Chair Dr. John Ball said in a statement. None of HCA’s 177 hospitals are currently in North Carolina, although it does have hospitals in 20 other states, including neighboring South Carolina. The partnership would include the creation of a new foundation that Mission wrote would invest tens of millions of dollars annually into communities.

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  • Mission Health in negotiations to join HCA Healthcare - WLOS-News 13

    Wednesday, March 21, 2018
    Mission Health’s Board of Directors announced Wednesday it has signed a Letter of Intent to enter discussions to join Nashville, Tennessee-based HCA Healthcare. “The board’s unanimous decision to execute the LOI with HCA Healthcare reflects its long-term vision and commitment to preserve and expand Mission Health’s world-class quality of care within a rapidly consolidating healthcare industry,” a Mission Health news release said. A key component of the proposed agreement is the establishment of a foundation that would provide annual investments dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Western North Carolina residents. The news release said as part of HCA Healthcare, Mission Health is expected to generate millions of dollars in tax revenues for the area.

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  • Mission Health to be acquired by Hospital Corporation of America - Asheville Citizen-Times

    Wednesday, March 21, 2018
    Mission Health, the area’s largest employer with a sizable footprint in Western North Carolina, has signed a letter of intent to be acquired by HCA Healthcare Inc., the organization said in a news release late Wednesday. Mission said its board voted unanimously to execute the letter of intent with the Nashville-based for-profit health care company, which operates 177 hospitals and 119 surgery centers in the United States as well as the United Kingdom. The nonprofit community hospital group said the decision is based on its “long-term vision and commitment to preserve and expand” the organization’s quality of care in what it calls “a rapidly consolidating healthcare industry.”

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  • Domestic Violence Victims Have New Resource To Turn To - The Transylvania Times

    Wednesday, March 21, 2018
    A large number of people Tuesday turned out for the ribbon cutting of the Transylvania County Family Resource Center, which will provide help and services to victims of domestic and/or sexual violence. The center will act as a meeting place for victims to get the services they need. Among those involved with the Transylvania County Family Resource Center are Mission Health.r

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  • Care Quality at Blue Ridge Regional - Mitchell News-Journal

    Wednesday, March 21, 2018
    The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, or CMS, publish an annual star-rating list assessing hospital performance in areas such as access to care, patient experience and clinical outcomes of care. We at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital, or BRRH, are thrilled to announce we earned a five-star rating for 2017, the highest rating possible. We, along with Mission Hospital and Mission Hospital McDowell, are one of only 10 hospitals in North Carolina to earn this ranking.

  • Asheville Archives: Mission Hospital's early woes,1885 - Mountain Xpress

    Wednesday, March 21, 2018
    Mission Hospital opened on South Main Street (present-day Biltmore Avenue) near Hilliard Avenue in October 1885. Over the next seven years, it would expand and relocate four times. Its initial facility was a small cottage, consisting of five rooms. According to the 1985 book, One Hundred Years of Service: Memorial Mission Hospital, 1885-1985, edited by Mrs. William F. Taylor, the first patient was admitted on Oct. 17, 1885.The hospital was organized by the women of the Flower Mission, an auxiliary of the state branch of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Anna Woodfin, Fanny Patton, Rose Chapman and Mrs. W.C. Carmichael are frequently cited as the group’s four most prominent and influential figures.
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  • 8 health systems with strong finances - Becker's Hospital Review

    Tuesday, March 20, 2018
    Here are eight health systems with strong operational metrics and solid financial positions, according to recent reports from Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings.Note: This is not an exhaustive list. Health system names were compiled from recent credit rating reports and are listed in alphabetical order... 2. Asheville, N.C.-based Mission Health System has an “Aa3” rating and stable outlook with Moody’s. Mission Health has a strong market position, and Moody’s expects the system to maintain favorable financial performance and healthy liquidity as it enters the final phase of a multiyear construction project.

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  • Program prevents loneliness, promotes independence for senior citizens - WLOS

    Tuesday, March 20, 2018
    Loneliness is a big problem for people as they age. Add in mobility or memory issues, and isolation can quickly set in. Club CarePartners in Asheville aims to keep seniors active and engaged.

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  • Vizzia Technologies Named a TAG 2018 Top 40 Innovative Technology Company - CityBizList

    Monday, March 19, 2018
    Vizzia Technologies, a leading provider of fully managed real-time location systems (RTLS) for healthcare organizations nationwide, announced that the company has been selected as a Top 40 Innovative Technology Company in Georgia by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), the state’s leading association dedicated to the promotion and economic advancement of Georgia’s technology industry...TAG’s Top 40 Awards recognize Georgia-based technology companies for their innovation, financial impact and their efforts at spreading awareness of Georgia’s technology initiatives throughout the U.S. and globally...Vizzia is a leading provider of fully managed real-time location systems (RTLS) and advanced wireless technology solutions (RFID) for healthcare organizations nationwide including Piedmont Healthcare, Grady Health System, Mission Hospital and John Hopkins Health System.

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  • Worried about your kid’s safety? Look at guns in the home, first - Asheville Citizen-Times

    Saturday, March 17, 2018
    Gun safety in society and schools has been a prominent topic lately. However, in the wake of the present and ubiquitous conversations on gun legislation, it is important to pause and discuss gun safety in the home. Accidents happen. In my job, I take care of children only after accidents have happened. Asking parents “was she wearing a helmet?” or “was he wearing a seatbelt?” or “were the medications on a high shelf?” can be sadly irrelevant when the trauma or injury has already occurred. However, safety counselling from your child’s general pediatrician or family doctor can be extremely effective in preventing accidents and keeping children healthy. These conversations may save your child’s life.
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  • Transylvania Hospital Prioritizes Patient Safety - The Transylvania Times

    Thursday, March 15, 2018
    I’m focusing on patient safety this month because March 11-17 is National Patient Safety Awareness week.This month, TRH will host a traveling patient safety “road show” throughout the hospital. We’ll share information about the Reporting and Learning System that hospital staff use to report actual and potential events, and formulate preventive, creative solutions to increase patient safety, as well as trend and monitor events. Staff will also discuss what motivates them to report events and some innovative safety-focused TRH programs will be highlighted, including our “Great Catches” program which recognizes reported items that significantly impacted patient safety, and our Caring for the Caregiver program to combat staff burnout.

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