Hospital district finalizes 3-year strategic initiatives

Nathan Oster

Three Rivers Health officials have used the data from their recent Community Health Needs Assessment to develop several strategic initiatives aimed at improving the healthcare of the community and the viability of their organization.
Those initiatives were the topic of considerable discussion at Wednesday night’s hospital board meeting, which was attended by John Wadsworth and Jeff Grandia, the co-founders of REDI Health.
REDI Health conducted the needs assessment over a three-month period earlier this year.
One-hundred eighty-six people participated. They cited overweight/obesity (45%), back pain (36%), joint pain (32%), high blood pressure (25%), mental health issues (20%) and diabetes (15.6 percent) as their top health concerns.
“Most of your community — about two thirds of them — have one or more chronic condition. You have a median age of 40 years old. Those chronic conditions will require more and more attention as that population ages,” said Wadsworth.
“Providing education about preventative care initiatives is a massive need that needs to be addressed here,” he continued. “What this targeted education for a marketing plan can be, is to leverage the data in your electronic medical records to identify ... who has care gaps.
“Diabetes, hypertension, cardio, those are top conditions.  Obesity, back pain and joint pain.  Obesity will continue to exacerbate back pain and joint pain, but it will also contribute to cardiovascular.
“Identifying those individual patients, we can see where the care gaps are and the best practices that are not getting filled and that becomes your data-informed comprehensive marketing plan.”
A third strategy, along with developing a marketing plan and providing education about existing preventative care initiatives, is to improve community education geared toward enhancing community healthcare literacy.
Wadsworth said the “community values and appreciates having this facility and the services that are rendered here,” but at the same time, “it doesn’t fully comprehend the broad swath of services, one, that are already available to them, and two, can be available to them, especially in telehealth services that can expand the reach of what you’re doing here, but can also follow a person home ... when they might want to ask a question for followup care.”
Along with improving community healthcare education, Three Rivers Health’s other top initiatives are improving community wellness and improving community access to care.
To achieve the former, the plan is to “increase public awareness of local wellness resources and to expand the range of preventative services offered.”  For the later, it’s to “educate the community about the care  available close to home” and to “improve local access to facility resources.”
In other business discussed Wednesday night:
• Mike Garza, head of the accounting department and the October employee of the month at Three Rivers, said the district lost $31,833 in October.
Average gross patient revenue per day was $38,178, down slightly from $39,745 in September.
Gross service revenue was up slightly to $1.12 million in October, but that was due to higher discounts and allowances than September.
October ended with 23 acute days, 12 swing bed days, 105 ER visits, 490 clinic visits and six surgery visits. Except for ER visits, those figures were up compared to the numbers from September.
• CEO Joel Jackson said the district is already benefiting from the recent addition of PA Kristi Bonnell-Phillips, who came over from the Big Horn Clinic when Hot Springs Health sold its interests to Three Rivers.  In her first two weeks, the clinic saw 245 patients.  It saw 158 in the two weeks prior to her arrival.