Common Ground: population health, affinity groups, strategic planning
June 15, 2014

initiativesUpdate on major initiatives at Salem Health

  • Three key initiatives: affiliation, the new Moda plan for the Public Employees' Benefit Board, and population health
  • Still in early stages
  • Future updates to appear in Common Ground

Salem Health is engaged in a number of critical conversations about its future.  


While there's a certain amount of fluidity about what that future holds; the following is the most current update we have: 



For more information about the status of Salem Health's affiliation talks with Oregon Health & Science University, read the latest update. Physicians have been asking questions--- and getting answers--- at Breakfasts with the CEO. Read the latest Q and A.


Moda Health's PEBB contract

The Public Employees' Benefit Board may offer a new plan from Moda Health to state employees next year. Moda  Health and OHSU are the lead in this and Salem Health will participate. We anticipate more information about this product coming from Moda Health once they have a signed contract with the state, probably this month.


Population health

Population health is a fairly new term in health care. It describes health care focused on the health outcomes of a group of people--- such as people with chronic conditions. The population health model looks at risk factors---genetics, environment, behavior--- and develops services and case management practices that result in better health across the group. It's about proactively making sure people get the right services at the right time. Proponents believe that population health will be better for patients and less costly across the system.


Moda Health and six other Oregon hospitals and health systems want to work with Salem Health to create a population health delivery model.

affinityPhysicians find savings, improved care through Affinity Groups

  • 25 Affinity Groups improving care
  • $35 million savings projected in five years
  • $6 million saved so far

For two years, Salem Health's new Affinity Groups have been waging a quiet war against the rising cost of health care--- but without sacrificing outcomes and patient satisfaction. Good ideas start where the rubber hits the road ... with physicians.


Origin: In 2012 Salem Health Chief Medical Officer David Holloway, MD, had the confidence in medical staff to pledge $35 million savings over five years to help offset the financial shortfall Salem Health was facing. As of October 2013, projects have already saved more than $6 million.


Holloway had the ideal people to address concerns such as "variation of care" (e.g. 27 different case cards for C Sections), the graduates of Salem Health's Physician Leadership Institute. The PLI began the year before as the venue for providers to gather with leading experts to learn and discuss the latest advances in care. Some of these grads formed into specialty (or "affinity") groups - for example, Pulmonary, Cardiology and Surgery.


"An Affinity Group is basically a group of physicians that share a common practice or treat a common patient population or patient problem," said Dr. Marty Johnson, member of the Pulmonary Affinity Group. "We all want to reduce the rising cost of health care, but it won't happen fast enough if we wait for government and politicians."


He added, "The projects we address in Affinity Groups are about reducing the cost of care, while at the same time improving the quality of care for that problem or that patient population."

Salem Health has about 25 groups working on projects. We'll dig into their success stories starting with the next Common Ground e-News. They're posted on the Kaizen Visibility Wall in Building B on the second floor.


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stratplanMedical staff participate in Salem Health strategic planning

by David Holloway, MD
Chief Medical Officer
  • Quality Operations Committee participated in the May meeting
  • Next meeting in July to refine major initiatives for 2015 fiscal year 
  • New plan to deploy Oct. 1 
When we began working with hospital administration and the Salem Health Board to develop the Compact, one of our key goals was to ensure that medical staff had input on significant decisions.

In previous years, Salem Hospital's medical staff played a small part in the organization's strategic planning process. This year, physicians joined the Salem Health Board's governance committee and the hospital's executive leadership team for the first of two meetings to build our next strategic plan. It's an important place for us to be because a strategic plan focuses the organization's resources on key priorities and provides the framework for making budget and program decisions.

At a May 27 strategy meeting, members of the Quality Operations Committee brought their perspectives on quality, safety and patient experience to the table. They participated in traditional strategic planning ground work--- analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Since the last planning cycle, we have made significant progress. Important changes since spring of 2013:
  • improved alignment and engagement with medical staff
  • active engagement of physicians in quality improvement and resource management
  • the successful launch and operation of the Physician Leadership Institute
  • implementation of Lean management tools to reduce waste and improve patient care 
In mid-July, we will meet again with board members and hospital administration to further refine the organization's key strategic initiatives. I look forward to sharing those conversations with you.

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Here's where you will find changes to Epic order sets, best practice advisories and reports from the Physician Leadership Council.

newscipSurgical Care Improvement Project Card-2 Beta Blocker Measure


The Quality Operations Committee has chartered improvement work to increase compliance with the CMS Surgical Care Improvement Project. The current initiative for SCIP Card-2 seeks to harness the power of EPIC functionality and best practice advisories for three purposes:

  • to remind surgeons and anesthesiologists of the patient's home medications,
  • to help guide appropriate decision making, and  
  • to make it easy to order the beta blocker (or document the reason to hold the medication) all in one step. 

The goal is to make it easy for physicians to do the right thing for the patient.


The launch date for this improvement work is July 8, 2014. Read more and contact our Physician Lead, Dr. Raj Nair, if you have questions or would like more information.


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EDMSWhat does EDMS mean to providers?


The Electronic Document Management System will go live on July 15, 2014. From that point forward:

  • You will view care documents as you usually do in Epic, using the Media tab.
  • Signature deficiencies on scanned documents will be completed in Epic, eliminating the need for a trip to health information management.
  • In August, pre-surgical screening will begin scanning pre-operative histories and physicals from your office practice. Because scanning pre-op H&Ps is a significant workflow change, it requires additional preparation and training.
  • For current care, paper will still be used. Post-discharge, the documentation will be scanned into EDMS and available in Epic for future use.

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autoPLC Problem List goes digital 


New enhancements through automation are coming to the Physician Leadership Council (PLC) Problem List:

  • Monthly automated email updates on the status of your item on the problem list
  • Automated email when your problem list item is resolved/closed
  • A Problem List Dashboard showing categories and status  
  • Automated email reminders to assigned leaders

Try out the new system, to start in June, by submitting your issues, concerns and questions to Kelli Fussell or contact one of your Medical Staff leaders with any items you would like to discuss.


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rehabRehabilitation Center offers variety of services
  • Therapy pool
  • Treatment for dizziness
Salem Hospital Regional Rehabilitation Center has a 93-degree therapy pool. The pool's terraced design provides a variety of depths for optimal rehabilitation outcomes. Water therapy is particularly effective for patients recovering from joint replacement surgery.

The center also offers treatment for patients experiencing dizziness. For older patients and people with some medical conditions, dizziness and balance problems often result in falls. Certified vestibular therapists assess patients and use state of the art equipment to treat a variety of conditions that affect balance and cause dizziness.

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videoNew patient education programming available


Salem Hospital's closed circuit television system has added additional patient education programming.  


Patients and families can view all of the channels at home or on any internet enabled device by visiting and Enter 02312 when prompted. The websites also include scripts for the programming.  


The programming covers common health topics:  
  • Patient safety - what you need to know and fall prevention
  • Diabetes prevention, management and treatment
  • VTE - prevention and when to act
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Pain management
  • Cancer
  • Respiratory health
  • Newborn and parenting topics 
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kudosExcellence awards presented to two physicians


Steven Marvel, MD

Role Model for Excellence

Dr. Marvel goes above and beyond for the patients in our unit and in the organization. He finds ways to maintain a high standard of quality care and to teach students and staff along the way.  He remembers that each patient has a life to live after their hospital stay. He empathizes with his patients and sees that they get the physical care they need without forgetting to attend to their social and spiritual needs--- including family members.  


Kamran Firoozi, MD

Leader in Practice & Teaching of Excellence

 Dr. Firoozi went above and beyond providing instruction for several of our staff nurses. They were unfamiliar with Swan-Ganz catheters for measuring blood pressure in the pulmonary artery. He explained methods of hemodynamic monitoring and how to properly gather wedge pressures. He even went online to print additional educational material. He remained positive and open to questions. Thank you for the great teaching moment. This was a good learning experience for ICU staff nurses.


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withoutWithout Strings auction June 21

  • Live and silent auction
  • Support medical charity
  • Gilgamesh!

Without Strings is hosting an auction to support medical care for our homeless and shelter population on June 21 at Gilgamesh Brewery. This non-profit was founded by Pam Voltz, cardiothoracic PA with Oregon Clinic (formerly with Salem Hospital).


Time: 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Bid on restaurants, wine baskets, wine tasting tours, a private brewery party, Cutco Knives, premiere hotels, quilts, lots more. Without Strings provides immunization and dental clinics, general health care clinics in the community.


Tickets are $30 in advance; $35 at the door; $20 from each ticket is tax deductible.


Salem Hospital's ICU and Care Management teams donated their Nurses Give Back funds and energy, working with other local providers - literally to care for our homeless under the Marion Street Bridge. Help support them.


Contact Jessica Williams to purchase tickets. 


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socialMedical Staff Summer Social: Fun for the whole family!
  • Indoor movie theater, outdoor games and prizes for the kids!
  • Good food, entertainment, drink and relaxation
  • RSVP by July 3

WHEN:  Friday, July 11, 2014, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
WHERE:  Pringle Park and Hall (located directly behind Salem Hospital)
RSVP:  Mary Maberry by July 3, 503-561-3778 


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convenientConvenient Care management changes

Convenient Care Manager Kim Thomas left Salem Health and Willamette Health Partners on Friday, June 13. Monica Ceja will serve as interim manager for the Convenient Care Clinic. Ceja has been serving as lead medical assistant in Family Medicine.


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beckerSalem Hospital makes Becker's list of Great Community Hospitals


Becker's Hospital Review has named its 2014 edition of "100 Great Community Hospitals," which reflects hospitals' accolades, quality and service. Hospitals on the list have fewer than 550 beds and minimal teaching programs.


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Common Ground Newsletter Editorial Board 
Email us anytime with feedback, suggestions, or something for the next issue!
Dr. David Holloway, CMO, Dr. Michael Hanslits, Medical Staff President
 Dr. Ian Loewen-Thomas, Chair, Compact Implementation Committee


Salem Health