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May 17 Common Ground: Communication, physician survey, affiliation update
May 17, 2015
thomasImproving communication with medical staff
Dr. Ian Loewen-Thomas

Over the past few months the medical staff has expressed concern they are not hearing about important information that could affect their practice. There are several recent examples that point to communication difficulties.


The Compact Implementation Committee has heard your concerns clearly and is committed to improving communication between administration, the board and medical staff. New work has started to insure you hear information that matters in a timely manner.


In the short term, consider the Common Ground e-newsletter as a tool to raise concerns and have questions answered. Your comments or questions will be taken, anonymously, to the editorial board and addressed in the next issue. Your feedback and input is critical if we are to communicate about issues that are truly important. Your voice can help shape and empower communication between administration, the board and medical staff. Simply email with your comments or questions.


For a more holistic and long term solution, key stakeholders are working to develop a clear process for communicating about major issues that affect your practice. Participants include the medical staff officers, MEC, and PLC. We want to ensure no one is left in the dark about important information. We must identify the way information currently flows so we can make improvements and be sure it reaches you.


In any relationship, communication is always both hard work and a work in progress. Know that the administration, Board and medical staff are committed to improving. Your feedback and input, as we wrestle with this issue, are welcome and desired.


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ctUpdate on Salem Health's carediothoracic program
Ralph Yates, DO, Willamette Health Partners and Thomas Winkler, MD, The Oregon Clinic

Over the past decade, there have been exciting new methods developed which resulted in novel approaches for the treatment of cardiac patients. These advances resulted in a national decline in cardiac surgical case volumes.


As many of you may know, The Oregon Clinic made the decision to close their cardiothoracic surgery division, with locations at Legacy Health and Salem Health, effective July 1, 2015. The Oregon Clinic in Salem approached Salem Heath and Willamette Health Partners about becoming employed. Efforts are underway to assume operations effective July 1, 2015. The purpose of this professional move is to ensure long-term stability for the cardiothoracic program in Salem, continuing the high-level of care for our patients, which has been a hallmark of this program. 


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surveySummary of medical staff survey results

Thank you for participating in our recent medical staff engagement survey. Your input is valuable and has helped identify strengths and weaknesses within our organization.  The summary below reveals areas of strength and areas in need of improvement.   


The Medical Staff Engagement Committee is working to digest your survey input as well as the physician feedback from the Action Plan Development sessions. We want to be thoughtful in our approach and take the necessary time to develop appropriate next steps. We're excited Dr. Steve Gordon will be joining us in June as our new chief medical officer and want to include him in the action planning process.  The survey told us clearly you want transparency in this process. We will continue to keep you updated on our progress and share information as we move closer to developing action plans for 2015-2016. Thank you again for your candor and your desire to help shape the future of Salem Health.    



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LOI Salem Health, OHSU sign affiliation letter of intent
Salem Health and Oregon Health & Science University continue to make steady progress towards an affiliation.Read the affiliation update to learn more.

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sepsisSepsis affinity work results in new order set

Please use the new "Adult IP sepsis order set" resulting from sepsis affinity work. The new order set will help reduce length of stay, readmission rates, mortality, and recent multiple RCA's. Please contact Dr. Jas Kaur if you have any questions.


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pharmacyChanges coming to pharmacy orders for oral anticoagulants

At a recent meeting, the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee voted to limit the use of the novel oral anticoagulants to FDA approved indications only. Starting Tuesday, May 19, orders for Xarelto (rivaroxaban), Pradaxa (dabigatran) and Eliquis (apixaban) will contain a question which asks for what indication the medication is being used. If you have any questions, please ask Matt Tanner.

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bloodNew standard blood bank tube

As of Monday, May 11, 2015, blood bank testing will no longer use the 6 mL purple top EDTA BD Vacutainer Tube. Instead, the 6 mL tube with a pink top will become the standard. This change will help avoid current delays in hematology turnaround times and lower the need for recollects. Read more to learn what to do when you need more blood tubes and minimum draw volumes.


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leapfrogWhat's going on with the Leapfrog safety score?

The Leapfrog Group recently announced its most recent hospital safety scores. Salem Hospital earned a "C," unchanged from the previous score.  


It's important to view Leapfrog's safety survey in context. Participation in the survey is voluntary and responses are not validated. Hospitals that elect not to participate in Leapfrog's survey have their score's negatively weighted.


Salem Hospital does not participate in Leapfrog's survey. Participating would require resources that leaders feel are better used in providing care and making improvements to our current care processes. Salem Hospital is successfully implementing organized improvement efforts, such as the Physician Leadership Institute and the Quality Operations Committee.   


When it comes to measuring safety, Salem Hospital prefers the Hospital Compare site from CMS which compares information from all hospitals. Salem Hospital also trust The Joint Commission's various Centers for Excellence, the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Magnet® Recognition Program and the Beacon Award for Excellence.   


Numerous organizations (Oregon Patient Safety Commission, Truven Health Analytics, Healthgrades, American Nurses ) have recognized Salem Hospital for excellent care. The employees and providers that work here should be proud of their success.  


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CMOStatesman Journal previews Salem Health's new CMO and affiliation progress

Salem Health's new chief medical officer doesn't start until June 1, but the Statesman Journal has already done a write up about his arrival. Read: New Salem health leader to play key role in affiliation, from the May 5 Statesman Journal.  


The May 14 Statesman Journal reported Salem Health and OHSU have signed a letter of intent as they move towards affiliation. Read their analysis.  

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WCSWomen's & children's service line director position filled

Vivien Mudgett, RNC, MA, MSN has accepted the permanent Women's & Children's Service Line Director position. Vivien has served Salem Health as an interim consultant.    

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CMECME opportunity: Child abuse prevention class

Corvallis Police Department Officer Ms. Karin Stauder will discuss how medical personnel and government authorities must look for and report suspected child abuse. The lecture will be presented in Wedel Auditorium on Thursday, May 28, Thursday, June 25 and Tuesday, June 30. To learn more, read about the program: Understanding Karly's Law - a review of the Karly Sheehan case

checUpcoming classes at the CHEC  

Select class headlines to download a flier to print and share with your patients. For more information and to register visit the CHEC website or call 503-814-2432 (CHEC). 


Barbeque Cooking Class

Date: Wednesday, May 20

Time: 6 to 7:15 p.m.

Cost: $15

Menu: Special sauces, chicken and vegetable kabobs, corn and fennel slaw, and summer fruit salad.


Free class about an individual's final health care decisions and who will make them. 

Date: Thursday, May 21

Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Cost: Free


Lower Sodium

This class series is taught by our registered dietitians who will offer nutrition tips, snack samples, and answer your questions about eating less salt.
Date: Wednesday, May 27
Time: 1 to 2 p.m.
Cost: Free  


Support group for children (babies to teens) and their parents/caregivers. Bring questions, ideas, and recipes.
Date: First Thursday of every month
Time: 7 to 8 p.m.
Cost: Free 



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Common Ground Newsletter Editorial Board 
For past issues of this newsletter, visit
Email us anytime with feedback, suggestions, or something for the next issue!  Dr. Ian Loewen-Thomas, Chair, Compact Implementation Committee

Salem Health