News / Periop Café

November 2018 Director of Surgical Services News Roundup

December 20, 2018


November 2018 Director of Surgical Services News Roundup

This past month, we saw several new facilities open nationwide, more awards were presented to Wyoming hospitals, and a new startup in Kentucky is saving lives. Read more about the November 2018 director of surgical services news below:

Millions of US children could have difficulty accessing pediatric surgeons due to distance

In a recent study presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics 2018 National Conference & Exhibition, researchers found that distance to a pediatric surgeon is a barrier to care for many families. The study, “Geographic Distance to Pediatric Surgical Care within the Continental United States,” was written by Lt. Christian S. McEvoy MD, MPH and his colleagues at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.

In 2010, more than 10 million children lived 60 miles or more from a pediatric surgeon, as the crow flies. This can be a dangerous situation for a sick or injured child. “Children…may face greater risk for treatment delays, as well as added costs for travel, time away from work, and child care for other children at home,” said Capt. Robert Picca MD, FAAP, Pediatric Surgeon and Director of Surgical Services at the Naval Medical Center.

In the future, the team hopes that hospitals will recognize the importance of having pediatric surgeons available. Moreover, they want this study to create momentum to use the 2020 census data to help ease this problem.

Adventist Health opens new facility in Tehachapi

After waiting for literally decades, a new hospital finally opened in Tehachapi, California. Although a hospital already existed in the area, it lacked in essential services that the community needed.

The new hospital, part of the Adventist Health system, is a 25-bed Critical Access facility. Not only do they offer an emergency department, but they also feature an ICU and surgical services unit, unavailable at the old hospital.

Betty Dewoody, the Director of Perioperative Services, is overjoyed at the options now available to the residents of the Tehachapi Valley. Currently, they have two general surgeons with two more on the way. Additionally, the department purchased state-of-the-art equipment thanks to donations and support from the community.

North Alabama Medical Center Opens Doors in Florence

Another new hospital opened in an under-served area: North Alabama Medical Center in Florence, Alabama, located in the Shoals region of the state. This area experienced similar issues to Tehachapi until recently. Patients had to travel all the way to major cities like Nashville and Birmingham to access high-quality medical care.

Having been in the works for quite some time, both staff and community residents are thrilled to see it open. It features 15 operating rooms, five more than at the previous hospital in the area, Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital.

Leadership at North Alabama Medical Center feels most excited about their ability to hire top quality talent from across the nation. They believe that having a better facility with top-of-the-line equipment will drive people nationwide to apply for positions.

Surgical Services And Philosphy Internship A Great Success

St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead, Kentucky, hired an extra addition to their surgical services team: a philosophy student. Cory Grigsby is a senior philosophy major at Morehead State University. Moreover, he is the fourth MSU philosophy major to complete an internship at the hospital.

The internship focuses on ethics and healthcare. Working with Director of Surgical Services Riki Watts, Grigsby gets real-life experience in the hospital. Initially, Grigsby had planned to specialize in orthopedics, but is now switching to surgery thanks to the internship.

Community Memorial Hospital Now Syracuse Area Health

Community Memorial Hospital in Syracuse, Nebraska is no longer. The name has changed to Syracuse Area Health and a technologically advanced new facility has replaced the old hospital.

One of the most interesting new features is inside the main operating room. Instead of having only regular lights, there is an option of green lights. Interim Director of Surgical Services Nancy Gondringer explained that the green “helps your eyes adjust to not having to have a dark room, but a room that you are able to visualize all the colors more vividly.”

The new surgical department is also much larger than the previous one. Additionally, this new facility features an emergency department that is seven times the size of the old hospital.

Louisville Startup Decreasing Patient No-Shows

Louisville startup MedaPrep has a solution for dropping the rate of patient no-shows: text messages. For colonoscopy and endoscopy patients, the rate of patients skipping their appointment can be high. Moreover, those patients often fail to reschedule due to the intensive preparation involved before the procedure.

MedaPrep co-founder Aaron Tomes discovered the solution could be in text messaging after his wife, an endoscopy nurse, wrote a paper about this problem for her master’s degree. There were many issues contributing to the problem, such as poorly written paper instructions.

The text messages have been tested at the University of Louisville Hospital and outpatient center. The results showed a two percent decrease in no-shows at the hospital and three percent at the outpatient center. At 3,000 cases a year, those numbers add up.

The service charges a monthly fee, plus a small per patient charge, but is money well-spent if it can help save lives. Additionally, MedaPrep donates 10% of all proceeds to colon cancer prevention programs.

St. John’s Medical Center Receives Multiple Awards

In our October issue of the Director of Surgical Services News Roundup, we reported on the Wyoming Nurses Association convention. This month, we have more news from Wyoming – this time, from the Wyoming Hospital Association convention.

St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson, Wyoming, received several awards at the convention. Most notably, the hospital received the 2018 Outstanding Volunteer Program award. St. John’s has 140 volunteers, managed by Volunteer Coordinator Joni Upsher. The volunteers help with everything from hospice care to therapy dogs.

In addition, Dr. Emily Knobloch accepted the Daniel J. Lex Award for Lifetime Achievement in Long Term Care. Both fellow staff members and patients alike fondly remembered Dr. Emmy.

Also nominated for an award, Director of Surgical Services Becca Wartig, RN, was up for the Norman S. Holt Award for Nursing Excellence. This is presented annually to a nurse that provides the highest quality of care possible.