Posts Tagged ‘pvhs’

Northern Colorado offers many adventures: the tranquility of chirping birds and gentle breezes rippling through the Aspen trees during a slow, peaceful walk at sunset to endless smiles and pounding hearts as raging whitewater smacks your healthyu_homescreenface while cutting down the Poudre.

Each day, we have hundreds of opportunities to be healthier, physically and mentally. And let’s face it, we all want to be happier.

Your 10-minute Facebook break at work could have been a 10-minute walk around the building.

Remember the angry person at the store? Next time, give her a big smile and see what happens.

Take a look at your dinner plate. How could you make it more colorful?

Smiles and hugs, good food, sunset walks and whitewater adventures help us achieve better health.

Keeping track of healthy habits can increase motivation and optimism. That’s why we created HealthyU Adventures.


The HealthyU Adventures app helps you get healthy and happy by allowing you to record healthy habits and earn points.

Best of all, it’s local. We added a “find activities near me” tab that will show you the nearest northern Colorado park or recreation center.

You can rack up points by:

  • Drinking a glass of water = 2 points.
  • Laughing hard = 2 points.
  • Going for a swim = 3 points.
  • Posting your evening walk at Overland Park on Facebook = 1 point + 3 points for walking.

And more. By gaining points and moving up levels, you grow a Colorado Blue Spruce tree and eventually, a forest.

We all need a little adventure. Why not keep track and have some fun?

Now get out there and start a new adventure.

The free HealthyU Adventures iPhone app is available now at the iTunes App store.

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The president and chairman of the board of directors for North Colorado Medical Center, Inc., published a guest editorial in mid-July in northern Colorado newspapers saying Poudre Valley Health System plans to build a hospital in west Greeley.

I’d like to make sure community members have the correct information.

The fact is that PVHS has never even discussed the possibility of building a hospital in west Greeley or anywhere in Weld County. We agree with the chairman’s assertion that such duplication often serves only to increase healthcare costs.

However, I can’t believe that Banner Health System—the Phoenix-headquartered organization that manages NCMC and owns McKee Medical Center in Loveland—is overly concerned about duplication because it has announced plans to build a third hospital in Morgan County.

As the largest locally controlled provider of healthcare throughout northern Colorado, PVHS is committed to ensure that our internationally recognized patient-care services remain both accessible and affordable to you.

For that reason, we will continue to work with physicians you have grown to know and trust in Loveland, Fort Collins, Windsor, or at the Greeley Medical Clinic in Weld County to explore innovative ways to provide state-of-the-art care close to the homes of community members.

The PVHS goal is for regional neighbors in the healthcare profession to work collaboratively so collectively we focus on what’s right for patients and physicians. We will continue to work with regional and local providers wherever possible.

The road has been less smooth at times than we would like. Since formalizing our relationship with the Greeley Medical Clinic we’ve endeavored to use existing medical services in Weld County, even if those services were part of another health system.

Unfortunately, our options were limited a year ago when NCMC leadership elected to deny access to the hospital to specialists working with GMC. Regardless, GMC and PVHS are committed to finding every way possible to meet the medical needs of residents of Greeley, Windsor, and the rest of Weld County, as well as Larimer County and elsewhere in our region, with our outstanding clinical care.

Our joint plan for growth in Frederick with Longmont United Hospital and our recent management agreement with the hospital in Sidney, Neb., are two recent examples of collaboration to ensure local control to keep quality high and costs low. Additionally, our impending affiliation with University of Colorado Hospital will ensure the PVHS tradition of world-class quality continues side by side with UCH’s world-class research and education.

Inaccurate assumptions and conclusions as were displayed in the most recent guest editorial serve only to confuse community members and erode the reputations of PVHS; McKee Medical Center, Medical Center of the Rockies, Loveland; Poudre Valley Hospital, Fort Collins; and NCMC. If my actions in the past have contributed to this inaccuracy, I want to apologize for the confusion.

Northern Colorado residents are fortunate because we have excellent hospitals in PVH, MCR, NCMC, and McKee. Like MCR and PVH, NCMC is a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence, a distinction enjoyed by only a small percentage of U.S. hospitals.

We also have access to the foremost in new technology, such as the TrueBeam STx linear accelerator PVHS is now installing and will be treating cancer patients with in the very near future.

As PVHS works to enhance services offered by our two hospitals—MCR and PVH—we have opened new clinics and affiliated with existing ones to maximize quality while creating efficiencies to keep costs down.

Such efforts are crucial as we work to address national healthcare reform. Organizations must work together to be more efficient and undergo a fundamental shift from the current model of treating patients in hospitals to keeping patients healthy so they remain out of hospitals.

I hope all of us in the northern Colorado healthcare community will be better able to work collaboratively as we address the constantly changing healthcare environment.

I encourage you to stay in touch with PVHS by reading http://www.pvhs.org and my blog (visionary.pvhs.org). Please offer your thoughts on what we do well and where you think we can improve. With all of us working together, I am confident we will better meet your healthcare needs.

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In March I am going to have what will certainly be one of the greatest honors of my professional career when I’m installed as the chairman of the board of governors of the American College of Healthcare Executives.  Being allowed to serve in this great organization has been a thrill, and this is certainly the pinnacle.

In preparation for this event, the president and CEO of ACHE, Tom Dolan, Ph.D., FACHE, took the time out of his schedule to come to northern Colorado and talk to the staff and the Poudre Valley Health System board of directors about the upcoming year.  Tom has been, I believe, the most capable leader in the history of ACHE, and has established ACHE as the premier professional organization for healthcare executives in the world.  PVHS owes Tom a debt for taking the time out of his busy schedule to come and visit us, and we all can thank him for all he has done to establish our profession.

The video below includes some thoughts given by Tom during his visit to Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland.  Thanks again, Tom!

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In the spirit of what’s to come, let me first try this in 140 characters:

PVHS celebrates 2,000 robotic surgeries by tweeting hysterectomy, prostatectomy from PVH and MCR next week. http://ow.ly/3A2wc #Robo2K

And with six characters to spare so you can retweet it. Now the blog version…

Poudre Valley Health System has reached a major robotic-assisted surgery milestone for our program, our community and our state, and we’re going to celebrate by giving the public a chance to watch two robotic surgeries unfold on Twitter. The first surgery, a hysterectomy at Poudre Valley Hospital, will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 11.  I’ll also take questions about health care during a live web chat from 1-1:30 p.m. You can submit questions in advance to pvhs@pvhs.org or Twitter, or you can ask questions during the chat at http://www.pvhs.org/Robo2K.

The second surgery, a prostatectomy at Medical Center of the Rockies, will begin at noon on Thursday, Jan. 13.

You can follow the surgeries in a couple different ways: visit the Robo2K website, follow us on Twitter @pvhsnews or use the #Robo2K hashtag on Twitter.

Nearly 7 years ago PVHS was among the first in the state to launch a robotic-assisted surgery program. Since then we’ve done 2,000 such surgeries — about 1,000 more robotic-assisted surgeries than any other program in Colorado. That means our program is by far the most experienced in the state.

We encourage patients who are considering robotic surgery to ask about a program’s expertise and, more specifically, the number of robotic-assisted surgeries performed. We also recommend that people come to PVHS for robotic surgery because of the experience of our surgeons.

PVHS has made a concerted effort to reach the community wherever they are, including online. This blog is one example, as are our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr channels. The robotic surgery Twittercasts will be the first such broadcasts in Colorado.

Hope to see you there,


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Poudre Valley Hospital got some great news this month that also has a big impact on stroke patients in northern Colorado.

The Joint Commission, which measures the quality of health programs nationwide, announced that Poudre Valley Hospital earned the Gold Seal of Approval Award for certification as a primary stroke center. PVH is now the only advanced stroke center north of Denver and one of 10 in Colorado.

The certification means PVH delivers the type of care for stroke patients that can significantly improve outcomes for those patients, according to The Joint Commission. It’s also a testament to the incredible skill and dedication by care providers at PVH.

As Dr. Gerald McIntosh, medical director of PVH’s stroke program and a neurologist with Neurology Associates of Northern Colorado, points out, “With a stroke, time lost is brain lost.”

That’s why incoming patients with stroke symptoms are evaluated immediately in the emergency room and treated by a team of neurologists, ER physicians and nurses, and specialists from such areas as radiology, pharmacy and laboratory. The patient undergoes diagnosis through computer tomography scanning within 20 minutes of arriving in the ER.

Great job, PVH.


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This is big news! Congratulations to the entire staff of Medical Center of the Rockies. We learned just this morning that MCR has received the Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

This is seriously significant for several reasons:

1)  As you might know, Magnet Recognition Program designation is the gold standard for nursing excellence and is given by the ANCC to  hospitals which demonstrate exceptional commitment to nursing quality and dedication to patient care.  Only 6 percent of hospitals in the country have the designation.

2)  As far as I know, no other hospital in the U.S. has ever been designated so soon after it opened. Hospitals can’t apply for Magnet status until they have two full years of quality data to submit.  MCR opened in February 2007 and submitted its application as soon as it could. The  results came back just today.

Congratulations to Kay Miller, MCR chief nursing officer, and the entire staff who lead this charge! This obviously could not have happened without nurses, staff, physicians, volunteers…everyone demonstrating superior outcomes from the minute MCR was opened.

3) You will remember that in 2000 Poudre Valley Hospital was only 17th hospital in the country to be designated a Magnet facility, and the first between Minnesota and California. PVH became only the 11th hospital to be designated twice, and just last spring only the 7th hospital EVER to receive magnet designation a third time!  This shows a systemwide commitment to quality over more than a decade, which is honestly inspirational!

We’ll be updating the the blog through the day with pictures and video, so stay tuned.

Congratulations to the entire MCR and PVHS team for continuing the decade long commitment to quality!


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The reality of healthcare reform is beginning to impact the industry.

In a recent article in the Colorado Springs Business Journal, they pointed out how Moody’s investment service has become concerned about the immediate future to healthcare financing. Clearly this makes the recent upgrade for PVHS even more amazing, especially when one realizes that it was the third consecutive year Moody’s has upgraded PVHS. To my knowledge, that makes PVHS the only health system in the country which has been able to sustain three consecutive upgrades from Moody’s.

But not everyone in the industry is so fortunate, and it appears that the trend is beginning to tighten. As interest rates go up, there will be less capital and less access to the newest and latest equipment. We will simply have less in the future, which I trust everyone knew would be a result of healthcare reform.

Of equal interest is the debate which is just now beginning because of an Institute of Medicine Report which suggests that the only way to meet the diminishing number of physicians is to increase access to nurse practitioners. As you can imagine, this had started its own serious debate (read the AMA response). Again, when healthcare reform specifically decreases payments to physicians and does not even attempt to limit litigation against doctors, one can only presume that the number of physicians in the industry will decrease. Given that, what options are there for the IOM to recommend? It will all make for serious debate over the next weeks and months.


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Today’s blog is written by Medical Center of the Rockies CEO George Hayes, who is in London with Craig Luzinski, Poudre Valley Hospital chief nursing officer, and Priscilla Nuwash, president of the PVHS Center for Performance Excellence.

Priscilla Nuwash, Craig Luzinski and I had the privilege of meeting with representatives of the University College London Hospitals today to learn about their organization and what they are doing around organizational change, and initiatives they are undertaking around education, communication, teamwork and leadership.

UCLH is a seven-hospital organization (or “trust”) centered in London, England. Although the initiatives mentioned above started more than two years ago, they have taken on a new sense of urgency given the recently announced budget cutbacks by the British government. UCLH is a “learning” (i.e., teaching) hospital for the UCLH trust. They operate a number of simulation labs in their education center to facilitate learning. They will frequently make video/audio recordings of the teaching events in order to demonstrate the interpersonal interactions that took place. This facilitates not only clinical education, but helps to improve interpersonal relationships and understanding of how teams interact.

We also learned about what they are doing in the areas of implementing the World Health Organization surgical checklist, their Staff College (which is their equivalent of PVHS’s leadership development program), and the approaches they are taking to reduce costs, which is being driven by the budget cuts imposed by the British government.

We concluded the visit with a tour of the 600-bed University College London Hospital and their inpatient pediatric oncology unit. The representatives of UCLH were very interested in the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award process and how we have used it to sustain and improve performance.

I believe we all learned a lot from one another and look forward to working together in the future.

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When you try as hard as we do at Poudre Valley Health System to provide world-class care and customer service, people notice.

It happened again last week at the Avatar Symposium, an annual gathering in Orlando sponsored by Avatar International. I told you in May about the recognition PVHS received from Avatar for our outstanding patient satisfaction scores.

Kristin Baird, president and founder of the Baird Group and a speaker at the symposium, singled out Medical Center of the Rockies, PVHS’ Loveland hospital, and noted she’d used MCR as an example of best practices in her 2008 book “Raising the Bar on Service Excellence.”

In the book, Baird details how Medical Center of the Rockies built its patient- and family-centered care model even before the hospital opened its doors in 2007, and how MCR leaders invited the community to help design the care model and the emergency department based on their hospital experiences.

MCR Chief Nursing Officer Kay Miller said it was an honor for Baird to highlight MCR. More importantly, however, Baird’s example is a snapshot of the top-notch care and service patients and visitors receive at the hospital, and at every PVHS facility, Miller said.

As I’ve said before, our goal is to deliver world-class health care and customer service that exceeds expectations. The Avatar Symposium was some validation of that. If we haven’t done that for you, please tell us — we know there’s always room for improvement.


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In my last post I offered some thoughts that had been on my mind relative to the growth of Poudre Valley Health System over the past many years, and more specifically, the recent surge during the past few months. I have a few more:

Walking through Greeley Medical Clinic last Friday I was reminded of those in the Greeley community who have been told that PVHS will now require that GMC patients will be moved to Loveland for their care. I thought it was amusing to talk to the staff at GMC who know that such a requirement has never been discussed, let alone implemented.

Interestingly, many PVHS physicians have applied for privileges at NCMC to be better able to take care of Greeley patients in Greeley but, so far, the requests to work there have been denied. Ironically, the biggest barrier to Greeley patients being able to receive care in Greeley is a policy at NCMC that does not allow certain physicians to admit patients to their hospital.

I have often been asked what makes PVHS different, and I have to suggest it is the effort to put patients first no matter what. The result has been a healthcare system that is outpacing others in the industry. Some of the information to support that claim:

  1. Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Still the only healthcare organization within 650 miles to be recognized by the president of the United States. Honestly…just WOW.
  2. American Nurses Association Magnet designation. This is a designation for organizations that make a truly unique effort to allow nurses the opportunity to provide the highest quality nursing care. Poudre Valley Hospital was only the 11th hospital in the country to ever receive this designation, and only the 7th in the country to be designated three times. Medical Center of the Rockies will receive its first site visit later this year, and was selected to receive that visit literally the first day they were eligible. Again…wow.
  3. Thompson-Reuters Top 100 Health Systems. Announced just last month, this is a list of all the best health systems in the country. PVHS is the only Colorado-owned health system on the list.
  4. Colorado Performance Excellence. PVHS was the first organization in any industry to receive Colorado’s highest quality award, and still today is the only organization to be recognized with that distinction twice.

The list could go on and on but I think you get the picture. PVHS, with its amazing physicians, staff and volunteers has simply put together a remarkable organization that has distinguished itself throughout the country and the world. What an honor it is for me to be associated with so many talented and dedicated people. Further, how thrilled we are to be associated with an organization like GMC with people of such similar background and commitment.

The future looks very bright!


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