Thursday, September 17, 2009

We’re No. 11!

Remember the ads that one of rental car companies did a few years ago? “We’re Number Two!” I’m glad to say, “We’re Number 11!”

I am really excited about this year’s Consumer Reports feature on healthcare. This is the first time they have rated healthcare institutions and GRMC did very well.

Despite the challenging financial situation we’ve been working with the past few years, GRMC ranked 11th out of 117 hospitals in the entire state of Iowa for overall patient rating. We are also providing this excellent care at 30 percent below the national average for healthcare costs.

It’s a team effort and I am proud of everyone – medical staff, employees, volunteers, and our community supporters – who make GRMC the quality institution it is.

Hospitals were ranked using a variety of benchmarks on quality, patient satisfaction, as well as data from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice for the Approach to Chronic Care section and pulled information from the Dartmouth Atlas study, which also presents Iowa hospitals and GRMC in a very positive way.

GRMC excelled above all of our competition. GRMC scored 77 along with Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids and Waverly Health Center. The highest score in the state went to Mercy Iowa City with an 84.

If you are familiar with the Consumer Report’s easy to understand rating circles, you’ll be excited to see we have five full red circles (the best score), two half circles in red (second best) and one empty circle, which is neutral. No black circles, the lowest rating.

There's one other tweener hospital that ranked higher than we did. I'm proud to say that our friends at St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll, Iowa scored 82 and they are number five. There's a goal for us!

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent GRMC’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

All Hands on Deck for Flu

Nearly every department at GRMC is involved in discussion and planning for this year’s flu season. Even our summer daycamp program got involved this year! It’s a greater challenge this year because we are dealing with two different kinds of flu. There’s the seasonal flu, which is actually a collection of flu viruses, different strains every year, and the novel H1N1 virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hosted a nationwide contest asking participants to create a public service announcement about H1N1. An intern in our public relations department wrote and produced this spot with the rest of the PR team. The “actors” are GRMC kids. Their parents work here and these kids were involved with our summer day camp program.

Even though the message is presented in a fun and humorous way, there is a serious side to this. It’s important for you to get immunized against seasonal flu. Everyone needs to do that. But not everyone is going to need to be immunized for H1N1. Right now, it appears that infants, pregnant women, and children under age five are going to be at the greatest risk for complications from H1N1. And because this is the group that is at greatest risk, those who live with them and care for them regularly will also be a priority group for immunization.

There is a lot of information on our website that gives you the schedule for seasonal flu clinics, how to stay well, and prevent the spread of illness. Stay in touch with us through our website, sign up for Constant Contact email updates, follow us on Twitter, or call our 24-hour hotline for flu information, 641-236-2918.

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent GRMC’s positions, strategies, or opinions.