Monday, June 21, 2010

Line Up the Inspectors

Inspections are a way of life for hospital administrators. Truly, administrators see a line of inspectors coming through our institutions on a continual basis. From food inspectors to elevator inspectors, and fire marshal’s to lab inspectors, you name it and we probably have an inspector waiting their turn for a chance to take a thorough look into our policies, procedures, and practices.

At GRMC, the “queen” of inspections is Suzanne. Of course, she gets plenty of help throughout our hospital, but you can be sure she is in charge when it comes to inspections. I am so grateful for her care and dedication to this responsibility because she is the best. I never worry about GRMC not being prepared for any and all inspections. She is knowledgeable, diligent, and thorough.

Case in point, last week I sat in on the exit conference from the state “nuclear” inspector. No, we don’t get our power from a little nuclear reactor in our boiler plant, but rather we have a license for our nuclear medicine program and we are inspected every four years. Nuclear medicine involves the use of very small amounts of nuclear tracers or isotopes, injected into the patient and then visualized using a special gamma camera. The inspector had truly glowing things to say about our program. Now in this case, the imaging director Gina and the nuclear medicine technologist Jake take a lead role with Suzanne’s support in managing our program.

Nuclear medicine technologist Jake Crawford carefully monitors a patient.

This is Jake’s passion. The inspector said with a smile several times, there are “no violations” and added with emphasis how proud we should be of Jake and his attention to every detail with this program. Well, Jake is indeed just another example of the hundreds of GRMC team members who take their jobs seriously and excel for the benefit of our patients. I am proud of Jake, Gina, and Suzanne for a job very well done. Although I don’t know which inspector will come through our doors next, I am confident we are ready to show off the talents and skills of our team. Because when it comes to being prepared every day for meeting the needs of the people who depend on us, we care deeply; and it shows when the many inspectors do their job of making sure we’re doing it by the book!

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

On Electrical Wires and Being Wired

Stop and consider for a moment the diversity of jobs we have in a hospital. Every single job is needed to provide excellent healthcare and a quality experience for each patient.
At GRMC we have about 420 team members and more than 160 different job descriptions…and I am not exaggerating! It takes a lot of people doing a lot of different things to make a hospital operate.

I go on a “workround” with employees as frequently as I can. This entails job shadowing a different employee or whole department of employees learning how they do their work.
Recently, I spent some time with Chris, an electrician in our facilities management department. Together, we rewired the electrical service box in one of the houses we own and use as a short-term rooming house for on call staff, students and/or new associates working to find a new home or apartment. We added the ability to use a generator in the case of a power outage because we use this house during winter storms for staff members stranded or sleeping between shifts.

Chris taught me a couple of useful tips, including turning the wire stripper to a 45 degree angle for an easier wire strip!

Then I was off to the information systems department where our computer geeks hang out. I spent a few hours following around four of the five team members in the nerve center of the hospital. They manage our cell phones, pagers, land-line phone switch, and of course, our computer system that includes hundreds of personal computers. I helped run reports, loaded more RAM into several computers, and replaced some backup tapes. I also got a quick lesson in our new “virtual” servers. I have some sense of computers and IS technology. 2 b sure, I cn txt w my kids & understand most of it. But don’t ask me how a virtual server works other than it’s faster and less expensive! Heidi, Mark, Ruth, and Linda, all gave me an overview of what’s new. I didn’t get to a chance to hang with Matt that day so I will need to pop back in and see what he’s up to. We are immersed in “meaningful use” and preparing for implementing an electronic health record in the next 12-24 months. It’s going to be a very busy time!

Hospitals are indeed made up of a diverse group of people doing all kinds of things all in the name of creating a healing environment for the people who depend on us. I am blessed to work with so many talented and dedicated people.

Ever Tried Yoga?

Yoga became another new exercise experience for me recently. First, I tried Zumba. So, the only logical next thing to try was yoga.

Although the two words start with letters next to each other in the alphabet, they couldn’t be further apart on the exercise scale. Zumba pairs up great Latin music with jazzed up dance moves for a great cardio workout. Yoga on the other hand, I found to be contemplative, almost spiritual. In my case, I tried a “Gentle Yoga” class. For me, it turned out to be the best way to first experience yoga.

Since flexibility is not one of my strengths to be sure, I found “Gentle Yoga” did not include any difficult balance and stretching moves that I couldn’t handle. However, I don’t want to suggest my one-hour yoga session did not make for an excellent workout. Working the core and using one’s muscles to maintain balance certainly created plenty of burn. It also seemed more meditative. I left feeling refreshed.

We currently have three yoga instructors: two Jennifers and a Jackie. Borrowing a technique from Dr. Seuss, I will refer to the Jennifers as Jenn One and Jen Two. Jenn One taught my first class. I am glad I was able to take a class from Jenn One because she is leaving us after almost a half-dozen years of wonderful care and devotion in building our yoga program. You can tell yoga is her passion. We truly are blessed with so many awesome fitness instructors at the Fly High Fitness Studio. It was clear from the many comments from her faithful students that Jenn One will be missed. Of course, we wish her all the best with her move.

Jen Two (exercising right next to me) will jump in and add Jenn One’s classes to her schedule. I am looking forward to taking a class from Jen Two. Probably a couple more “Gentle Yoga” classes for me before I try one of the more advanced classes.

If you have not tried a yoga class, I highly recommend it for both your mind and body. There’s one other great thing about yoga I want to share with you. I had no trouble putting my gym pants on the right way. I neglected to mention in my Zumba blog how embarrassed I was when I came out of the changing room with my Zumba pants on backwards!