Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Washington Post is on the line, Todd...

It's not every day that a reporter from The Washington Post gives me a call.

A good friend of mine, Sita Ananth, director of knowledge services at the Samueli Institute, was first called by Post reporter, Michelle Andrews. The focus of the article is about how hospitals are using integrated therapies, such as massage and acupuncture. A topic we are very familiar with at GRMC.

In fact, this is not the first time GRMC has had national media coverage for our integrated medicine program. Nearly three years ago, a USA Today reporter came to Grinnell and did a story (read it here) on the positive effects of integrated therapies and featured Anne Stephens, MSOM, LAc and the Acupuncture Clinic of Grinnell. Anne's clinic is located at GRMC's Postels Community Health Park.

This week's Post article * also talks about why hospitals are moving toward more of these therapies. At GRMC we use integrated health to help improve patient outcomes. For example, a preoperative chair massage helps patients reduce anxiety and their IV's start easier and they use less pain medicine after surgery. To me, it is also about helping people stay well in the first place so that if people do require medical care, maybe they won't need the degree of care they might otherwise need if they weren't as healthy to begin with.

I know. That seems contrary to the message you'd expect to hear from the CEO of a hospital, especially when we are all trying to find new ways to generate revenue. However, community hospitals that aren't in the wellness and health improvement business will soon wish they were as we shift from the current fee-for-service reimbursement system to one of being at risk for the health of a population.

We have been engaged in integrated health for more than a decade at GRMC. In this search for finding the best ways to improve health, we are not alone. Some of the most prestigious healthcare institutions in the country also have robust integrative therapy programs like the Mayo Clinic, Kaiser, and the Cleveland Clinic...all world-renowned, highly respected healthcare institutions.

I am glad that the Samueli Institute, who does a comprehensive nationwide survey of complementary and alternative medicine, along with the American Hospital Association/Health Forum, encouraged The Washington Post to "call Grinnell Regional Medical Center about this topic." It is fun to share with America and beyond what our team is doing so well here in Grinnell.

Across the board, to matter the specialty, I am proud of ever single provider, employee, volunteer, and supporter who make GRMC the extraordinary community hospital it is.

* please note, to access The Washington Post article you may have to register. There is no fee to do so.

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