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HVCH celebrates achievements at 2nd Annual State of the Hospital Address

Hocking Valley Community Hospital celebrated its achievements over the past year during the 2nd Annual State of the Hospital Address held Thursday evening.

“This hospital has been recognized for its outstanding efforts on local, industry, state and national levels. These achievements help to validate the efforts of every employee, physician and volunteer. Great things are happening at Hocking Valley Community Hospital,” Julie Stuck, HVCH President and CEO, said.

On a local level, the hospital Foundation was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Logan-Holl Foundation to upgrade the pavement in the hospital courtyard.

“This area provides respite for patients, their families and employees and also is an area for educational and therapeutic opportunities such as the hospital butterfly exhibit and container garden demonstration,” Stuck said.

The newly-resurfaced courtyard was featured during the evening’s event and is now open to the public.

At the state level, HVCH received two environmental stewardship awards, the Ohio Hospital Association’s Melvin Creeley Award and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Achievement Award. Both awards were given in recognition of an energy conservation project that was completed at the hospital this year. Last year, HVCH received a $2.1 million Qualified Energy Conservation Bond for the installation of new energy efficiency and conservation systems from the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority.

Another state-level recognition that the hospital received is the Office of the Auditor Award. The Auditor of State’s office presents this award to public entities that meet specific criteria during their financial audit.

On the national level, HVCH was given two distinctions in the past year. iVantage Health Analytics and The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health have recognized Hocking Valley Community Hospital for overall excellence in quality and patient satisfaction.

“This award recognizes the top quartile performance among all rural acute care hospitals in the nation and serves to make evident that our hospital is ‘Leading the Way to a Healthier Community,’” Stuck said.

The hospital also was named one of Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work of 2017.

“This award honors those workplaces throughout the healthcare industry that empower employees to provide patients and customers with the best possible care, products and services,” Stuck said.

Best Companies Group, which manages the program, conducts thorough company assessment to determine the basis of the award including an employer questionnaire and employee satisfaction survey.

“Needless to say, this process is quite rigorous and getting named to the Best Places to Work is quite an achievement and honor. You might wonder why we place so much importance on employee satisfaction and employee engagement,” Stuck said. “Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals. This emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and their company. Studies show highly-engaged employees outperform their competition, are more productive, take fewer sick days, are less likely to leave the organization and have fewer accidents in the work place. So I’m sure you can understand why we are enthusiastic, honored and humbled to be named to the Modern Healthcare’s Best 150 Places to Work in Healthcare.”

As part of the celebration, employees made a music video to Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration,” which was viewed during the event and will be posted on the hospital website for the community to enjoy.

“The employees are the cornerstone of this hospital, as is also evident by their participation in this year’s employee capital campaign,” Stuck said. “With the increase of surgeons to our hospital roster, employees saw the need to open another surgical room to allow for more available surgical time for the surgeon as well as make available the opportunity for growth. Donations and pledges of more than $34,000 were given by employees alone to get a third OR up and running; that’s approximately $100 per employee. We are presently working to get that project completed.”

Ten percent of the employee capital campaign funds also were used to establish the HOPE (Helping Our Peers in Emergencies) Fund. This fund will be available to HVCH employees who need financial assistance due to unexpected situations or catastrophic event.

Stuck also highlighted the HVCH employees’ many contributions to the community through volunteering for Logan in Bloom, the Southeastern Ohio Regional Food Bank, Hocking Hills Elementary and many local wellness fairs and health checks.

“It’s not easy to work in healthcare. It’s really tough: mentally, physically and emotionally,” Stuck said. “However, when you find it necessary for healthcare services either personally or for a family member, I am so thankful that there are people willing to take on such a challenge. I would like to personally thank each and every employee, physician and volunteer for serving their patients and their community with extraordinary care.”

HVCH added three new physicians to its roster over the past year including Dr. Mark Franczek, hospitalist; Dr. Mark Holt, orthopedic surgeon; and Dr. Tarek Aziz, psychiatrist. A new urologist will be joining the hospital staff soon to replace Dr. William Batten, who recently retired.

“The hospital will be initially offering a one day per week urology clinic located in the new outpatient services area in the hospital. By providing an area within the hospital, patients needing labs, x-rays and other services can get these conveniently done at the same location. We will continue to look for other services that Hocking Valley can offer so that patients don’t have to travel outside our community for needed services,” Stuck said.

Another new addition to the HVCH campus is the HVCH and Osburn Associates, Inc. Walking Trail. The Hocking Hills Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the pet-friendly, mile-long trail during the State of the Hospital Address. Signage and directional paint for the trail were donated by Osburn Associates, and the City of Logan Street Department donated time to help paint the path through the HVCH campus.

“The HVCH Foundation also made a donation to purchase exercise equipment for the trail, which will be installed in the next couple of weeks,” Stuck said. “We certainly appreciate the contributions our Foundation and community partners have made to this project.”

Coming in 2018, the hospital will be converting to a new electronic health record platform called Epic. The project began March 9, 2017, and the “go live” date is slated for March 6, 2018. All hospital departments and all medical group staff will go live at the same day and time.

“This undertaking is massive,” Stuck said. “The basic cost is $3 million. It requires 50 new workstations, 20 label printers and 20 medication barcode readers to be deployed. There is an estimated 25 hours per month just in preparation and planning meetings for one year; this does not include the hours of homework assignments and order set reviews. There will be other specialists in the platform that require even more training.”

When the conversion is complete, it will extend the hospital network to the Medical Arts Building and the Larkman building so that the Hocking Valley Medical Group will have Epic access and will increase wireless access and coverage within the hospital. The conversion also will allow for redundancy and internet connectivity to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center should service be interrupted.

“This is a huge commitment and responsibility,” Stuck said. “The end result will integrate all modalities through out our hospital system, allow for encrypted transfer of patient files across organizations such as hospital to hospital, hospital to office etc. It also allows the patient to electronically access their personal medical information and test results.”

“As you can see, we have been working diligently over the past twelve months and we will continue striving to be a better healthcare organization for our community over the next year and years to come,” Stuck concluded. “The wealth of services we provide, the skilled expertise of our physicians and staff, the advanced technology that the hospital provides and the achievements of this hospital are ones each team member and every community member should be proud.”