GROUND BREAKING CEREMONY FOR $8.5 MILLION MEDICAL OFFICE BUILDING, IMPLEMENTATION OF ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS AMONG ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF WINDHAM HOSPITAL IN 2011
Interim President and CEO Steve Larcen reviews hospital’s FY11 major accomplishments at Annual Business Meeting.
During its annual meeting of corporators held Wednesday, January 18 at Windham Hospital, Interim President and CEO Steve Larcen, Board Chair Dennis Hannon, President and CEO of Hartford HealthCare Elliot Joseph, and members of the hospital’s executive team, discussed the hospital’s multiple achievements in FY11 and the hospital’s current financial status.
“When I accepted this interim assignment in August, I knew Windham already had an outstanding reputation in the 19-town region we serve,” said Steve Larcen, Windham Interim President and CEO. He continued, “Even so, I have been so impressed by the whirlwind of accomplishments and accolades that this institution and its staff have accumulated, particularly during the second half of our fiscal year.” He concluded, “Those FY11 milestones have really set the tone for Windham’s aggressive growth and financial strategy for 2012.” Larcen cited the flurry of building activity that has ensued since the groundbreaking ceremony for the new 33,000-square foot Medical Office Building, as well as the record-high Press Ganey scores and the implementation of the hospital’s new electronic medical record as examples of FY11 accomplishments that will spur the financial and growth strategies for the remainder of the new year.
Hannon said, “The economy has challenged all of us throughout Connecticut and certainly, Windham was not unfazed by the domino effect of consumers tightening their belts. Despite this and other factors,” said Hannon, “Windham really has distinguished itself by simultaneously engaging in several strategies that in the long term will ensure that Windham is around for decades to come to serve the wonderful people of this community.”
Elliot Joseph elaborated on the Hartford HealthCare vision: Nationally respected for excellence in patient care and most trusted for personalized, coordinated care. Joseph reviewed the strengths of the Hartford HealthCare system which has some 15,000 employees engaged actively in implementing this vision. He said, “Hartford HealthCare is creating something new whereby clinical care is integrated and coordinated for each consumer. That alignment with our outstanding physician partners will ensure excellence in patient care.”
Throughout the meeting, executives noted major accomplishments of the hospital in FY11 including:
- Windham received an $8.5 million grant for its Medical Office Building to extend patient access to primary and specialty care. The hospital broke ground on this facility in October.
- Implementation of Allscripts Sunrise Acute Care™, an advanced, secure online system that seamlessly integrates inpatient and ambulatory care services through a single electronic medical record (EMR).
- Eight new physicians joined Windham in FY11 including Ioana Cristiana Stanescu, MD, the hospital’s first full-time, community-based rheumatologist; and Robert O’Connor, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon with sports medicine expertise.
- Improved Emergency Department wait times to under 30 minutes 85 percent of the time.
- Improved consumer satisfaction in Emergency Department to 99 percent.
- Implemented iPhone app/texting/online applications for Emergency Department wait time.
- Engaged Windham staff in How Hartford HealthCare Works (H3W), a performance improvement program which has increased patient satisfaction ratings by over 15 percent, bringing Windham to the top third of its Connecticut peer hospitals.
- Windham Hospital received a three-year American College of Radiology (ACR) accreditation for adult and pediatric PET/CT, along with accreditation for Nuclear Medicine.
- The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) recognized Windham Hospital as a Quality Respiratory Care institution—one of approximately 700 hospitals nationwide to be cited by the AARC.
- Windham Hospital was honored by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for excellence in diabetes education. In 1992, Windham was the first community hospital in the nation to receive this honor, and the ADA has annually recognized Windham for its achievements in diabetes education since 1992.
The financial health of the hospital was also presented to the Corporators during Wednesday’s meeting. Jim Papadakos, Windham’s Chief Financial Officer stated that the hospital ended the fiscal year with a loss from operations totaling $3.7 million. “The hospital has developed an action plan which, in the long term, we believe will yield positive results. “However,” he continued, “in the short term, we haven’t yet realized a favorable financial position.” Papadakos attributed the loss to several factors including:
1.) Windham’s small medical staff and its need to add new areas of clinical expertise and recruit physicians to replace retiring/transient doctors;
2.) The disappointing number of inpatient discharges and outpatient surgeries;
3.) Low state reimbursement rates; and
4.) A marked upswing in bad debt and charity care related to the economy. For example, he noted that, “Windham had 588 fewer discharges than budgeted, we were five percent under budget for outpatient surgeries and our charity care increased 20 percent from $2.5 million to $3 million.”
Executives of the hospital also discussed Windham’s focus in both the previous and current fiscal years on community benefit activities and 2012 key initiatives. “Our insistence on providing much needed services to adults and children through community benefit programs and services has increased dramatically in the last five years,” said Larcen. “For example, in 2011, over 16,000 people in the region benefited from services directly provided in response to identified community needs including nutrition and exercise initiatives, child birthing classes, breast and cervical cancer education, cardiac rehab programming, diabetes education and CPR/First Aid training at local schools.”
He said the hospital has many compelling projects on deck for the coming months. “We recently partnered with several healthcare institutions including Day Kimball Hospital, Natchaug Hospital and the Northeast District Department of Health to complete an intensive Community Health Needs Assessment that will inform program planning efforts for the Windham region based on the area’s most pressing healthcare needs.” Larcen also remarked upon the addition in 2012 of approximately 20 staff in clinical and care management areas to improve and accentuate services at Windham, as well as the implementation of a cancer navigation program and the recruitment of several more physicians (including two cardiologists and a neurologist). “It’s an exciting time for Windham,” Larcen concluded. “There’s no doubt that the hard work done in 2011 coupled with the launch in 2012 of so many compelling initiatives, is going to elevate our community hospital to an even higher level of expertise and care.”
Windham Hospital is a 130-bed acute care hospital serving thousands of people in northeastern Connecticut. For nearly 80 years, Windham Hospital has been renowned for its outstanding physicians and extraordinary nursing care and today offers a unique combination of talent and technology in patient care as a member of Hartford HealthCare, Connecticut’s premier healthcare system.