Two Sutter Health Medical Centers Named as ‘100 Top Hospitals’ in Nation

Posted on Mar 2, 2015 in Quality, Scroll Images

Truven 100 Top Hospitals_2015Truven Health AnalyticsTM today named Sutter Health hospitals—Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento (SMCS) and Sutter Tracy Community Hospital (STCH)—as two of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals.

 The Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals® study identifies hospitals and leadership teams that provide the highest level of value to their communities, based on a national balanced scorecard. Truven, a leading provider of data-driven analytics and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare, has conducted this study annually since 1993.

“Our hospitals and doctor groups consistently rank among California’s highest performers,” said Stephen Lockhart, M.D., Ph.D., Sutter Health Chief Medical Officer. “Our entire not-for-profit network congratulates these Sutter hospitals for earning these prestigious recognitions.”

This is the fifth time SMCS received this honor, and the first time STCH won the award.

SMCS also earned the Top 100 Hospitals Everest® Award—one of only 17 hospitals in the nation and the only hospital in California to simultaneously set the national benchmark for both “balanced excellence in a single year” and “greatest improvement over five consecutive years.” Read More

What’s ‘App’ Doc? Sutter Health Launches New Mobile App

Posted on Feb 12, 2015 in Expanding Access

Screen Shot Sutter Health AppTechnology designed to enhance convenience, access and connections

Sutter Health debuts a new, free mobile app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch designed to provide patients more convenient, anytime access to its network of care and services – giving them health care on the go.

“At Sutter Health, we share a promise to create a more personalized, high-value health care experience for our patients and their families through partnership,” said Sutter Health president and CEO Pat Fry. “Technology like the Sutter Health app improves this partnership by bringing us closer together—when and where consumers want to access our services and physicians.” Read More

Sutter Experts Say Flu Shot Still Best Way to Prevent Influenza

Posted on Feb 9, 2015 in Wellness

Patient receiving flu shot. With flu season well underway, physicians in the Sutter Health not-for-profit network say it’s not too late to vaccinate.

While a recent study found that this year’s flu shot doesn’t work as well as expected against this season’s most prevalent influenza virus, experts say the vaccine can still protect against other flu viruses, and reduce hospitalizations and deaths.

Each year 5 to 20 percent of Americans get the flu and more than 200,000 end up in the hospital due to flu-related complications. Flu activity usually peaks between December and February but can continue to occur as late as May, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Experts highly recommend flu shots for people 65 years and older and younger children.

The following precautions also help prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory infections:

  • While sick, stay home and limit contact with others
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based rub
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

Need a flu shot?

For the latest information on the flu, see the California Department of Public Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.

Sutter Health Employees Celebrate National Wear Red Day

Posted on Feb 9, 2015 in Wellness

Sutter Health employees celebrate Go Red day.Earlier this month employees from across the Sutter Health not-for-profit network came to work dressed in red for National Wear Red Day®–a nationwide movement aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of heart disease and stroke in women.

Each year, 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke. But, 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Sutter Health cardiologist, Diane Sobcowicz, M.D., says knowing the following heart health indicator numbers could help save your life.

Cholesterol

Healthy cholesterol guidelines call for:

  • Total cholesterol (LDL plus HDL) below 200 mg/dl
  • LDL at 100 mg/dl and below
  • HDL at 50 mg/dl and above
  • Triglycerides below 150 mg/dl

Blood Pressure

The guidelines for ideal blood pressure:

  • 120/80 or less: Normal blood pressure reading.
  • 120-139/80-89: Pre-hypertension. This measure is a warning sign of potential problems, and a doctor will recommend you begin lifestyle changes to reduce your pressure. (See 7 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure.)
  • 140/ 90 and above: Hypertension, or high blood pressure. These numbers indicate you should find a way to reduce your blood pressure, which may involve lifestyle changes and/or medications.
  • 180/100 or above: Readings this high can be dangerous and should be addressed immediately by a physician.

Read More

President and CEO Chairs AHA’s Constituency Section for Health Care Systems Governing Council

Posted on Feb 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

Pat Fry, Sutter Health President and CEOPatrick E. Fry, president and CEO of Sutter Health, is the 2015 chairman of the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) constituency section for Health Care Systems Governing Council. The council actively advises AHA during decision-making phases on advocacy positions, public policy issues and member service strategies. Fry’s term is for one year.

With a career spanning more than three decades with Sutter Health and its not-for-profit network of hospitals and physician organizations, Fry assumed the position of Sutter’s president and CEO in June 2005. He joined the organization in 1982 Read More

AIM Program Story Highlights Quality, Patient Satisfaction

Posted on Jan 30, 2015 in Quality, Scroll Images

Quality improvement has always been a particular focus for Sutter Health – benefiting all of our patients. Our not-for-profit health system has pioneered various programs committed to enhancing safety and quality. Sutter Health’s Advanced Illness Management (AIM) program provides nurse-led care management, palliative care and advance care planning for patients with late-stage chronic illness.

Healthcare Financial Management featured a story about AIM and how the program helps patients manage their care and improve their quality of life.

Sutter Health Reaches Contract Agreement with Blue Shield

Posted on Jan 30, 2015 in Scroll Images, Uncategorized

The not-for-profit Sutter Health network announced today that it reached agreement on a new two-year contract with Blue Shield of California, preserving patient access to the doctors and care centers that Blue Shield sold to patients during fall open enrollment. The contract applies to all Blue Shield products in which Sutter Health providers historically participated, including HMO, PPO and those offered through Covered California. There will be no lapse in coverage for Sutter Health patients.

“We sincerely regret the frustration our patients experienced as the negotiations took longer than necessary—especially when the final agreement is extremely close to the reasonable offer we made to Blue Shield several months ago,” said Sutter Health Chief Medical Officer Steve Lockhart, M.D., Ph.D.

“We take seriously our role in helping control rising health care costs, and the contract we reached with Blue Shield reflects our significant progress.”

Through its work to make high-quality services more affordable to patients, Sutter Health has reduced costs more than $300 million in the past few years.

“We’re very pleased to reach a fair and reasonable agreement that preserves patient access to our award-winning doctors and hospitals that Blue Shield promised its members during fall open enrollment—and also safeguards our ability to continue meeting patient and community commitments,” Lockhart said.

As a not-for-profit organization, Sutter Health does not have shareholders. Any revenue earned goes right back into patient care and community health care services. Its hospitals care for more Medi-Cal patients in Northern California than any other health care system. To provide care to Medi-Cal patients in 2013, Sutter Health invested $522 million more than the state paid.

The contract agreement continues to call for arbitration of all disputes, leaving language unchanged that has been in place between Sutter Health and Blue Shield for many years. Arbitration is standard practice in the health care and insurance industries and considerably less costly to consumers who ultimately bear the expense of disputes taken to court.

Blue Shield patients who need more information can visit www.sutterhealth.org/blueshield or call Sutter Health’s toll-free patient support line at 1-866-961-8529.