Quality

New ‘Break’through: Research Provides New Insights Into Benefits of Osteoporosis Medications

Posted on Aug 19, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Quality, Research, Scroll Images

SAN FRANCISCO – Drug treatments for osteoporosis have been shown to prevent bone loss and fractures in people with the illness. But few large-scale studies have been conducted to confirm whether these treatments can extend someone’s life.

New research led by investigators at Sutter’s San Francisco Coordinating Center (SFCC) suggests that drug treatments for osteoporosis should only be recommended for the prevention of fracture and not to prolong life expectancy. The findings were published online today in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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20 Sutter Hospitals and Medical Foundations Named Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality

Posted on Aug 16, 2019 in Quality, Scroll Images

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Twenty hospitals and medical foundations within Sutter Health’s integrated, not-for-profit network earned recognition as an “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization. The designation was awarded in the 12th edition of HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), released today.

The HEI recognizes facilities that meet key criteria, including foundational elements of LGBTQ patient-centered care, LGBTQ patient services and support, employee benefits and policies, and LGBTQ patient and community engagement.

“Providing the highest quality care for every patient and creating a supportive work environment where our employees and clinicians can reach their full potential reflects our organization’s mission, vision and values,” says Jill Ragsdale, Sutter Health senior vice president and chief people and culture officer. “We are honored to receive this recognition of our ongoing commitment to meet the needs of our LGBTQ+ patients, employees and communities and to serve them with excellence and compassion.”

The 20 Sutter affiliates earning a spot on the 2019 HEI Index include:

The 20 Sutter Health network affiliates recognized join a select group of healthcare facilities nationwide named as Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality. A record 680 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2019 survey. In addition, the HRC Foundation proactively researched key policies at 1,000 non-participating hospitals.

“The healthcare facilities that participate in HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index are making clear that they stand on the side of fairness and are committed to providing inclusive care to their LGBTQ patients. Going beyond inclusive non-discrimination policies, these healthcare facilities are adopting best practices in the areas of LGBTQ patient care and support, employee policies and benefits, and LGBTQ patient and community engagement,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “We commend all of the HEI participants for their commitment to providing inclusive care for all.”

For more information about the HEI, or to download a free copy of the report, visit www.hrc.org/hei.

29-Year-Old CPMC Heart Transplant Patient Heads Home

Posted on Aug 15, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Cardiac, Quality, Scroll Images

L-R Dr. Michael Pham (Cardiologist), Mitch Peterson, and Dr. Brett Sheridan (Surgeon)

SAN FRANCISCO – At an event on Aug 14, 29-year-old Oakland resident, Mitch Peterson was recognized as CPMC’s 500th heart transplant recipient and celebrated for his speedy recovery. (News story here.) Staff and friends wished Mitch well as he prepared to head home after spending a month in the hospital. Mitch said that he is looking forward to stepping out the doors of the hospital, taking a deep breath and start enjoying the simple things that are often taken for granted. He is also looking forward to a walk around Oakland’s Lake Merritt, which is near his home, and enjoying the active lifestyle he was accustomed to before his illness.

Mitch had a relatively quick recovery after receiving a new heart at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) Van Ness Campus hospital just on Aug 2. Mitch’s heart failure had gone undiagnosed and symptoms came on quickly in early July resulting in him seeking care at Sutter Health. (Listen to comments from Mitch before surgery)

Mitch’s Journey

When 29 year old Oakland resident Mitch Peterson began experiencing shortness of breath and fatigue in early July, symptoms that he thought were the flu, he had no idea what was ahead. As his symptoms got worse, Mitch decided to get checked out at the emergency department at Sutter’s Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley. It was at Eden that he learned his condition was much more serious than the flu.

The emergency department doctor at Eden told Mitch that he had heart complications and that he needed to be transferred to Sutter’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center where an elevated level of cardiac expertise was available to assess the extent of his condition. After spending time at Alta Bates Summit’s Oakland campus, where cardiologists applied medical therapies to stabilize his condition, it was clear that Mitch was suffering heart failure, probably due to damage suffered while undergoing chemotherapy in Wyoming for bone cancer years earlier when he was 13. (It was in Wyoming that he also had a cadaver bone transplant—his first transplant).

The doctors at Alta Bates Summit consulted with cardiologists at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC). Together, they determined that unfortunately, therapies such as medication would not address the heart failure Mitch was experiencing. The specialists told Mitch that his condition was life-threatening and required advanced treatment, possibly even a heart transplant. Mitch soon found himself at CPMC, on the heart donation waiting list and facing heart transplant surgery.

On the afternoon of Friday, August 2, the call came. A heart had become available. Late that evening, Mitch received a heart transplant at CPMC. During the operation, surgeons successfully connected the new donated heart, allowing Mitch to begin recovery and return to the active lifestyle that he once enjoyed.

Mitch has recovered remarkably quickly and will be going home from the hospital on Wednesday, August 14. It was only two days after surgery that he was out of bed on his own and moving around his room, a feat that he was unable to accomplish the week before surgery.

The integrated system of care at Sutter Health allowed for seamless escalation of Mitch’s care to address his congestive heart failure. This seamless coordination of medical and support services from one caregiver to another reduces complications in care, guarantees the continuum of quality and reduces the overall total cost of care. In Mitch’s case, the integrated care offered at Sutter Health was also life-saving.

Specially-Designed Hospital Unit Helps Prevent Mental and Physical Decline in Elderly Patients

Posted on Aug 6, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Quality, Scroll Images

SAN FRANCISCO – Hospitalized elderly people are at risk of developing complications like delirium—which carries the same risk of mortality as a heart attack.

Now a specially-designed Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) unit, combined with a volunteer-powered Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) at Sutter’s CPMC Mission Bernal Campus hospital, is focused on decreasing incidents of delirium and other complications. ACE unit staff and volunteers are also working to improve these patients’ coordination and mobility, decrease length of hospital stays and reduce readmissions. In addition to better health outcomes, this innovative care helps control costs and fosters affordable, dependable healthcare.

The team behind the Geriatric Accreditation. Sara G Cohen, MS, RN, AGCNS-BC; Wendy Zachary, M.D., Geriatrician; Ritik Chandra, M.D., Emergency Medicine

The hospital, which part of the Sutter’s integrated network of care, recently earned a Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA) from the American College of Emergency Physicians. GEDA was developed by leaders in emergency medicine to ensure that our older patients receive well-coordinated, quality care at the appropriate level at every emergency department encounter. Mission Bernal Campus hospital is the first San Francisco hospital to earn the voluntary designation in 2019 –and it is one of only three Northern California hospitals to do so.

“This accreditation strengthens our goal of providing advanced care for older members of our community who are particularly medically vulnerable,” said Wendy Zachary M.D., a geriatrician and the medical director of the Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) unit—an inpatient unit at Mission Bernal Campus hospital designed exclusively for people over 70. “Older patients often arrive at the emergency department presenting with multiple chronic conditions and symptoms.”

The decision to voluntarily pursue the emergency department accreditation demonstrates the hospital’s commitment to provide the best quality of emergency care to San Francisco’s older patients—a population that is expected to include 30 percent of residents in San Francisco by 2030 according to San Francisco’s Department of Aging and Adult Services.

Dr. Wendy Zachary with 100 year old ACE patient Dorothy Bobbet

“The Emergency Department is one of the most important access points for older patients seeking medical care,” said Dr. Ritik Chandra, medical director of the CPMC Mission Bernal Emergency Department. “At Sutter CPMC we work to ensure that healthcare is readily available to everyone and we tailor our services to best meet the needs of our diverse community, including the special needs of older patients.”

Mission Bernal Campus hospital’s emergency department features specially-designed exam rooms for older patients, including calming colors, non-slip floors, and measures to reduce falls. Up to 90 percent of the patients in the hospital’s ACE Unit are admitted directly from the hospital’s emergency department. Approximately thirty to thirty-four patients per day are cared for in the ACE unit. ACE unit physicians and staff members undergo training that is specific to the needs of older patients.

The ACE unit is a dedicated floor in the hospital, with 34 private rooms and a physical therapy/rehabilitation room. In addition, there is a large activity room where patients can share meal times and engage in music therapy, guided imagery, and other activities that encourage older patients to continue to socialize and move around during their hospital stay.

With the combination of the geriatric accreditation for the emergency department and the ACE unit, CPMC’s Mission Bernal Campus hospital is focused on providing specialized care to address the needs of San Francisco’s older residents.

Sutter Hospitals Honored By U.S. News & World Report

Posted on Jul 30, 2019 in Quality, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Five hospital campuses within Sutter’s not-for-profit network achieved recognition today as among the best hospitals in California for 2019-2020 from U.S. News & World Report. The annual rankings rate top hospitals in the state and in major metropolitan regions, according to their performance across 25 adult specialties, procedures and conditions.

Sutter hospital campuses ranked among the top 50 in the state include:

California Pacific Medical Center was also among the top 50 hospital in the U.S. in the Gastroenterology & GI Surgery specialty ranking. Only 165 out of 4,500 U.S. hospitals evaluated received a national ranking in a least one of the 16 specialty areas.

And Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento was one of 57 hospitals across the nation (out of 4,500 surveyed) to earn high ratings for their handling of nine specific surgical procedures and chronic conditions.

Four Sutter hospitals are among the top 10 hospitals in the San Francisco metro area, including Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (Summit and Alta Bates Campuses), California Pacific Medical Center (Pacific Campus) and Mills-Peninsula Medical Center. Additionally, two Sutter hospitals are among the top 10 hospitals in the Sacramento metro area, including Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento and Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

Eight additional Sutter hospital campuses earned recognition today as “high performers” in at least one adult specialty, condition or procedure, including:

“Recognitions like these honor our network’s doctors, nurses, clinicians and employees who dedicate themselves daily to delivering high-quality, compassionate care across Northern California,” said Bill Isenberg, M.D., vice president of Patient Safety for Sutter Health. “This work validates our ongoing commitment to improving quality and safety for our patients.”

Sutter Health’s not-for-profit network set out to build a truly integrated system—one that offers comprehensive patient services and quality health programs tailored to the diverse communities we serve. Today, Sutter Health cares for more than 3 million patients throughout its Northern California network of physicians, hospitals, home health providers and other services. Its coordination and focus on standardizing best practices reduce complications in care, lower hospital readmission rates and bring down the total cost of care.

“For 30 years, U.S. News has strived to make hospital quality more transparent to healthcare consumers nationwide,” said Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at U.S. News. “By providing the most comprehensive data available on nearly every hospital across the United States, we give patients, families and physicians information to support their search for the best care across a range of procedures, conditions and specialties.”

The U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals survey ranked hospitals according to risk-adjusted survival and readmission rates, volume, patient experience, patient safety, quality of nursing care, physician surveys and other care-related indicators.

For more information and complete rankings, visit U.S. News & World Report.

A PAL for Preemies: Musical Pacifier Helps Babies Learn to Eat

Posted on Jul 24, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, NICU, Pediatric Care, Quality, Scroll Images

SAN FRANCISCO — Born a month and a half early at just 34 weeks, tiny baby Olive O’Neill was so premature that she was unable to feed orally. But by sucking on a pacifier that plays a lullaby sung by her parents, baby Olive quickly learned how to feed and has successfully gone home to her family.

Baby Olive using the PAL

The innovative device is called a PAL, short for Pacifier-Activated Lullaby. The PAL works by motivating babies to suck on a specially designed pacifier to help strengthen their sucking reflex.

At birth, premature infants often lack a developed sucking reflex. The inability to feed on their own is a common reason they remain hospitalized after birth. To help these newborns develop the sucking reflex more quickly so they can go home sooner, California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) Van Ness Campus hospital in San Francisco, part of Sutter Health’s integrated not-for-profit network of care, is now using the PAL in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Research backs the PAL

According to music therapist Elisha Madsen, MME, MT-BC, who works with parents in CPMC’s NICU to train their infants with the special pacifier, studies show that premature infants who receive PAL therapy develop an increased ability to eat on their own more quickly, gain weight and have a reduced length of NICU hospitalization.

Studies have determined that average NICU hospital stays were 20 percent shorter (nine days on average) for babies who received PAL treatment versus babies who did not. Studies also have shown that babies increased their sucking rates up to 2.5 times more than infants who did not receive PAL. Increased sucking translates to improved oral feeding skills, which can directly affect a baby’s ability to go home from the NICU sooner.

How PAL works

The PAL is attached to a sensor that measures the strength of the baby’s sucking. When the PAL detects that the baby has sucked on the pacifier to a predetermined strength, the baby earns a reward – a lullaby recorded by the baby’s mom or dad. Music therapist Madsen explains that hearing their parent singing a lullaby motivates babies to continue sucking on the pacifier, which in turn improves the sucking reflex.

Charles and Alissa O’Neill, who recorded the traditional lullaby “London Bridge is Falling Down” for their daughter Olive, credit the PAL with helping her develop the ability to feed.

“Having the PAL is great because you could see instantly that she had a really good response to both her mom’s voice and my voice – which helped her develop her sucking,” says Olive’s dad, Charles.

“The last couple of weeks of our stay at CPMC were focused around feeding and helping Olive [learn to] feed on her own,” adds mom Alissa. “After we used the PAL, we also sang to Olive to help encourage her to feed.”

Madsen says that, within a couple of minutes, most babies learn they will have to suck on the pacifier to receive their music reward. “Parents light up when they see their baby is responding to their singing voices and is learning the skills needed to eat and go home,” Madsen says. “It is just precious to see this reaction.”

CPMC’s Level III NICU: Life-saving Technologies and Compassionate Support

CPMC’s Van Ness Campus hospital NICU is a designated level III NICU capable of caring for very small or very sick newborn babies that may need continuous life support and comprehensive care. Level III NICUs also offer a full range of pediatric medical subspecialists capable of providing critical medical and surgical care and to address problems that premature and critically ill newborns may have.

Studies have shown better outcomes for very low birth weight infants and premature infants who are born at level III centers, leading to recommendations that women at risk be transported to these centers to give birth. Through Sutter Health’s integrated network of care, women with high-risk pregnancies, and babies born prematurely or with complications, can be transported to a higher level of NICU with seamless coordination of medical care and support. This seamless care can reduce complication, reduce hospital readmissions and reduce the overall cost of care.