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Innovations in Digital Healthcare…and Beyond

Posted on Sep 4, 2019 in Scroll Images, Uncategorized

It’s not just millennials who want digital-first healthcare. Surprisingly, most age groups are moving toward digital health – including baby boomers and beyond.

A national survey by the Pew Research Center found that 71 percent of individuals ages 50-64 seek healthcare information online. A different study by Accenture Research found that more than half of seniors say it is somewhat important or very important to be able to email with providers.

Reflecting these trends, Sutter Health is investing in innovative technologies and approaches to respond to patient needs, propelling advancements in virtual symptom checkers, video visits, provider-patient text messaging, smart tablets for parents to monitor their babies in the NICU and mobile health services.

One of Sutter’s most recent advancements, Tera Practice, weaves together the benefits of an integrated health network system with innovative technologies to better provide big-picture health results for patients.

The virtual-first model offers a dedicated overall care team including a primary care provider, a nurse and a health coach, with use of video, phone, email messages and in-person visits when needed. The idea behind it? Providing healthcare that encompasses total patient care and fits into a patient’s life, not the other way around.

“I believe that one of the most important aspects of excellent clinical care is listening to the patient,” said Yumi DiAngi Taylor, M.D., founder of Tera Practice. “Our Tera clinic creates an environment to do that. We see health as a journey and we offer support along the way.”

Breakthroughs are occurring across Sutter’s integrated network of physicians, hospitals and clinics, which coordinate care through innovative programs, research and technologies.

  • Sutter was one of the first in California to pilot a Mobile Stroke Unit, which administers care more quickly, often the difference between life and death for stroke victims.
  • Sutter invested $54 million in research last year to address a wide range of critical health concerns including stroke, breast cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and dementia, cardiovascular diseases, liver and kidney transplants.
  • Sutter’s specially designed Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) hospital unit is helping prevent mental and physical decline in elderly patients, decreasing complications and hospital stays and improving mobility.

Integrated networks use the power of innovation and advancements systemwide. Patients benefit from breakthrough technologies, research and programs that are shared across the network.

“Sutter Health aims to revolutionize healthcare by making it simpler, engaging and more human,” said Chris Waugh, chief innovation officer at Sutter Health. “We care about people deeply, and we are here to help them heal. We are always listening, observing and are perpetually curious about people. That empathy fuels our not-for-profit work.”

Integrated health networks, through collaboration and research efforts, are uncovering best practices that prioritize patient experience and outcomes, while driving quality and cost savings. Health systems invested in innovation can continue to uncover better health outcomes for patients today and work toward cures for future generations.

Girl Scout Fieldtrip Inspires Life Devoted to Caring for Seniors

Posted on Aug 30, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Quality, Scroll Images, Transformation, Uncategorized

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

SAN FRANCISCO –Years ago, a Girl Scout Brownie troop visited patients in a nursing home in South Carolina. One of those little girls was especially impressed by the setting and enjoyed trying to engage with the patients, many whom likely suffered from dementia. Fast-forward to the present. The little girl who spent an afternoon visiting nursing home patients has dedicated her career to ensuring the special needs of older patients are carefully considered.

Wendy Zachary, M.D., is now a geriatrician and medical director of the Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) unit at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center, Mission Bernal Campus hospital in San Francisco. The need for specialized care for older patients is urgent and growing larger, according to Dr. Zachary. “One of our greatest needs in medicine today is having enough physicians and nurses to care for our aging population,” she says.

Figures from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services illustrate the size of the problem. In 2016, 49.2 million Americans (1 in 7) were 65 years and older. By 2020, there will be 56.4 million Americans over 65, with the fastest growing population being those aged 85 years and older.

Specialized Care for Older Patients Begins in the ER

The ACE unit at Mission Bernal, one of only six such units in California, was designed with the specific needs of older patients in mind. However, special care to address older patients’ needs actually begins at the point where the majority of ACE unit patients enter CPMC’s Mission Bernal Campus hospital—the emergency department.

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

Mission Bernal’s emergency department is the first in San Francisco to be geriatric accredited by the American College of Emergency Physicians. This accreditation is awarded to emergency departments that are set up to specifically care for older patients who may have cognitive deficits. Mission Bernal’s emergency department staff are trained to ensure that older patients are directed to the appropriate setting for their specific needs, whether they would benefit most from services provided in an outpatient setting or whether they would be best cared-for in the ACE unit.

Programs Enhance Patient Experience, Reduce Cost of Care

“You wouldn’t want your 8-year-old child to stay on a general medicine floor, you would want them to stay on a pediatrics floor,” said Dr. Zachary. “The same idea applies to older patients who have more chronic medical conditions, sensory deficits, cognitive impairment and may have need for special considerations in regards to medications. This individually-tailored care is what our physicians, staff and Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) volunteers provide to our ACE unit patients.”

At CPMC’s Mission Bernal hospital, ACE unit patients receive tailored support through the HELP program, a comprehensive patient-centered program aimed at decreasing delirium in older hospitalized adults, thereby preserving mental and physical function. Decreasing delirium is important because it carries the same risk of mortality as a heart attack. Mission Bernal’s ACE unit is the only one in California to fully address all six key risk factors for delirium:  hearing impairment, visual impairment, cognitive impairment, functional impairment, having difficulty sleeping and kidney failure due to dehydration.

The cornerstone of the HELP program is deprescribing, which is the planned and supervised process of dose reduction or stopping of medication that might be causing harm, or no longer be of benefit. This starts with normalizing sleep/wake cycles to reduce the risk of delirium in patients. To address sleep/wake cycles, the ACE unit enlists specially trained volunteers to help staff gain insights to motivations that will help mobilize a patient to keep them awake and engaged during the day so that they sleep better at night.  With a better night’s sleep physicians can reduce or eliminate sleep aids and other medications, a step that is shown to lead to fewer complications, fewer falls and a reduced length of stay.

Combined, CPMC Mission Bernal’s HELP program and ACE unit have achieved notable success in the year since the hospital opened in August 2018. So far, length of stay for ACE patients our length of stay is 1.3 days less and our readmission rate is 3% less than standard of care for the older population on non ACE units. With lower length of stay and readmissions, CPMC is safely cutting the cost of care for these fragile patients by over $1 million per year.

By the Numbers

  • The average age of a patient in the ACE unit is 86.
  • Patients age 70 and older can be admitted to the unit for care.
  • The oldest patient to be at the ACE unit was 112 and on the day of discharge this patient walked out of the hospital on their own.
  • More than five percent of patient who are cared for at the ACE unit are 95 year of age or older.

We’ve Got Your Back(pack)

Posted on Aug 29, 2019 in Community Benefit, People, Scroll Images, Uncategorized, We're Awesome

The start of any school year isn’t complete without the confidence of knowing you’re prepared. And what better way to tackle the year ahead with a backpack full of the necessary supplies.

This summer Sutter employees, led by the External Affairs team, collaborated with Volunteers of America to support Operation Backpack, an initiative that provides backpacks and school supplies to low-income students. Sutter staff purchased school supplies – including new backpacks – and volunteered their time to fill more than  2,000 backpacks with the necessities that every school child needs to succeed.

“We know that having the right supplies to start the school year off right gives children confidence to succeed in school,” said Melanie Rivera, external affairs associate, Sutter Health Valley Area. “Together, we are helping children learn and thrive in school, stay in school and build a bright future.”

Sutter employees, staff and volunteers also gave early $3,000  in monetary donations to the organizations that distribute the backpacks to families across the communities we serve. Organizations like the Samaritan House which serves San Mateo County, Family Giving Tree which serves Alameda and Santa Clara counties, Elk Grove Unified and San Juan Unified in Sacramento County, Nexus Youth and Family Services which serves Amador County, and Saving Our Kids Resource Center which serves Placer County.

“The backpacks from Sutter’s Mills-Peninsula Medical Center fulfill all the requests we have from families in San Mateo and Redwood City,” said  Jenny Saba, associate director of Volunteers and Engagement at Samaritan House. “Thank you so much!”

This is the eighth year that Sutter Health has participated in Operation Backpack, donating backpacks and supplies to kindergartners through 12th graders.

 

Help with Hitting the Books

Posted on Aug 29, 2019 in People, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

Sutter Scholarships Assist Employee’s Kids, Grandkids with Pursuing College Dreams

 

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sutter Health today announced it awarded college scholarships to 221 students for the 2019-2020 school year through its Van R. Johnson Sutter Scholars program.

Since 2002, Sutter Health has offered scholarships exclusively to the children and grandchildren of employees working within the health system’s not-for-profit network of care. Scholarships awarded total almost $9.1 million to 5,339 students over the last 17 years.

Scholarship recipients attend a community college, four-year university or graduate program and received awards ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. Administered by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, the program’s competitive review process considers multiple factors, including academic achievement, school and community involvement, work experience, educational and career goals and special circumstances.

Dramatically Different Healthcare: Sutter Health’s CEO Talks About What She Sees in the Future

Posted on Aug 27, 2019 in Expanding Access, Innovation, Quality, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

Sutter Health President and CEO Sarah Krevans

Sutter Health President and CEO Sarah Krevans sat down with The Advisory Board President Eric Larsen. The in-depth article digs into a number of subjects including the value of integrated health systems, the challenges of delivering the healthcare of today while planning for the healthcare of tomorrow, healthcare competition in Northern California and Krevans’ personal interests.

The article provides an exceptional look into the complexities of today’s healthcare marketplace, and how Sutter Health’s not-for-profit network delivers on its mission by providing safe, personal, affordable and accessible care to patients and communities.

 

New Name for River Cats Ballpark a Huge Hit During Unveiling

Posted on Aug 24, 2019 in Scroll Images, Uncategorized

A rendering of the signage at the entrance of Sutter Health Park.

In a big win for Sacramento and its Triple-A baseball team, the River Cats revealed that its ballpark will be renamed Sutter Health Park at the conclusion of the 2019 season. With the new name and expanded community partnership, the River Cats and Sutter Health will team up on a variety of community-focused projects to improve the total health and wellness of the Sacramento region.

The surprise announcement was made Friday night during a family festival attended by thousands of River Cats and Sutter Health employees from the Sacramento area, who cheered as the new name was unveiled.

“Sutter Health is excited to expand our nearly 20-year community partnership with the River Cats,” said Sutter Health Chief Operating Officer James Conforti. “Together we call this region home, and we are passionate about supporting our vibrant community. Communities are stronger when there is greater access to sports, athletics and outdoor activities, which are powerful ways to improve individual health and wellness.”

Known as Raley Field since the River Cats’ inaugural season in 2000, the name of the baseball stadium that’s the jewel of West Sacramento is being passed from one historic Sacramento-area institution to another. Raley’s began in the 1930s in the region and is based in West Sacramento. Sutter Health, which is headquartered in the capital city, began in 1923 with a hospital in midtown Sacramento and has become a leading Northern California healthcare provider.

Mayor of West Sacramento Christopher Cabaldon and Mayor of Sacramento Darrell Steinberg take questions from the media at the Sutter Health Park announcement event, Aug. 23, 2019.

“The Sacramento River Cats and Raley’s have made a special imprint in our community. They are a part of our city’s history and will continue to shape our future,” said City of West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “We welcome Sutter Health into their new role with the River Cats and all the different ways it will champion greater community health.”

As part of its collaboration, the River Cats and Sutter Health will together expand its support of youth physical and mental health, as well as access to play and the outdoors across the region. Plans include providing field makeovers for youth baseball and softball fields and promotion of youth mental health awareness.

Sutter Health and the River Cats are also committed to having Sutter Health Park serve as a community gathering space that actively promotes health and wellness throughout the year. Plans include health and wellness programming and local events from walks and runs, to health screenings, flu immunization clinics and more. During the season, attendees will see even more cause-related nights and nonprofit community partners featured and supported in their mission and activities.

“Our region becomes more dynamic as we create stronger connections between community health and well-being, economic development, and sports and entertainment,” said City of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “By teaming up, the Sacramento River Cats and Sutter Health will support new opportunities for our communities – from youth physical and mental health to education and wellness programs – that will have a lasting impact.”

The ballpark, which sits just across the river from downtown Sacramento, has nearly 11,000 seats and, with seating in grass berms beyond the outfield, has a capacity of more than 14,000. It has been consistently voted as one of the top stadiums in minor league baseball.

“We are excited about this new opportunity where we can concentrate on a variety of community-focused projects on and off the field, while also lending the Sutter Health name to the home of the River Cats, a premier venue for fun, affordable and family-friendly entertainment in the Sacramento region,” said River Cats General Manager Chip Maxson.