PROCESS FOR PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Springfield Hospital’s annual planning process integrates feedback and priorities identified internally and externally through collaboration and planning with community members and partners, managers and staff, medical staff, and board members. Through this process, needs are identified, prioritized, and action plans are developed regarding community health care, hospital services, and new opportunities. Planning is an ongoing process, and includes information from various sources as outlined below:
Public Input is invited at any time through our website, e-mail, or regular mail.
• Community needs assessment is conducted on an ongoing basis with the community, physicians and other medical care providers, and patients. The process includes market research surveys, personal interviews, focus groups, and ongoing public meetings. In addition, many staff are involved in local organizations and collaboratives that help us in the planning process to coordinate area needs with state, regional, and federal requirements.
• A community needs assessment tool is available on our website’s homepage, www.springfieldhospital.org, that provides ongoing opportunity for community feedback.
• A Community Relations Line offers an invitation to provide feedback directly to the Quality & Systems Improvement Department via phone or email. This contact information can be found on the homepage of our website, www.springfieldhospital.org, by calling 802-885-7299, or by e-mailing email@example.com.
• A Community Advisory Group meets on a quarterly basis for open dialog regarding needs assessment and to receive ongoing feedback regarding services. Suggestions or information may be sent to Anna Smith, Chief of Marketing & Corporate Communications, Springfield Hospital, 25 Ridgewood Road, Springfield, VT 05156, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
• A Community Health Team meets monthly, with an open invitation to the public, to receive input on community needs and share information about local services through a collaborative process. Guest speakers are invited to present to the group at monthly meetings.
Ongoing Information is received throughout the year to help us with our quality improvement initiatives:
• Patient satisfaction surveys monitor quality and services; and,
• A community relations line offers an invitation to provide feedback directly to the Quality & Systems Improvement Department via phone or email. This contact information can be found on the homepage of our website, www.springfieldhospital.org, by calling 802-885-7299, or by e-mailing email@example.com.
Community Participation and Presentations are made on a regular basis to local organizations including monthly Community Health Team meetings, Rotary, Chambers of Commerce, Senior Centers, PATCH team meetings, Community Partners, and various public gatherings. Outreach activity for planning and partnering with local boards, community services, and membership organizations is ongoing. This includes partnering with Vermont’s Blueprint For Health, the VT Chronic Care Collaborative, the Edgar May Health & Recreation Center, emergency planning, career/education, and youth and elderly services agencies, to name a few, and provides ongoing community input.
A Community Health Team (CHT) consists of ten staff members who are actively engaged in community outreach efforts. In addition, care coordinators are working in each of our community health center sites helping to connect patients with needed services. Monthly CHT meetings are held to collaborate and partner with area agencies to remove barriers and improve access and quality of care. Community membership now includes 185 participants and continues to grow. New members are welcomed at each meeting as word of the team spreads throughout the community and guest speakers from community organizations are invited to speak monthly.
Our Board of Directors and Corporators provide ongoing participation through local representation. As a small community hospital, representatives interact regularly with community members and are available to answer questions or receive feedback.
Our Volunteer Network, whose annual participation of over 12,000 volunteer hours, creates ongoing opportunities for patient interaction and community outreach activities.
COMMUNITY NEEDS ASSESSMENT
In addition to the ongoing processes outlined above, SMCS conducts a formal community health needs assessment every three years. The process for this assessment includes:
• analysis of national, state, and community secondary data;
• primary market research surveys to area residents identifying priority needs;
• community leader interviews identifying and prioritizing needs; and,
• needs assessment committee and community advisory group recommendations and report development.
Priority needs identified in the 2013 study included overall access to care throughout the system, increased access to behavioral health services and increased access to dental care. Transportation needs were also identified as an important need. The most recent assessment was completed September 30, 2013, and is available on our website at www.springfieldhospital.org and printed copies are available upon request. The next assessment will be completed and reported in 2016.
As reported last year, access to services throughout our system is an ongoing commitment. We strive to establish medical homes for all patients and emphasize primary and preventive care for all. We monitor high-frequency Emergency Department users and encourage them to establish a medical home for ongoing care. Follow up appointments are made through the health center network and care coordinators are working to establish relationships and counsel patients on needed services. We continue to offer OB/GYN services in Springfield, Ludlow and Charlestown (NH).
Our emergency department renovation was completed on time and on budget. This includes a secure area for high-risk patients with drug or behavioral health needs. Our FastTrack service helps reduce wait times and streamlines patient flow through the Emergency Department. We have implemented same-day availability in each of our primary care offices, and are also reminding the public of the availability of our walk-in care locations in Rockingham, Springfield, and Ludlow as an alternative to emergency room for non-emergent, yet urgent health care needs.
Local access to clincially appropriate Medical/Surgical services is important to improving value in terms of patient satisfaction, efficiency and cost effectiveness. Our goal is to offer our community the right care, in the right place, at the right time, within the framework of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Triple Aim initiatives of:
• improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction);
• improving the health of populations; and,
• reducing the per capita cost of health care.
Key initiatives identified by our Strategic Planning Committee include:
Improving patient experience scores is a key initiative. Our patient experience goals and strategies are outlined in our Quality Improvement section of this year’s Hospital Report Card.
The closure of the state psychiatric hospital following Hurricane Irene brought increased demand for behavioral health services to our emergency department. Our recent Emergency Department renovation is helping to improve the safety and security for patients and staff in an increasingly challenging environment. Our Community Health Team Mental Health/Substance Abuse Care Coordinator makes regular visits to the Emergency Department to help coordinate care for patients. We participate in Designated Hospital meetings and are working with VT Cooperative for Performance Improvement and Innovation to seek opportunities for The Windham Center as an available step-down facility for medically-cleared and psychiatrically-appropriate patients for treatment at The Windham Center to help improve access to services at Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital in Berlin.
Recruitment and Retention
Medical staff recruitment and retention is an ongoing priority to retain valued employees. Upon analysis of needs and salaries, a new Recruitment and Retention Policy was implemented to provide a quality work environment, superior service and a healthy business model. Steps will include ensuring competitive compensation and benefits, mentoring programs for newly-hired employees, and cultivating an environment that empowers and supports leaders and develops career paths. Quarterly meetings will be held to improve communication and create opportunities for developing strong peer-to-peer relationships.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Anyone interested in learning more about opportunities to become involved in our organization as a volunteer may call our volunteer services department at 802-885-7686.
Information about other public meetings, upcoming events, or copies of the Annual Report, strategic plan, one- and four-year capital expenditure plan, and a depreciation schedule for existing facilities can be obtained by contacting:
Timothy R. Ford
President and Chief Executive Officer
25 Ridgewood Road
Springfield, VT 05156