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September 26, 2012 Volume 1, Issue 31


BMC Simulation Center Recognized for Innovation

A recent visit by Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services JudyAnn Bigby, MD, brought praise to BMC.

Secretary Bigby and BMC leaders
Secretary Bigby (center) with Congressman Capuano and BMC leaders

Secretary Bigby visited BMC Sept. 19 to see the new Solomont Clinical Simulation and Nursing Education Center. She, along with Congressman Michael Capuano, toured the facility with BMC President and CEO Kate Walsh, Keith Lewis, MD, Chair, Anesthesiology, and Lisa O’Connor, SVP, Clinical Operations and Chief Nursing Officer, who both oversaw the development of the center.

The Simulation Center allows caregivers to train for high-risk scenarios before performing them in the real-world environment, which contributes to BMC’s culture of delivering high-quality, safe, patient-centered care. As one of the transformational initiatives tied to the Medicaid waiver funding BMC receives from the state and federal governments, the project is also an important element of BMC’s strategic plan to secure mission and performance based funding.(Read the Sept. 13 issue of the BMC Brief to learn more about this and other BMC initiatives.)

BMC is the only Boston hospital performing simulation with entire care teams, setting the hospital apart in the world of health care transformation.

“BMC has always been a leader in delivering the right kind of care and this simulation center is a wonderful commitment to ensuring you have well-trained, qualified providers who focus on teamwork,” Bigby told a crowd of BMC leaders. “Patients know when team work doesn’t happen and I congratulate you on having this facility. It will help lead to a reformed system that will allow BMC to exist long into the future.”

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Redesigning Primary Care: The Creation of a Patient-Centered Medical Home

As part of BMC’s strategic plan work to “provide the right care for every patient, no less, no more,” the hospital is redesigning primary care around the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) framework.

Be Exceptional logo

Nationally, the PCMH concept is an increasingly popular model of health care delivery, designed to improve patient outcomes and promote the most effective use of resources.

In a PCMH a patient or family has a primary care team headed by his or her personal physician that coordinates all health needs. The PCMH team collaborates with the patient and family to ensure that recommended prevention and screenings occur, that patients have the tools they need to care for their chronic health issues as much as possible, and that care is coordinated across the health care system from specialists and hospital admissions to community services and home care, while providing expert care directly for most health needs. BMC’s Family Medicine and General Internal Medicine practices, which collectively care for 41,000 patients, will be applying for PCMH certification this year, and Pediatrics is also involved.

To make this transition, new systems and ways of working will be developed by primary care leaders and teams. For example, medical assistants may gather more patient data and make appointment reminder phone calls, nurses may run group visits and case manage at-risk patients, nurse practitioners may perform preventive and acute care visits and oversee the care of a population, and physicians may coordinate high-risk care management rounds and focus on the most complex patients. The idea is to have all members of the team working at the top of their abilities with a continual focus on delivering high value to the patient.

Charlie Williams, MD, Family Medicine, is leading the redesign and says becoming a PCMH is the right thing for BMC.

Charlie Williams, MD
Charlie Williams, MD, is leading the redesign

“This is about what patients want,” he says. “We are taking what we’ve learned in the last 30 years in customer service and quality improvement, and designing a system based on them and what works for patients and families. We’re getting back to the basics by refocusing on the patient. We are here to provide a personal expert who is available when needed over time. To paraphrase the Institute for Healthcare Improvement: ‘We give them what they want (and need) when they want (and need) it.’”

To become a PCMH, BMC first must meet certain criteria established by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). This includes enhancing patients’ access to services; managing patient populations by reminding and scheduling them for mammograms, influenza vaccinations and cholesterol screenings; and supporting patients with their self-care needs. Work already is underway on these initiatives, says Williams. BMC expects to achieve NCQA recognition in December.

The work is also tied to funding that BMC receives from the state and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for initiatives aimed at delivering coordinated, high-quality, cost-efficient care. (Read more about this in the Sept. 13 issue of the BMC Brief.)

The primary care redesign is an ongoing journey, says Williams. Family Medicine and General Internal Medicine are in the midst of the initial NCQA application. He notes that as the redesign evolves over the next several years, both patients and staff will reap the benefits of the changes.

“In the new primary care model, patients will have more meaningful, efficient visits with their providers, enhanced customer service by phone, thorough follow-up care, and overall better health outcomes.”

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Biking for BMC Kids

Twenty-two BMC staffers are taking to the streets on their bicycles this Saturday to help raise funds for pediatric programs at BMC. They have committed to raising $1,500 each to participate in the annual Rodman Ride for Kids, which is an umbrella matching gift charity that raises funds for youth-focused agencies and programs to help at-risk kids.

The money raised by Team BMC will benefit many of the pediatric programs at the hospital including the Spark Center, Kids Fund and Birth Sisters. Over the past three years, Team BMC has raised $350,000 for pediatric programs. The goal this year is to raise $110,000, a 10 percent increase over previous years. That total is being matched 10 percent by the Rodman Ride organization.

Team BMC 

“Our pediatric patients have many needs and much of the work that we do for them is not covered by health insurance.” says Robert Vinci, MD, Interim Chair, Pediatrics, who will be riding 50 miles in the event. “We rely so much on philanthropy to meet the many needs of our patients. They need help with getting eye glasses, medical equipment, food and nutritional supplements, and high chairs to name a few. This fund raising is critical to helping meet these needs and it’s a great way to stay in shape and go for a nice bicycle ride.”

A group of BMC pediatric residents is riding in the Sept. 29 event and Vinci notes that they have received enthusiastic support from their colleagues, as well as family and friends to meet the fundraising goal.

“We want to continue to build participation in this event,” says Vinci. “It recognizes the important care that we provide at BMC.”

Riders of every skill level are welcome to participate and can choose to cycle 25, 50 or 100 miles beginning in Foxboro with the longest route looping through much of southeastern Massachusetts.

Avneesh Gupta, MD, Radiology, an avid cyclist and a rider this year, rode for BMC when he was a resident here.

“BMC has been good to me and I am proud to be part of the ride,” he says. “We have a great patient population and this is a wonderful opportunity to give to them in a different way.”

Gupta will be riding the 100-mile course.

BMC staff participating in the 2012 Rodman Ride are:

  • Trysha Ahern
  • Elizabeth Barnett
  • Tom Battin
  • Erin Cicalese
  • William DeBassio
  • Avneesh Gupta
  • Marissa Hauptman
  • Karen Hennessey
  • Alan Meyers
  • Lili Peacock-Chambers
  • Alon Peltz
  • Dona Rodrigues
  • Davida Schiff
  • Natalie Stavas
  • Norman Stein
  • Selin Tuysuzoglu Sagalowsky
  • Bob Vinci
  • Samuel Vinci
  • Thuy Wagner
  • Monica Wojcik

Learn more about Rodman Ride and support a BMC cyclist.

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What Do You Do, Jill Grabowski?

Name: Jill Grabowski
Title: Business Analyst
Department: Human Resources, Benefits team
Years at BMC: 6.5

Jill Grabowski
Jill Grabowski

What brought you to BMC?
Prior to coming to BMC, I lived and worked in New York City. I was searching for human resources jobs and saw an opening at BMC on the Organizational Development and Training (now Organizational Effectiveness) team. It was exactly the area I wanted to get into, so I applied, interviewed the week I moved back to Boston and began working here a few weeks later. Six and a half years later I’m still here and I’ve held three positions within HR!

What do you do here?
I work with benefits vendors to ensure that the information passed from BMC to the specific carrier is accurate and timely. For example, if a new employee has signed up for health insurance, I confirm that Harvard Pilgrim Health Care has received all of the necessary enrollment information so the new employee has medical coverage. In addition, my colleagues and I answer benefits-related questions (i.e. questions about medical and dental benefits, BMC’s 403(b) retirement savings plan, etc.). Throughout the course of a year we answer thousands of inquiries from the BMC community, so as you can imagine it gets pretty busy at times. The Benefits team also offers a variety of programs to employees that range from healthy cooking workshops to wellness programs to a smoking cessation program and more.

How does your job contribute to BMC's mission?
The work of the Benefits team contributes to employees’ satisfaction and engagement. We work closely with vendors to ensure that staff receive the best pricing possible on benefits. Employees work hard day in and day out to care for our patients and we work hard to offer them the best benefits packages available and help them choose the right ones for themselves and their families.

What projects are you working on now?
We are preparing for our annual open enrollment period (Nov. 1-18). This is the one time during the year when staff are able to make changes to their benefits. I encourage employees who are thinking of changing their benefits for the 2013 year  to visit the benefits section of the BMC intranet to learn more.

What do you do to maintain a healthy work/life balance?
After work I love to take walks. I walk almost every day during my lunch break, too. I started practicing yoga about a year ago and absolutely love it; it helps to keep me healthy both mentally and physically. I also love to travel and have dinner with friends. I recently got engaged, so I’m looking forward to planning my wedding!

Do you know a staff member who should be profiled? Send your suggestions to communications@bmc.org.

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In Their Words

Patients share their BMC experience

Letter writing 

I recently had to have two colonoscopies at Boston Medical Center, each performed several weeks apart. Because two different teams treated me, I feel that my observation of patient care is even more valid. As a recently retired nurse, I am well aware of all the demands made on health care professionals. Emphasis is now on cost efficiency, outcomes, etc. From the receptionist who checked me in, to the nurse who took my history and medication list, to the nurses in the pre- and post-recovery area, the anesthesiologist who interviewed me, and of course the teams that performed the procedures, all of their professionalism was exceptional!

I was treated with respect, thoroughness and personal caring throughout the entire experience. All of my questions were not only encouraged but also answered thoroughly. Even though this was a routinely scheduled procedure, I was treated like I deserved everyone’s complete and unhurried attention.

When I speak to friends and colleagues, I will tell them if they need to have this procedure done at Boston Medical Center, they can be assured you will provide them with best care available.

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News of Note

Embroidery exhibit
Embroidery exhibit in the Shapiro lobby

Embroidery exhibit on display in Shapiro building
Secrets of Nature, a collaborative embroidery project by BMC cancer survivors, is now on display in the Shapiro lobby. The exhibit features 16 plants that are used in the creation of cancer therapy drugs. The project was originated by Gisela Griffith, a BMC cancer survivor and South End artist who was inspired to create botanical portraits after learning that many chemotherapy drugs derived from plants. She assembled individual embroidery kits for patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment, with each kit including a unique plant design and materials needed to complete the needlework, and provided personal instruction to those patients who wanted it.

The exhibit is the culmination of the year-long project, which honors the vision and handiwork of those who embraced their healing journey through the quiet and meditative process of embroidery.

Ringing of chimes in Menino and Newton Pavilions
To enhance the BMC patient experience, the hospital now broadcasts chimes over the loudspeakers in the Menino and Newton Pavilions to identify momentous events. Patients, visitors and staff on all floors now hear a soft, 20-second “Hush, Little Baby” lullaby chime when a child is born at BMC. In addition, when visiting hours end and quiet hours begin each night, at 8 and 9 p.m. respectively, a message is broadcast in both English and Spanish over the loudspeakers.

New dashboard provides data on patient experiences at BMC
A new Patient Experience dashboard is available for all staff to see patients’ perception of the care they receive at BMC. This site includes patient survey responses, best practices to improve patients' experiences, and a list of frequently asked questions about the BMC patient survey process. The information is available in trend graphs and PDF files. Samples of all surveys used at BMC are also included. To access the dashboard, click the QUEST logo on the intranet, then “Go to the Dashboard Portal,” and then “Patient Experience.” Contact Rebecca Blair with questions or suggestions for improvement.

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Awards and Accolades

Clinical IP Counseling team
Members of the Clinical IP Counseling team

The Clinical IP Counseling team recently received a BMC Patient Experience Award for its contribution to BMC’s performance on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) question “Communication about medicines.” HCAHPS measures patients’ perspectives on hospital care using a standardized survey.

BMC ranked No. 2 in the state on this question during the second quarter of the year (April-June). Although many clinicians are involved in educating patients about their medications, the Pharmacy department, including Clinical Medicine Pharmacists, Clinical Specialists and Clinical Pharmacists, has been using a new strategy since the end of the last calendar year. Since that time, BMC has seen a consistent increase in performance on this question.

The Patient Experience awards recognize outstanding achievements in improving the patient experience as part of the Be Exceptional Strategic Plan’s work to Provide the Right Care for Every Patient, No less, No more. The Patient Experience Awards are given quarterly to the teams who provide an excellent patient experience, as measured by patient satisfaction surveys and other significant, tangible achievements. Each winner receives an award to display permanently in their department.

BMC President and CEO Kate Walsh has been named to the Boston Business Journal’s Power 50. The list includes 50 power players who are leading change in the Boston economy. Walsh is one of two hospital CEOs named to the list.

BMC Cancer Care patient navigators recently received the “2012 Outstanding Poster Award” at the Academy of Oncology Nurse Navigators conference in Phoenix, Ariz. The poster presentation, “Standardized documentation in patient navigation,” was chosen first among many presented by experienced nurses from across the country. The team include: Katie Finn, Sheldon Reeves, Kathryn Ankner, Taylor Teschner, Adrienne Holding, RN; Robyn Souza RN, MPH; Kathleen Finn MSN, NP; and Timothy Cooley, MD.

BMC HealthNet Plan logo

The Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan, the largest Medicaid health plan in Massachusetts, was ranked in the top 10 among Medicaid plans in the nation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) in its Medicaid Health Insurance Plan Rankings, 2012-2013.

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