IRON MOUNTAIN - Despite financial challenges, 2013 was a year of growth for Dickinson County Healthcare System. DCHS remained committed to recruiting new physicians, growing services and achieving goals that enhanced the quality of care for patients, said John Schon, DCHS administrator.
Highlights from the year, as reviewed by the DCHS Board of Trustees, included the following.
- Sarah Venditti, MD (Orthopaedics) joined the Dickinson medical staff in August. She brought with her a solid educational foundation from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, the Hennepin County Medical Center and the Pittsburgh Medical Center and experience in trauma care, adult orthopaedic reconstruction, care of the upper extremity and spine, sports medicine, pediatric orthopaedics, musculoskeletal oncology, and foot and ankle surgery gained from her residency training. Dr. Venditti is a former member and eight-time letter winner for the University of Wisconsin Badgers Cross Country and Track teams. She is also a former National and World Champion Duathlon athlete.
- Ray Cameron, MD, PhD (Otolaryngology) along with nurse practitioner Judy DeBoer and audiologist Jeff Hutchinson joined Dickinson Physician Services on March 1. Dr. Cameron has been a member of the Dickinson Medical Staff since 1989; Judy DeBoer, FNP and Jeff Hutchinson, AuD joined the practice in 2011 to expand services in allergy and audiology. Their location remains the same. The clinic's name is now Dickinson Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic with a new phone number, (906) 776-5850.
- John Cook, MD (Gynecology) and physician assistant, Robyn Kazianka, PA-C became a part of Dickinson Physician Services on Oct. 1. They have been providing high quality, professional care to the community since 1981 and 1989 respectively. Their location and phone number remain the same. The new name of the practice is Dickinson Gynecology Clinic.
New or Enhanced Programs and Services
Emergency Department/After Hours Clinic
- Made some cosmetic changes to help improve privacy
- Remodeled the triage area
- Added new, more comfortable patient carts
- Incorporated a new electronic medical record system
Dickinson Rehabilitation Services
- Expanded athletic performance programming in conjunction with Back In Motion
- Established a cardiopulmonary support group for anyone with a chronic lung disease, on oxygen therapy, or is waiting for or has received a lung transplant and their care givers.
- Established a support group for the caregivers of people with aphasia.
- Began offering Aquatic Physical Therapy out of the Wausaukee Medical Center.
- Expanded therapy hours at the Norway Physical Therapy Clinic and Florence Medical Center.
- Designed and launched a new website: www.rehab.dchs.org
Dickinson Dermatology Clinic
- Relocated to Suite 115 of the Dickinson Medical Building, 1711 South Stephenson Avenue in Iron Mountain - Dr. James Batti's former location. Adjacency to Dickinson Memorial Hospital promises much greater convenience for patients who may need hospital services in connection with their visit to Dr. Igor Siniakov. The clinic also has a new phone number - (906) 776-5805. Saturday appointments are available.
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- Extended clinic visits to Cedar Hill-Bayside in Gladstone on a monthly basis.
Dickinson Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic
- The Dickinson Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic introduced Real-Ear technology to its audiology services. Real-Ear technology is currently the most accurate measurement equipment in the field of hearing aids. It allows for a recording of the hearing aid output directly at the patient's ear drum. When the exact output of the hearing in the patient's ear is known, corrections can be made in the manufacturer's software to ensure that the hearing aid prescription exactly matches the hearing loss. With Real-Ear measurement, each patient's specific individual ear canal resonance and physical properties are taken into account rather than relying on average calculated data. Patient satisfaction with hearing aids increases, and the incidence of returned hearing aids diminishes dramatically.
Dickinson Cardiology Services
- Dickinson Cardiology Services added nurse practitioner Jill Nocerini to the practice. She joins Dr. Clay Shaker in helping patients prevent and/or manage cardiac issues. Nocerini completed her education at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth; she attained a BSN in 1984, an MSN in 2008, certification in Gerontology in 2009, and her DNP in 2012. She is also certified in wound care.
Radiation Oncology Center at Dickinson Memorial Hospital
- A technology upgrade included enhancements that make it possible to define and adjust the radiation beam for more precise treatment, added digital CT and x-ray imaging capabilities to the linear accelerator itself for easier and faster verification of patient positioning, and added Rapid Arc technology for greater precision in complex treatment planning.
Dickinson Home Medical Equipment Services
- Bought and renovated the former St. George Glass building on Carpenter Avenue. Relocation will occur in early 2014.
Dickinson Home Health
- Held the official Ribbon Cutting at its new location at 722 River Ave. in Iron Mountain.
- Began a Hospital to Home program in collaboration with Dickinson Memorial Hospital's nursing units. The new program provides one free follow-up home visit to at-risk, non-homebound patients in order to provide a successful transition from hospital to home. A home health nurse focuses on medication reconciliation, home safety and community referrals as needed.
Established a local and toll free dedicated Information Line that is separate from the Main Switchboard. The purpose of the dedicated line is to answer questions related to available physicians, programs and health care services that are available locally. The new local number is (906) 776-5900 or toll free from outside the local area 1-855-560-DCHS.
Launched a new web site that better represents all of the physicians, technology and healthcare services available locally. The site can be accessed by going to www.dchs.org.
Attained an "A" rating from the Leapfrog Group Again
The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit organization, again awarded Dickinson Memorial Hospital a grade of A and congratulated hospital staff for their "commitment to patient safety and for making critical safety information available to healthcare consumers through participation in national performance measurement and public-reporting programs." The Leapfrog Group calculates a single safety score, based upon 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data, which represents a hospital's overall capacity to keep patients safe from infections, injuries, and medical and medication errors.
Earned The Joint Commission's (TJC) Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with national standards established by TJC for healthcare quality and safety in hospitals. These standards address important functions relating to the care of patients and the management of hospitals. The standards are developed in consultation with healthcare experts, providers, measurement experts and patients.
The Radiation Oncology Center at Dickinson Memorial Hospital received national accreditation, an accomplishment that places it in an elite group of only 11 centers in the state of Michigan to do so. There are only 12 accredited centers in Wisconsin; Appleton being the closest one. National accreditation assures patients that the radiation treatments they receive locally meet the most stringent of national standards for safety and quality.
Other System Wide Accomplishments
Met the phase one deadline of stage one for the implementation of technology upgrades required by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The intent of the legislation was to promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology. The HITECH Act outlined the intended plans for the adoption of electronic health records through meaningful use. By meeting the deadlines associated with this first phase of the new Act, DCH System received the full incentive payment of $1.8 million for the hospital and $196,500 for Dickinson owned clinics. This accomplishment affected work processes as follows:
- Required an entire upgrade of the Paragon System that affects processes in Medical Records, Patient Accounting, Patient Registration and scheduling applications;
- Required replacement of the pharmacy system;
- Required a new physician order entry system;
- Required a new medication administration system;
- Required installation of special computer equipment in every patient room; and
- Required implementation of similar systems in all physician clinics.
Honored the following employees with Nursing Awards: Shirley Dishaw-Beck, Nancy Morin, Mary Shepich and Andrew Gearhart.
Honored the following staff as Employee of the Month or Special Mention Employee: Amy Stanchina, Chelsea Friederichs, Jeff Broullire, Michelle Galindo, Todd Essendrup, Gaye Thomas, Amy Giesen, Brenda Solda, Ann Poirier, Barb DeRidder, Jeanne Castor, Jeanette Parent, Dean DeCremer, Carolyn Mentel, and Paula Swartout.
Community Support Initiatives
Members of the community continued their support of the Radiation Oncology Department at Dickinson Memorial Hospital; money raised was donated toward a fund to help meet the needs of cancer patients locally.
Race For A Cure: The family members of the Anthony Paupore Racing team and the Dickinson County Racing Association teamed up with the Dickinson County Hospital Foundation to hold this unique fundraising event again this year. The race took place at the Norway Speedway in August and raised approximately $6,000 through the sale of laps, T-shirts, and 50/50 tickets. Staff looks forward to more growth opportunities in 2014.