All Posts tagged health care

TVHC receives national recognition for quality excellence

Teton Valley Health Care has been recognized by The Chartis Center for Rural Health/iVantage Health Analytics and the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health (NOSORH) for overall excellence in quality, reflecting top quartile performance among all rural hospitals in the nation.

“Of course, this level of recognition is very significant for TVHC. More importantly, such stellar results should further strengthen community confidence in the excellent care you receive at TVHC. We’re one of two Idaho rural hospitals to achieve this status, and I can assure you that every single member of the TVHC team has worked very hard to bring home the NOSORH Award,” says Keith Gnagey, CEO.

NOSORH awardThe rankings are determined each year using iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX®, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. The Hospital Strength INDEX captures performance metrics for all rural and Critical Access Hospitals. Leveraging data from public data sources, INDEX aggregates data from more than 50 individual metrics into three major categories and eight pillars to arrive at a single, measurable score.

TVHC Quality Manager Susan Kay, R.N., notes that hospital leadership has chosen to use the 90th percentile of U.S. hospital quality metrics as an operational goal. Many hospitals publicize comparisons based on the 70th or 80th percentile.

“We’ve set a high standard for quality care. We want people to know that our community hospital believes that what we do today should be better than yesterday, and what we do tomorrow should be better than today. TVHC is truly redefining common perceptions about small, rural hospitals,” says Kay.

Michael Topchik, National Leader of the Chartis Center for Rural Health adds, “These leaders serve as a benchmark for other rural facilities as they strive to achieve similar results and provide a blueprint for how to successfully run a hospital and serve their communities amidst today’s uncertainty and mounting pressures.”

More information about the Hospital Strength INDEX can be found at www.ivantageindex.com.

About NOSORH
The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) was established in 1995 to assist State Offices of Rural Health in their efforts to improve access to, and the quality of, health care for America’s 61 million rural citizens. NOSORH enhances the capacity of SORHs to do this by supporting the development of state and community rural health leaders; creating and facilitating state, regional and national partnerships that foster information sharing and spur rural health-related programs/activities; and enhancing access to quality healthcare services in rural communities.

About The Chartis Group
The Chartis Group (Chartis) is a comprehensive advisory and analytics services dedicated to the healthcare industry. Chartis provides strategic planning, value-based care, advanced performance, informatics and technology consulting services as well as leading-edge decision support tools to the country’s leading healthcare providers. The Chartis Center for Rural Health (CCRH) was formed in 2016 to offer tailored services, performance management solutions, research and education to rural hospitals and facilities. Learn more at Chartisrural.com.

About iVantage Health Analytics, a subsidiary of The Chartis Group
A subsidiary of The Chartis Group, iVantage Health Analytics (iVantage) is a leading provider of healthcare analytic and performance management analytic tools. Health system and hospital leadership teams across the country rely on the company’s software and services to deliver customized insights on clinical and financial performance, strategic planning, market assessment and payment optimization. iVantage’s analytics are the basis of continuing thought leadership and insight in the areas of healthcare policy and research.

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Pain pills and heroin in Teton Valley

Nathan Levanger, D.O., Family Practice   Prescription drug abuse is a deadly national problem that has taken many lives, including the lives of well-known celebrities.  Two words in that sentence can buffer the significance of opioid addiction for Teton Valley residents read more

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Doc Talk: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Doc Talk: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

By Dr. Nathan Levanger, DO

Outdoor adventure season is in full swing here in the valley. Whether it’s a day trip to the Wind Cave up Darby Canyon or an overnight camp-out in the Alaska Basin, our options are seemingly endless when it comes to hitting the trails.

Our high elevation, combined with long sunny days and stretches of temperatures in the 70s, 80s and 90s can pose some risk for unprepared adventure seekers.

Regardless if you plan to go for an hour or a day, it’s important to make a few key preparations.

First, always bring water on your trips. In warm months, hikers/bikers/climbers/runners should drink approximately one gallon of water per day, but that can vary based on your individual needs. In direct sunlight and with physical exertion, your fluid/electrolyte loss can happen faster than under cooler conditions. Sweat evaporates instantly in dry climates like ours, so it’s important to pay attention to any signs your body might need hydration. If hiking with children, pay attention to the water in their water bottles to make sure they are drinking enough and at an appropriate frequency. Ditto for dogs.  Don’t plan on finding sufficient watering holes for dogs to lap up; bring water for the pooches and remember that dogs are exerting energy while wearing fur coats. Also be aware that dogs may not stop to drink water at a creek or pond if their human partner is bike riding or running at a steady pace. You may have to stop and relax before your dog feels that he can take a break and lap up some water.

Second, dress in layers and loose-fitting, lightweight clothing to avoid heat exhaustion. Seek out shaded areas when hiking, and avoid sunburns. Also, if you are taking any medications, ask your doctor whether the medications could make you more susceptible to heat exhaustion or sunburn.

Third, bring a friend or family member along for the trip and avoid strenuous activity in the middle of the day, when the sun and heat are at their highest points.

Generally, by the time you are thirsty, you’re already somewhat dehydrated. To avoid this, drink 1/2 to 1 quart of water or electrolyte drink for every hour you hike.

Although most instances of dehydration are mild or moderate and can be easily resolved by drinking fluids, severe dehydration can also occur.  Signs of a serious problem include little or no urination, extreme dry mouth and skin, confusion, rapid heart-beat and unconsciousness.  Severe dehydration is a medical emergency.

Like any good Scout, you need to be prepared.  Water, sunscreen, good shoes, weather outlooks, and good directions should form the basis of every summer outing.

Dr. Nathan Levanger is a family practice physician offering patient care at Driggs Clinic located in Driggs Idaho.

This article originally appeared in the Teton Valley News.

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