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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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Decisions and consequences

Keith Gnagey

Keith Gnagey, TVHC CEO

Within hours of the 2-1 vote by our county commissioners to vacate the current ambulance service contract held by TVHC and give this service to the Teton County Fire Protection District, 20 of our EMS employees received calls from hospital leadership telling them their employment would be ending. Twenty employees and their families are now uncertain about their careers and livelihoods.

We’re sorry. We’re sad. We believe we gave our county leaders every supportable document, testimonial, report and statistic available to show that the service provided by our EMS crew, medical staff and nurses — our team — was clearly the best choice at the best cost for our residents and tourists. And then on Monday, May 16, we lost a service we’ve been providing contractually for 13 years; a service that began with a volunteer force in 1975.

From 1939 to 1975, people in dire emergencies had to find their own way to Teton Valley Hospital. One physician used his station wagon to pick up people and bring them in. Bob Bean, the local funeral director, brought patients to the hospital in his hearse! We have a long and proud history of emergency volunteers and later, paid professionals, who built this service to a high-level paramedic-certified department. These people immersed themselves into the clinical team that’s on hand 24/7 to care for you on what could be the worst day of your life.
Taxpayers voted the Ambulance Service District into existence over a decade ago. On Monday, two people voted to terminate the existing contract, give all operations to the fire district, and wind down the Ambulance Service District. Instead of working together to provide ambulance service in the county, we are now going to have one provider, the fire department. At TVHC, we have expressed, time after time, a desire to forge a true partnership with Fire only to be rebuffed time after time regardless of the greater good that such a partnership could have brought to our community.

To all of our EMS employees and to those in the past who served or supported Teton Valley Ambulance, we give our deepest regards and appreciation. We’re sorry we weren’t able to continue your legacy. We’re sorry that we have families now in turmoil as they try to move ahead with their lives. We’ll continue to place our focus exactly where it should be: on caring for our patients, their families and our community.

We’ll continue to make available all documentation, letters, etc. that we offered to our county commissioners and community throughout this process. Anyone may access these here.

This article appeared in the opinion section of the Teton Valley News.

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