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PPMC patient dining goes from room service to scheduled meals

The change streamlines the meal-ordering process and improves communications with patients.

Providence electronic security practices

Are you protecting your patients' privacy? Learn the rules and practices.

Strategies: Beating back cancer, cell by cell

Providence spinout UbiVac is using immunotherapy to help cure cancer

Upcoming continuing medical education opportunities

PLEASE NOTE: All Grand Round videos now are available on YouTube. Links to the playlists are below: PSVMC PPMC Labor Day week – no...

Using Epic to e-prescribe discharge medications: Here are step-by-step instructions

When e-prescribing discharge medications, we help patients or their caregivers so they can make one quick stop at the pharmacy where their medications are already waiting.

Proprietary Health Article

“Familiar Faces Collaboration” pilot serves behavioral health patients in Emergency Department

When Providence behavioral health and emergency services caregivers launched a pilot program in late 2016, their goal was simple: To better serve vulnerable patients who made frequent trips to area EDs for their health care needs.

“So what’s this guy’s story?” – An early lesson in listening to patients

Medicine and nursing remain two of the noblest professions to which anyone can commit a life's work, and yet half of physicians and nurses report feeling burned out. There are many reasons for this – high among them that our work is increasingly task oriented, and we have less time to spend with patients. An early mentor’s resistance to this was to always ask, “So what’s this guy’s story?” The result was humbling.

5 key strategies physicians can use to help reduce Clostridium difficile inpatient rates

Hospital-onset Clostridium difficile infection (HO-CDI) is one of the most common hospital-acquired infections and requires a multi-pronged approach to reduce risk to our patients.

A year of reliability: Learn about your successes

The final clinical outcomes numbers for 2017 have been submitted, and I’m proud to say the caregivers in Oregon have delivered another year of excellence, with considerable progress over the previous year.

Behavioral health services integrate within ‘three doors’ of Providence

With 20 percent of primary care office visits being related to mental health and 46 percent of adults experiencing a mental health or substance abuse disorder in their lifetimes, it’s time to move beyond old models of behavioral health care. Providence is taking some innovative new steps to provide seamless, comprehensive care – that includes both physical and mental health care for our patients.

Can we move mountains on our path toward high reliability?

Three years ago, Providence in Oregon embarked on a journey toward high reliability, with a goal of ensuring no preventable harm occurs to the patients who entrust us with their health care. So how are we doing on this quest? Are we closer to our goal of zero harm? Read about some impressive improvements, and where we still need to focus our attention.

Can’t we do better? A son’s view of his father’s health care experience

My father recently had urgent coronary bypass surgery at a well-respected system outside of Providence. The surgery was successful, and his recovery has been largely uneventful. But the many hours I spent with him at the hospital and later on the phone with his caregivers led me to ask myself, “Why is health care so complex for our patients and families … and how does Providence measure up?”

Cancer outpatient services expanded and consolidated at Providence Portland Medical Center

Cancer patients and their families soon will have access to expanded outpatient services, all within one integrated location at Providence Cancer Institute on the Providence Portland Medical Center campus.

Cardiac Surgery Consolidated to One Location: Providence St. Vincent

The cardiac surgery programs at Providence’s two largest hospitals in Oregon – Providence St. Vincent and Providence Portland medical centers – have been consolidated, with cardiac surgeries now occurring only at Providence St. Vincent. A wide range of additional cardiac services will continue at Providence Portland. The result will be a greater standardization of care, focused cardiac services at each campus and increased operational efficiencies.

Caring for patients with ARDS: New critical care strategies

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or ARDS, is a severe and complex disease process with limited treatment options and a high mortality rate. However, recent data indicates that survival rates for patients with ARDS improve in large volume centers – such as the Providence ARDS Center at Providence Portland Medical Center – that provide specialized expertise and the latest treatments. Learn more about ARDS and potential treatments for your patients.

Caring Reliably: How do we reach “aviation level” safety?

As we were about to embark on that flight to the East Coast, everything seemed in place: The pre-takeoff procedures were complete, the doors were closed and I was comfortably seated.

Catheter Acquired Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI): A prevention primer for clinicians

About 35 percent of all health care-associated infections are due to urinary tract infections, and the vast majority of them are catheter related. Despite major hospital quality improvement plans around catheter use, there have not been dramatic improvements. This brief primer provides important education and updates for physicians and other providers, which we hope will lead to reduced catheter use.

Changes in dietitian order writing, refeeding syndrome and other nutrition updates

Registered and licensed dietitians in acute care settings in Oregon now can order selected therapeutic oral diets, snacks and oral supplements under specific conditions.

Changes in Providence Oregon leadership

With the recent departure of Chief Executive Dave Underriner for Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii, Providence in Oregon was being led by Interim Chief Executive Theron Park. Now there has been an additional leadership change as Providence continues its search for a permanent chief executive in Oregon. Although change can be challenging, Providence patients, providers, caregivers and communities are in good hands.

Children’s Health expands emergency services, adds specialties in infectious disease and orthopedics

The Children’s Emergency Department at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center is the only dedicated pediatric emergency department serving Portland’s west side.

Clinical documentation collaboration: Easing the way

As physicians, we spend a significant part of our workday charting patients. All of us working together to provide thorough, accurate documentation will go a long way toward ensuring safe, high-quality patient care. Learn what Providence is doing to provide effective documentation – and read about just a few of our physician documentation “stars.”

Coming May 21, 2017: Major Epic upgrade responds to user input

The much-anticipated “double” upgrade to Epic 2017 is planned for May 21, 2017 in Oregon – bringing significant changes to the look and feel of Epic and offering fundamental improvements requested by many organizations. Learn about these important upgrades and how they will improve patient safety, improve functionality for providers, improve workflows, enhance patient-facing access and more.

Consults just got easier with “ASK PROV” and other services

A common complaint from clinicians (particularly those outside Portland) is that it’s difficult to get referrals or help from specialists within Providence-Oregon. Based largely on that feedback, Providence has revitalized our “ASK PROV” consult line – making it easier and more convenient for providers who need advice or to make a referral to a specialist. Just call 1-844-ASK-PROV (1-844-275-7768).

CORE research: Cancer risk factors, housing, resource desks and behavioral health

An overview of a few important research projects the team at CORE is working on.

Critical incident experts can help you manage stressful situations

As providers we’ve probably all encountered our fair share of traumatic, critical incidents. Fortunately, when situations such as these happen, Providence in Oregon has a team of Critical Incident Stress Management experts to help us manage and recover from this type of emotional trauma.

Dave Underriner departs Oregon for Honolulu

Many of you may have heard that Dave Underriner, chief executive of Providence in Oregon, recently left the organization after 35 years to lead Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii. Read about a few of Dave’s many accomplishments and about Providence’s next steps in finding a new chief executive.

Digital Commons: Online site showcases extensive clinical research at PSJH

Providence St. Joseph Health has a wealth of clinical and research expertise among its thousands of physicians, other clinical providers and scientists. How, then, can we share and readily access our broad array of published research articles? A new online tool called Digital Commons is highly effective in finding and sharing clinical research articles that our experts have published in peer-reviewed journals. We also want to post your articles – learn how.

Digital health projects help new moms and patients with diabetes

Two new digital health projects at Providence in Oregon have shown positive results for patients with diabetes and for expectant and new mothers. For providers, this translates into patients who are healthier and more engaged in their own health care.

Direct Messaging paves the way for better clinical communication

Oregon’s regional informatics team is collaborating with affiliated clinical partners to simplify and improve clinical communications between Providence and external providers using a communication method called Direct Messaging.

Disinfect your endoscopes: Why it’s so critically important

Throughout the U.S., there have been troubling clinical events—with resulting news coverage, regulatory surveys and potential liability risk—related to inadequate cleaning or disinfecting of endoscopes. More alarmingly, there have been reports of patient exposure and transmission of diseases as a result of inadequate endoscope cleaning or disinfecting. What should Providence providers, their teams and clinical processes do to ensure these devices are safe for patient use?

Diversity Leadership in Health Care: Challenges and Opportunities

As we move deeper into the 21st century and into uncharted territory about changes to the Affordable Care Act, awareness and discussions around all types of diversity must be at the forefront of how health care serves our communities. What challenges and opportunities around diversity can we as health care leaders address and use to better serve those entrusted in our care?

Do you know what MOON is and how it affects your patients?

The new Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice (MOON) Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act requires hospitals to notify patients that they will be receiving observation care as outpatients for more than 24 hours. This means providers need to prioritize patients who are in observation status, with the entire care team being conscious of timely care planning and discharge planning to meet the new rules.

Do you use “teach back” or “living room language” when talking with your patients?

As providers, we know that communicating effectively is critically important in helping patients better understand their health and take steps to improve it. However, as many as 75 percent of the patients we see every day are unable to understand and use the health information they access in hospitals and clinics, as well as what they find on television and online.

Doctors Without Borders: Broaden your horizons and change your life

Attend an informational meeting 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 19, Providence Office Park 2 to learn more about the Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders organization – and how you can get involved. Hear from Jim Peck, M.D., a physician who has helped patients and countries all over the world. Learn how his experience has been enriching, rewarding and life affirming.

Early mobility benefits patients in the critical care unit

While we may think of critical care patients as being “too ill to move,” the reality is that integrating physical and occupational therapy early into critical care provides significant advantages for the patient.

Effective strategies to reduce "post-intensive care unit syndrome" for our patients

Ever since the first intensive care unit was developed in Copenhagen in 1953, critical care providers and teams have worked diligently to improve the care of their very ill patients. Many times, we’re able to save or extend patient lives. But what happens after ICU patients are discharged and face a long road to recovery? As critical care providers, we’re learning more about how to prevent and recognize what’s called “post-intensive care unit syndrome.”

End of antibiotic use: CDC says it’s a matter of when, not if

According to Arjun Srinivasan, M.D., associate director for Healthcare Associated Infection Prevention Programs for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “The end of antibiotics is no longer a question.”

Enter the Dragon: The classic gets a welcome upgrade

The voice recognition software Dragon Medical One is a greatly anticipated upgrade that’s scheduled to arrive in Oregon on Jan. 14, 2019.

Essential tremor interventions when medical management fails

In recent years, focused ultrasound thalamotomy and radiosurgical thalamotomy (Gamma Knife) have become appealing to patients for the treatment of essential tremor when medical management fails.

Fast Facts: 2019

At-a-glance items for providers.

Feeling burned out? Here are 10 easy tips to help

Earlier this fall, I attended the conference “Promoting Clinician Vitality and Well Being” through the Foundation for Medical Excellence. The conference’s goal was to teach providers how to find meaningful and personal satisfaction in their work. I admit I was intrigued, yet skeptical.  A class on how to be less stressed, more productive and ultimately happier in my workplace? How could I NOT attend this conference?

Fighting the Skyrocketing Costs of Drugs

As many of you probably are aware, we’re in a period of unprecedented increases in pharmaceutical costs. From 2006 to 2011 there was a period of relatively stable pharmaceutical inflation, with annual rates ranging from 2 to 6 percent. Unfortunately, this has changed significantly in the last three years, and now we’re seeing double digit inflation. This trend is expected to continue during the next few years. Here’s what Providence – with your help – can do to help manage those costs.

Flu vaccine roll-out to be combined with mass vaccination drill

Flu season is fast approaching, and Providence in Oregon will organize point of distribution exercises Oct. 1-12. These exercises will serve two purposes: To kick off our annual influenza vaccination campaign and to drill for a mass vaccination event.

Fr. John Tuohey to Leave Providence Center for Health Care Ethics

Health care teams, medical residents and providers – especially those who serve  inpatient units and who work as hospitalists – have benefited significantly from clinical ethics consults with Fr. John Tuohey during the past 16-plus years. Fr. Tuohey is leaving his leadership position with the Center for Health Care Ethics, and it’s important to recognize the center’s many contributions to Providence, providers, caregivers and our patients, as well as know that the center is well positioned to continue serving others.

Happy MACRA New Year – Almost

This is an important year as 2017 officially rings in the new MACRA payment model for anyone who bills Medicare Part B. This includes physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse anesthetists and more. Learn about the final rules, including four options for eligible clinicians to participate in merit-based incentive systems.

Health literacy: What is it, why is it so important, and how can we improve it?

It’s important that our patients understand, absorb and remember important health information that’s shared with them during visits with their provider and caregiving team. But what can we as providers do to improve what’s called “health literacy” – the degree to which patients understand basic information that they need to help make important health decisions and/or improve their health?

Helping our patients (and our providers) find their peak

Basecamp Cardiac Prevention + Wellness at Providence Heart Institute is creating communities that innovate as we work together to keep our hearts healthier. This includes cardiac rehabilitation peer support, cardiology sports training for providers (get CME credits!) in a unique setting on top of Mount Hood, and training to run/walk a 5K.

Hospital pain prescribing and new CMS opioid prescription rules

Prescribing pain medications in the hospital is changing, due to a variety of factors. They include: A better understanding of the pain experience, more comprehensive pain care, the country’s opioid crisis, new Joint Commission hospital pain standards, and new CMS rules for opioid prescriptions.

Hospital Transformation Performance Program update: New quality incentives for Oregon’s diagnosis-related group hospitals

In 2013, the Oregon legislature passed House Bill 2216, authorizing the Oregon Health Authority to initiate the Hospital Transformation Performance Program.

Hospitals earn joint replacement certification

Providence Portland and Providence St. Vincent medical centers have earned The Joint Commission Disease-Specific Certification for hip and knee replacement.

How ASK PROV and eConsult support you and your practice

The ASK PROV service for providers has been in place for more than a year, and we’ve had some great feedback and successes. Another helpful option for providers is eConsult. Learn more about these two provider services: See how they can help you manage clinical problems, save you time, often avoid a formal patient visit to a specialist, and coordinate referrals if a specialist visit is needed.

How can I have hypertension? Understanding the new guidelines

As a cardiologist and one of the 50 percent of Americans now considered hypertensive, I have a keen interest in understanding what has changed in new blood pressure guidelines for adults (and the justification). Based on my diastolic BPs, I recently joined the ranks of what is now considered stage I hypertension.  

How much do you really know about palliative care?

Learn about one patient’s improved outcomes with palliative care and the importance of this growing field of medicine.

How to improve our patients’ experience? Treat them like our spouse or partner

As providers, we spend a fair amount of time thinking about ways to improve our patients’ care experience. We know our patients want us to be good listeners; work in partnership with them; and develop meaningful, long-lasting relationships with them. Sounds like many of the same principles as a successful marriage or partnership, doesn’t it?

HTPP and other quality initiatives: Working together to care for our patients

Keeping our patients safe is integral to who we are as caregivers at Providence. Learn what Providence is doing to meet quality improvement targets through the state of Oregon’s Hospital Transformation Performance Program, as well as several of our own innovative quality improvement programs.

Impaired health care professionals can get the support they need

As everyone is aware, substance abuse has steadily increased in the U.S. during the last several years and has reached epidemic proportions. Unfortunately, we health care professionals are not immune to this trend. The good news is that plenty of support is available to help with recovery, with a high rate of success when support programs are followed.

Innovations in treating patients with GERD

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a very common condition that has plagued humans for centuries. Despite this long history, controversy and uncertainty remain about the disease’s pathophysiology. But fortunately, we’re using a range of effective treatments led by a team of experts at Providence Portland Medical Center and The Oregon Clinic as part of our commitment to excellence and innovation in digestive health.

LDI Recap: Providence leaders set their course for next year

Compassion, market trends, becoming a high-reliability organization, and creating healthier communities were dominant themes at the annual meeting of Providence leaders in Oregon. Here's a quick overview of the direction we'll be taking in 2016.

Learn About New Providence Immunotherapy Research Presented at International Meeting

Last November, 27 Providence physicians and researchers contributed to 35 abstracts at the International Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s annual meeting. Read highlights of these abstracts that focus on immunotherapy innovations in melanoma and cancers of the kidney; lung; oral, head and neck; breast and colon.

Learning and teaching together with our Ugandan colleagues

For 16 years, Providence St. Vincent’s internal medicine residents and faculty have gone to Uganda to learn how to practice medicine in a very challenging environment and to share clinical knowledge with Ugandan colleagues. Read about how these residents improve their clinical skills … and gain valuable insight and compassion.

Lisa Vance named as chief executive of Providence in Oregon

Longtime Providence leader Lisa Vance has been named chief executive for Providence Health & Services in Oregon. Vance replaces Dave Underriner, who took a position in Hawaii last April. Vance has been with Providence for 32 years and is well regarded for her transparency, collaboration and inclusivity.

MACRA Part 2: Gearing up for new physician payment adjustments in Medicare

In this article, we’re following up our May 2016 article with an in-depth analysis of the MACRA quality performance metrics. We’ll be using the Pulse physician e-newsletter in the upcoming months to share updates about what to expect and how to prepare.

MACRA: Are you ready for the journey?

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) became law in April 2016, which means major changes are coming for providers who have Medicare patients. Simply put, MACRA ties Medicare payments to provider performance. And while the new payment methodologies don’t go into effect until January 2019, it’s important to be prepared now –with performance during 2017 serving to establish rates.

Medical director named for regional behavioral health operations

Krista Farnam Chief operating officer, Providence Portland Medical Center Aug. 20, 2014 I wanted to share that Paul Giger, M.D., will serve as...

Medical Error Illustrates Importance of Becoming a High Reliability Organization

What do Epic electronic tools, peer check and questioning attitudes have in common? These three components – when used correctly – work together to help ensure patient safety, prevent serious medical errors and propel Providence forward in its journey toward becoming a high reliability organization. Learn what happens when one or more pieces of this “three-legged stool” falter and a serious safety incident occurs.

Medical staff retreat focuses on high reliability, system errors and provider burnout

When the medical staff leadership team met in April for its annual development retreat, it focused on key topics to help improve patient care and better support our providers. Agenda items included strategies to prevent burnout, new ways of thinking about medical errors and Providence’s high reliability work, and the importance of building a just and accountable culture for both patients and caregivers.

Meeting a growing need: Psychiatric services for patients 65 and older

Demonstrating Providence’s continued commitment to mental health care, the Senior Psychiatry Unit at Providence Milwaukie Hospital opened for business on July 26, 2016.

NCI-trained scientist brings adoptive T-cell immunotherapy to Providence Cancer Center

It’s already been a busy and fulfilling 2017 for cancer researcher Eric Tran, Ph.D. The National Cancer Institute-trained scientist began working at Providence Cancer Center in January, followed closely by his immunotherapy research being published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Shortly afterward, he was recognized as one of 15 most promising young researchers in the country by the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research.

New ‘closed’ system tube feedings now in effect

Providence hospitals in Oregon transitioned to an improved tube feeding delivery system in April, and providers should be aware of the change. Learn how to order tube feedings and how the new closed tube system provides better patient care.

New avenues in advance care planning: Be proactive with your patients

Advance care planning (ACP) involves much more than advance directives and POLST, although both are important components of effective planning for end-of-life care and medical decision making.

New Clinical Decision Unit at Providence St. Vincent cares for patients needing observation

For patients who need further assessment before they are either admitted to the hospital or discharged, the new Clinical Decision Unit at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center provides specialized, interdisciplinary care that better serves patients and clinical teams.

New Datix system: Helps providers, clinical teams speak up for safety

Employees and providers at Providence in Oregon have a new system for reporting safety events, called Datix, which is used to report events or concerns such as medication errors, procedural complications, equipment concerns, “good catches” and “near misses.”

New functional neurosurgical services now available at Providence

Providence Brain and Spine Institute recently expanded its services to include stereotactic and functional neurosurgical services, which provide ultra-precise techniques to surgically address specific targets in the nervous system. Learn more about these techniques and services that have expanded the set of multi-disciplinary, comprehensive services offered to patients with movement disorders and epilepsy. Also read about promising new directions for functional neurosurgery.

New GME requirements to reduce resident burnout: What is Providence doing?

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), which accredits most residency and fellowship programs, has updated its common program requirements to focus on learner wellness. ACGME, along with Providence, is serious about taking steps to reduce resident burnout and to support our physicians in training. Learn about current and upcoming programs to support residents in their own good health.

New neuro-oncology services now available at Providence

Providence Brain and Spine Institute and Providence Cancer Institute recently partnered to create neuro-oncology services led by a multidisciplinary team of experts. That means patients now have access to researchers and physicians who specialize and collaborate in the fields of neuroscience and oncology.

NEW patient privacy rules affect all professional staff members

Effective Nov. 15, 2016, all professional staff members must follow the rules of Providence’s Proactive Privacy Monitoring (PPM) program, which monitors use of patients’ electronic health records to ensure appropriate access of use.

New Proactive Outreach Team supports complex patients in transition

When complex, high-risk patients make a difficult transition – such as from the hospital to a skilled nursing facility, or from home to an emergency department because they don’t know where else to turn – they often don’t have the support or resources they need to improve their health. But a new program at Providence in Oregon, called the Proactive Outreach Team, is changing that.

New Providence leaders announced

Providence has named two new leaders who will play important roles at Providence in Oregon. Learn about Providence’s new chief operating officer and the medical director for the emergency services transfer center.

New resources to help prevent outpatient falls among your older patients

To help reduce outpatient falls, Providence in Oregon has adopted a proactive, multi-pronged strategy – including four easy interventions for busy primary care providers, workshops and patient materials – to help keep your older patients safe from falls.

New services for breast cancer patients and their providers

Patients with breast cancer and the providers who care for them benefit from new services at Providence Cancer Institute. These new and enhanced services include inherited cancer risk assessment and testing, genomic profiling of tumors, access to a multi-site clinical trial that addresses cancer mutation driven treatment of breast and other cancers, and improved coordination of breast cancer services.

New standards for caregivers in handling hazardous drugs

New standards have been established for personal protective equipment, or PPE, used for handling medications with specific risk categories. Please read the Hazardous Drug Handling Alert, which includes a drug list and answers to frequently asked questions.

New strategies and resources to reduce falls among at-risk patients

For the third consecutive year, Providence is participating in National Fall Prevention Awareness Day, always observed on Sept. 22, to coincide with the first day of fall. Sponsored by the National Council on Aging, this designated day raises awareness about the prevalence of falls among seniors and how you and your colleagues can help reduce the risk for this vulnerable population.

New Urolift procedure is effective for men with BPH

Sometimes amid the headline-grabbing announcements of designer drugs or genetic advancements curing rare diseases, we overlook therapeutic revolutions that help common ailments.

Now there are eight: Medford employs Providence hospitalists

Providence Medford Medical Center transitions from contracted hospitalists to those employed by Providence Medical Group. – Carolyn Sites, D.O., senior medical director, Providence Hospitalist Programs

On-call ED specialists: Serious consequences for refusing patient transfers

To prevent potential violations of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), Providence in Oregon is working hard to ensure all emergency providers, including on-call specialists, understand their obligation to accept patient transfers. 

One patient, 24 hours, three safety mistakes: A high reliability safety story

Read about a patient who had three serious safety errors in his care within 24 hours – but whose praise for Providence still never wavered.

Oregon’s 2018 elections set the tone for important 2019 legislative session

In January 2019, the Oregon legislative session convened for a “long” session in Oregon – meaning it can meet up to 160 days, per the state constitution. In this session the legislature will consider more than 3,500 bills, write a balanced budget for the next two years and make important decisions about the future of Oregon’s Medicaid program. Learn more about key health care bills that may affect you and your patients.

Patient safety and that “little voice in the back of your head”

Becoming a high reliability organization means every Providence caregiver must consistently take basic and fundamental steps in every patient care situation. Read this sobering story about how a preventable error almost occurred.

Patient-centered specialty practice supports medical home and MACRA goals

By now the term “patient-centered medical home” should be familiar to most primary care providers. But evidence suggests that patients with advanced diseases can benefit from a “specialty care medical home.” Learn how this new model supports primary care providers – and helps you achieve Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) goals for provider performance. 

Physician leaders named in Newberg, Portland and Medford

George Weghorst, M.D. is retiring as chief medical officer for Providence Newberg Medical Center after successfully guiding the facility over the past 10 years. Providence names his successor and new quality, safety medical directors elsewhere. – Doug Koekkoek, M.D., chief medical officer, Oregon Region

Physicians join Providence Medical Group, clinical programs

Providence Express Care Providence Express Care Amanda Bauler, FNP Miranda Boeh, FNP-C Nicole Bridges, FNP-C Kristi Keats, FNP-C Eric Norris, MD...

Prescribe “Basecamp” to improve your patients’ health

We all have patients who feel overwhelmed. They know they should take better care of themselves – eat healthier, exercise more and lose some weight. They just don’t know where to start. Providence Heart Institute this month opened “Basecamp,” an innovative place for your patients and other members of the community to feel supported and inspired in their journey to better health.

Preventing surgical site infection

Each year The Joint Commission requires Providence Health & Services to educate our licensed independent practitioners involved in surgical procedures about surgical site infections and the importance of prevention as part of their National Patient Safety Goals.

Program will allow surgeons to sharpen, showcase their skills

With simulators and a specially outfitted OR, Providence Portland Medical Center will expand its training for laparoscopic, robotic-assisted and endoscopy procedures. – Scott Foster, M.D., executive, Providence Regional Surgery Program, and Shaghayegh Aliabadi-Wahle, M.D., regional director of surgery

Providence adopts new focus and tools to prevent falls and fall-related injuries in the hospital

Injurious falls are considered the most costly of all Center for Medicare and Medicaid “never events,” both in terms of human suffering and financial impact.

Providence and The Oregon Clinic now can share patient records on Epic

One of Providence’s major clinical goals is easing the way for providers and their patients by increasing interoperability of electronic health records, especially between Providence and major clinical partners such as The Oregon Clinic. Last month we reached a major milestone –Providence and The Oregon Clinic providers now can easily access each other’s patient records through Epic.

Providence begins its acute-care transformation

The first phase of an innovative team-based model rolls out at PSVMC this month, changing how we care for patients both in and out of the hospital. – Judith Tatman, RN, BSN, MS, chief nursing officer, Oregon Region

Providence Brain and Spine Institute expands services to benefit patients, community physicians

Patients throughout Oregon and southwest Washington will have access to additional neurosciences services and programs, as Providence Brain and Spine Institute adds physicians, services, programs and clinical trials in key areas such as strokes, neurosurgery, ALS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, physiatry, movement disorders and more. In addition, PBSI provides a range of continuing education opportunities, including a two-day symposium this fall that focuses on helping primary care providers manage neurological disorders in their patients.

Providence Cancer Center integral to rapid progress of new cancer therapies

"In the past five years, we have seen more progress in cancer therapy than in the previous 100 years." – Walter J. Urba, M.D., Ph.D., research director, Providence Cancer Center and Earle A. Chiles Research Institute. Dr. Urba shared this powerful, inspiring statement during the May 25 Creating Hope Dinner to benefit continued research at Providence Cancer Center. This record-breaking event raised nearly $1 million for new research efforts, and we’re pleased to share important updates about our work.

Providence creates “supportive housing” to help patients live healthier lives

As providers have experienced firsthand, patients who have unstable living situations face extra challenges as they work to improve their health. To help address this significant issue, Providence and six other community partners in the Portland area are investing $21.5 million in supportive housing for these vulnerable patients.

Providence Elder at Home: First-year results support a model that works

As providers, we’ve all seen elderly patients whose conditions or symptoms are not well served by the typical medical care model – with repeated visits to the emergency department or inpatient units due to difficulty accessing after-hours or immediate help during the day. The Providence Elder at Home program just celebrated its first year of working in partnership with Providence Medical Group primary care providers. Learn about program results and future plans.  

Providence hospitals and clinics score high on key quality metrics

For the past year and a half, Providence in Oregon has focused a great deal of time and effort toward becoming a high reliability organization. Our goal always is to improve the safety and quality of outcomes we deliver to our patients. In assessing our 2016 quality metrics aimed at helping to achieve this goal, we’re pleased to announce that our hospitals and clinics achieved very high marks.

Providence Medical Group to launch unique compassion-based research study

PMG is embarking on a controlled study of the effect of increased compassion on burnout among caregivers in outpatient settings.

Providence Medical Group works to reduce preventable errors

While health care organizations such as Providence focus much of their efforts on becoming a “highly reliable organization” for hospital inpatient care … did you know that as many as 25 percent of outpatient office visits nationally include errors and preventable events? Learn what Providence Medical Group is doing to help reverse this trend. 


Providence selected for national initiative to create new models of care for seniors

Providence Health & Services-Oregon, a region of Providence St. Joseph Health, has been selected to help develop a new model of care that will improve health care outcomes for older adults in as many as 1,000 hospitals and health systems throughout the country.

Providence teaching physicians, residents honored by American College of Physicians

In early November the Oregon Chapter of the American College of Physicians held its annual meeting, and Providence’s teaching faculty members and residents shone.

Providence's new Universal Protocol is simple, effective and saves lives

When The Joint Commission introduced the mandatory Universal Protocol in 2004, the goal was to ensure that the correct patient, procedure and surgical site were confirmed prior to all procedures. The Providence version of this protocol recently was updated – with important new requirements for clinicians who perform surgeries and procedures.

Provider Q & A: Justin Osborn, M.D.

In this feature for Pulse, we’ll help readers get to know various providers throughout Oregon and southwest Washington. Meet Justin Osborn, M.D., family medicine physician and program director for Providence Milwaukie Family Medicine Residency. He joined Providence after 28 years at University of Washington and says he’s “happy to join Providence where actions mirror Mission statements.”

Provider Q&A: Linda Cruz, M.D.

Meet Linda Cruz, M.D., west area medical director for Providence Medical Group. She’s worked at Providence since November 2008 and is especially interested in health care issues related to quality and social justice.

Pulse reader survey results: Helpful feedback from our providers

In August we asked our Pulse readers what you like, and don’t like, about the articles we publish in our monthly e-newsletter. In this month’s issue, learn about the survey results, which we’ll use to improve the way we communicate with and serve you as busy providers.

Q & A with Providence’s new regional director, Providence Experience

Providence Health & Services has made an important commitment to the patient experience as we stay true to our promise of knowing our patients, caring for them and easing their way. Sue Giboney, BS, RT, RDMS, joined Providence in August to lead us on this journey. Dr. James Tuchschmidt recently sat down with Sue to talk about her vision for the Providence Experience.

Reducing malnutrition in hospitalized patients

Malnutrition is both a cause and a consequence of disease, resulting in serious issues for patients, their caregivers and our health system. There are 36 million hospitalizations per year in the U.S., and 15-60 percent of those should include a clinical diagnosis of malnourishment – yet only 3 percent are actually diagnosed. Learn how Providence’s new Epic workflow, effective Oct. 4, helps all members of the care team better identify and document disease-related malnutrition. 

Reducing Staph aureus surgical infections in high-risk surgeries: Providence bundle rolls out April 5

The Oregon Region is going live April 5 with a bundled intervention that focuses on protocols for reducing surgical site infection following certain procedures. It’s important to learn what types of procedures are targeted for the new surgical site infection protocols, and to understand which protocol to use.

Reliance eHealth Collaborative connects data among health systems

In October 2016, Providence began contributing clinical data to the Reliance eHealth Collaborative, formerly known as the Jefferson Health Information Exchange, so we can share important clinical information when patients use multiple health systems. At present, Providence participates in Reliance in southern Oregon and the Columbia Gorge – with plans for the collaborative to continue growing to serve more providers, clinics, hospitals and patients for better, more connected care.

Remember key rules when transferring emergency and laboring patients

Providers who are involved in ordering transfers of our Emergency Department patients or patients who are in labor should be aware of specific federal rules that govern when and how those transfers should occur. Failure to comply with these rules can result in fines of up to $50,000 per incident.

Remember the importance of acknowledging grateful patients

Every day your patients express their thanks for everything you and your team do to care for them. When you accept that gratitude, it’s part of your patients’ healing journey.

Robotic surgery in Oregon: Effectiveness and quality improvements

When the da Vinci Surgical System first came to Providence in Oregon in 2001, it promised to provide superior visualization, enhanced dexterity and greater precision than standard open or laparoscopic surgery. Last year Providence in Oregon performed more than 1,500 surgeries using the da Vinci system, and a pilot program was conducted in 2017 to assess and improve quality.

Roll up your sleeve: Flu vaccines are coming soon

Flu season is fast approaching, and Providence in Oregon will implement its influenza control policy, including free vaccines for all Providence practitioners at Providence facilities in Oregon during late September and early October.

Secure texting pilot for clinicians begins Sept. 11

Secure texting has been a top request from Oregon providers for several years. Providence is launching a pilot project starting Sept. 11 at three locations in Oregon and Alaska in which provider texts will be HIPAA compliant and will include Epic applications.

September sepsis superheroes: Improving patient care all year long

Brand new crayons, crisp apples, golden light … and reduced incidents of a deadly condition that many of our patients have never heard of. September is national Sepsis Awareness Month, and Providence St. Joseph Health is making important inroads toward reducing this life-threatening complication.

Snapshot of 2017 legislative session: key health care bills

Last month the 2017 Oregon legislative session adjourned, with Providence’s government affairs team closely monitoring, testifying and providing written responses to many of the 640 health care-related bills. This quick snapshot provides an overview of key health care bills and resources to help you understand the scope of legislation approved this session.

Social determinants of health: Key programs to support patients, improve their well-being

Providence has had success with two key programs – the Community Resource Desk and Patient Support Program – that support the social needs of our patients, which translates into better overall health.

Surprise “speaker” highlights annual medical staff leadership retreat

When about 150 regional leaders of the professional staff and administration gathered April 15 and 16 at the Allison Inn in Newburg for the annual medical staff leadership retreat, they didn’t anticipate having such a compelling surprise “guest.” Participants went on an unplanned detour into the historical and philosophical arc of medicine through the eyes of one of medicine’s most influential leaders, Don Berwick, M.D.

Taking the fear out of lung nodule detection

When our patients get upsetting or uncertain news, it’s only natural that they feel mental strain that can affect their day-to-day life. In the case of lung nodule detection, not knowing exactly what to expect often puts patients in a state of anxiety and fear. At Providence St. Vincent Medical Center’s Lung Nodule Clinic, patients often come in with a heightened sense of alarm. We try to reduce their distress by addressing a patient’s chief concern from the very beginning: “Is my lung nodule cancerous or not?”

To err is human … but most medical errors are preventable

When a landmark study was conducted 17 years ago about the shockingly high incidence of medical errors – 100,000 inpatient deaths annually at that time – the health care community reacted swiftly and deeply. Much has been done in the intervening years, including here at Providence. So how have those preventable death statistics changed since then? The results are both surprising and sobering. Learn what you should do to help reverse this alarming trend.

Together we can tame our ‘inner Hulk’ when it comes to physician burnout

Providence in Oregon this spring hosted the 2018 Oregon Physician Leadership Conference with attendees from the Oregon Community Ministry Board and physician leaders. The hot topic for the conference was provider burnout. As part of that discussion, we learned which three specialties have the highest burnout rate … and which three specialties are the happiest. Can you take a guess? You might be surprised.

Tools you can use to help your patients manage their pain

With more than 260,000 Oregonians reported as having persistent pain, providers are working to meet their patients’ needs while also finding effective alternatives to prescribing narcotics. Providence in Oregon has developed some key tools to help providers and their patients begin important conversations about persistent pain, talk about effective treatment strategies, and work together to develop personalized treatment plans.

Transforming specialty care and preparing for MACRA

There’s no doubt that we live in an era of health care transformation – of system integration, performance measurement, public reporting, cost transparency and payment reform – particularly in primary care. Yet little has been done to update specialty care to better meet the needs of patients and referring providers. Learn what a group of cardiology providers has done to reverse this, while also preparing for changes required by MACRA.

Update on transfusion associated circulatory overload (TACO):

Transfusion associated circulatory overload, also known as TACO, accounted for 22 percent of the transfusion-related deaths reported to the FDA from 2010 to 2014. In addition, up to 21 percent of TACO cases are life-threatening with resulting prolonged hospital length of stay and ICU admissions. Clearly, it’s important that we all work together to prevent TACO incidents.

Welcome to our new graduate medical education program directors

Providence is pleased to announce that two physicians have been promoted to our Graduate Medical Education leadership team: Justin Osborn, M.D., and Mari Kai, M.D. A GME program director is one of the most important jobs in our education system, and both of these physician leaders bring a great deal of experience and insight into graduate medical education.

Wellness programs show startling results in population health goals

As Providence works to implement its new model of population health care, prevention is a key component to help keep our communities and patients healthier.

What are you doing to promote tobacco cessation for your patients?

We know that tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death, with more than 480,000 deaths (or about 1 in 5 deaths) every year in the U.S. due to smoking. But in the busy practice environment, talking to our patients about quitting tobacco sometimes can take a back seat. Learn about some effective smoking cessation tools to help your patients—just in time for the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout on November 16.

What do Tonya Harding and ‘cowabunga’ have to do with capitation?

For physicians who practiced in the ‘90s, today’s newly-reinvigorated idea of capitation may create some anxiety. But capitation today is far different than 20 years ago.

What have we learned from sentinel events?

As Providence focuses on patient safety as part of our transformation into a highly reliable organization, our goal is zero preventable patient harm. But when a serious error does occur, the key is: How did we respond, what have we learned, and what are we doing to prevent it from happening again? Learn about Providence’s revised sentinel event process and examples of new clinical protocols.

What is my role in providing palliative care for my patients?

In the October 2016 issue of Pulse, we provided a definition of palliative care and a broad scope of resources for you and your patients. This includes goals of care conversations, spiritual support, emotional support, symptom management and other related topics. With such a wide range of offerings one may ask the question, “What is my role in providing palliative care for my patients, and when should I refer to a palliative care specialist?”

When our patients need us most: Roles and responsibilities during a disaster

No one likes to think that a large, catastrophic disaster will occur in our lifetimes. But it’s important to think realistically, take proactive steps now and prepare ahead of time. Learn about Providence’s progressive plans for emergency management – and about how our non-staff clinical providers can be a valuable asset during times of emergency.

When will our business model reward empty hospital beds?

Momentum is building throughout many health care organizations to transition from a volume-based system to a value-based organization. On the heels of two recent key strategic planning meetings, Providence’s leadership team is taking important steps to convert its clinical and operational focus toward population health to help achieve a vision of “Creating healthier communities together.”

Why are maternal mortality rates on the rise?

Just a few generations ago, it was a common occurrence for women to die in childbirth. Later on, better prenatal and medical care meant a lot fewer women died during, or shortly after, giving birth. But the trend has been reversing itself, with maternal mortality rates on the rise throughout the United States. Learn why this trend is occurring and also what Providence – where more babies are born than at any other health system in Oregon – is doing to keep women safe during childbirth.

Why it’s important to follow EMTALA, the "anti-dumping" law

The Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (more commonly known as EMTALA) is a federal law that prevents hospitals from sending away patients based on insurance status, race, gender, national origin or pre-existing medical conditions. Failure to comply is serious—with hospitals potentially losing their Medicare certification, and physicians and hospitals being levied with a fine of up to $50,000 per violation.

Words of support inspiration from Oregon Community Ministry Board member

We were very pleased to have members of Providence’s Oregon Community Ministry Board as special guests at our recent medical leadership retreat. It was very helpful for the medical leadership team to meet with and talk with OCMB members, and we appreciate their support in understanding issues facing providers and the medical community. Read more for a follow-up note we received from OCMB Chair Joanne Warner.

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Pulse FAQs

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