It was a hectic, yet productive year for Johnston Health: an affiliation, accreditations, a groundbreaking in Clayton and hard work by many to add services and to improve quality, finances, market share and patient satisfaction.
Here’s a list of the most notable achievements in 2013.
1. The affiliation. After a 17-month search, the Johnston Health Board of Commissioners in March chose UNC Health Care for a partnership. From the start, the board’s goal was to strengthen and prepare Johnston Health for the sweeping changes in health care. The board recently finalized that agreement.
2. Expanding at Johnston Medical Center in Clayton. Work on the $50 million addition, which includes a three-story wing for 50 inpatient beds, began in early September and is progressing ahead of schedule. If all goes according to plan, the work will be done by January 2015. Also notable, Johnston Medical Center in Smithfield added a holding area for patients seeking behavioral health care.
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3. Earning full accreditation as chest-pain centers. The designation, awarded in April by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, signifies that Johnston Health has a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. Also notable, the radiology departments earned accreditation for CT services.
4. Building the electronic health record. With the help of a vendor, Johnston Health put into place the computer programming and work stations and taught doctors how to enter patient orders electronically. The paperless project, which took about 18 months to complete, met the requirements of a federal incentives program. In all, Johnston Health has received payments of $2.9 million.
5. Recruiting a vice president of medical affairs. Dr. Donald Pocock assumed the new position in November. He brings to the job more than 30 years of clinical and administrative experience in private practice and hospital settings.
6. Adding services for patients. With the addition of Dr. Raj Majithia in August, patients with diseases of the pancreas and liver now have access to advanced endoscopic treatments. Also in August, Dr. Anshul Rao brought to Johnston Health his specialty of rheumatology.
7. Financial improvements. Johnston Health closed the fiscal year with an operating income of $2.8 million. It was the first positive margin in five years and at a time when other health care systems have reported losses. Two of the key factors: fiscal discipline, particularly in Smithfield, and a strong performance in Clayton.
8. Enhancing the patient experience. With the addition of patient-experience specialist Amber Daughtry, the health care system now has a sharper focus on customer satisfaction. Why is that important? Federal reimbursements are now tied to surveys that measure a patient’s perception on things such as pain management, cleanliness of the room and responsiveness of the staff.
9. Improving quality and patient satisfaction. The health care system made gains in core-measure results and patient-satisfaction scores. Specifically, the organization improved its satisfaction scores in all categories by an average of 3 percent, which was better than the national average increase of 1 percent.
10. Improving market share. Johnston Health grew its market share by 1.5 percent during 2013. The organization reinvigorated its branding, added marketing events and appearances on local TV and radio. Also, Johnston Health used its website and social media to get out the word about events, free screenings and new doctors and services.