It was the year that Johnston Health implemented new technology, welcomed patient and family advisers and dodged a major flood. Here’s a Top 10 list of most notable events and accomplishments in 2016.
Epic: After months of planning, preparation and training, Johnston Health went live with Epic on May 21. The information technology was the largest investment of the year. The goal: to improve the efficiency of the UNC Health Care system for providers and staff and to ensure the best possible care for patients.
Fresh eyes: Patient and family advisers began offering feedback on how to improve the patient experience. The volunteers are now sitting in on committee meetings, rounding on patients and observing in waiting areas to capture the perceptions of patients and visitors.
Telesitting: Implemented in mid-December, the monitoring system is freeing up nursing assistants who had been sitting with patients at risk for falls and with dementia and other conditions. Now, a single nursing assistant can watch as many as 10 patients from her monitoring station in an office on second floor. Through a monitor in the patient room, she can also speak with patients and call their nurses as needed.
3-D mammography: Earlier detection and peace of mind are two of the benefits of 3-D mammography. Through a capital campaign, the Johnston Health Foundation raised nearly $500,000, and Johnston Health matched the contribution to buy the new systems for Smithfield and Clayton.
Cardiology gains: With the new cath lab in place, the demand for cardiology services, particularly stenting, continued to grow. Also noteworthy: Dr. Eric Janis began implanting a device to help monitor patients with congestive heart failure.
Operational excellence: The Lean process-improvement program got a new name and a broader emphasis. Most notably, work groups focused on strategies to help with the identification and treatment of sepsis, which is also a UNC Health Care system-wide initiative.
Fit-friendly: The American Heart Association recognized Johnston Health as a 2016 Fit-Friendly Worksite because of its indoor/outdoor walking trails, healthy eating options and membership discounts to HealthQuest. Also notable: a free annual wellness check for employees and a day (Tuesday) to wear sneakers to work.
Oh baby: During the year, Johnston Health had 1,492 deliveries, nearly 40 percent of them in Clayton. With the growing demand for services, the hospital opened its first floor on east wing to accommodate more patients.
A milestone for volunteers: For the first time, the value of hours donated in a year by the 234 volunteers serving Johnston Health’s two hospitals and its SECU Hospice House topped $1 million.
Hurricane Matthew: The storm dumped 10 inches of rain on Smithfield during a 24-hour-period, causing flooding in low-lying areas, including Hospital Road. With its driveway entrance under water, the SECU Hospice House was evacuated through its back lawn, and patients were resettled on second floor of the Bright Leaf wing. Also notable: A major switch near the central energy plant was under floodwaters, so the hospital used its emergency generators to power the campus for four days.