Mahaska Health Focuses On Patient-Centered Care

Mahaska Health Partnership

Mahaska Health Partnership

A Mahaska Health Press Release

“Every day, our caregivers, clinical teams and administrative staff strive to provide the best patient-centered experience for our community members. Mahaska Health is honored to be recognized as a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital,” said Mahaska Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tim Breon. “This is a testament to the outstanding work of our team as they consistently go above and beyond to serve the community and expand access.”

“We are very fortunate to have a great team and the excellent patient care they provide each and every day. Our extraordinary team of doctors, nurses, therapists, caregivers, and visiting specialists are allowing us to transform the level or care we provide to our community,” said Kevin DeRonde, Mahaska Health CEO. “Having a medical community of care providers who have dedicated their lives to help others in their greatest times of need and having the opportunity to work together with people and organizations within the community is a wonderful experience. We want to make sure we continue to serve our local community and region to the best of our ability in the years ahead.”

For over 100 years, Mahaska Health has been dedicated to a mission of creating healthier communities. This last year, the hospital worked through answering how to make this sustainable and how to continually improve what Mahaska Health will provide for our community in the next 100 years.

Mahaska Health is making significant progress toward new and transformative models of care that promote total health as the hospital continues to innovate to meet consumer demands for convenient access and exceptional service.

“Patient-centered care encourages collaboration between the patients, families, and providers to create and manage a personalized and comprehensive care plan,” said Dr. Steven Rippentrop, Occupational Health and Public Health Medical Director at Mahaska Health. “We want to empower our patients by providing them information and education about their progress, prognosis as well as their health and wellbeing. We also want to walk with our patients through the fears or anxieties they might have about their future.”

One of the ways Mahaska Health is reinforcing its commitment to patient-centered care is through same-day appointments. In December 2018, the Mahaska Health Primary Care Clinic expanded clinic hours and opened same-day appointments. Now that these schedule changes have been combined with new streamlined workflows, our patients are frequently able to get same-day care from their own primary care provider.

“We understand that you can’t always plan for a health concern. It’s important to us that we are able to accommodate patients and families who may want to see a primary care provider after waking up feeling ill or experiencing an unexpected minor injury,” said Dr. Shawn Richmond, Primary Care Physician at Mahaska Health.

These same-day appointments will allow the patients to see a provider they have already established a relationship with, promoting continuity of care available at the patient’s convenience.

“There’s great value in seeing a provider who understands your medical history and your unique healthcare needs,” said DeRonde. “Your primary care provider serves as a partner in maintaining your overall health and well-being along with coordinating your care after you leave.”

In addition to offering same-day appointments, Mahaska Health also became a member of the Heartland Rural Physician Accountable Care Organization (ACO). ACOs are comprised of primary care providers dedicated to delivering high-quality care. The overall goal is to ensure patients receive the right care at the right time, prevent medical errors and help avoid unnecessary duplication of services.

During this process, Mahaska Health also met with Dr. Karen Summar, Senator Charles Grassley, Health Policy Director and Governor Kim Reynolds, Health Policy Advisor Paige Thorson to discuss long-term solutions that could be implemented to successfully navigate challenges rural communities and critical access hospitals are facing amidst a changing healthcare market.

After visiting with Mahaska Health’s medical staff, executive team members and the Board of Trustees decided a move to a patient centered value-based coordination of care plan was necessary to counteract the healthcare changes that happened in 2010, with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the major reduction in reimbursements for Critical Access Hospitals.

“We are navigating the challenging healthcare landscape in a coordinated approach where Mahaska Health implemented value based and patient centered care initiatives at the beginning of this year along with many other initiatives,” said DeRonde.

“We must address these complex issues in a coordinated approach that builds on the progress we’ve made together,” said DeRonde. “Accountable Care Organizations are the standard in the healthcare industry by providing better quality at a lower cost by promoting care coordination, such as reducing readmissions and the length of hospital stays. This process of coordination of care and patient engagement is already being replicated at Mahaska Health.”

Patients will also have the opportunity to see new faces when they visit the hospital.

Dr. Glenda Roefer began practicing as an ER physician in the hospital’s Emergency Services Department.

Nurse Practitioner Jessica Tokle, ARNP joined the Mahaska Health walk-in clinic. Mrs. Tokle is originally from Grinnell and graduated from Clarkson College.

Dr. Mark Zacharjasz is a primary care physician practicing in the Family Medicine Department. Dr. Zacharjasz graduated from the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Mercy Family Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Alyssa Zacharjasz started as a podiatrist at Mahaska Health after graduating from Des Moines University and completing her residency at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Evansville, Indiana.

Mahaska Health also added two certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) to their team, Tiffany Martin and Greg Kronenberg. In addition to nurse anesthetist experience, Mr. Kronenberg is Fellowship trained in pain management with over 10 years of pain management experience and works in Mahaska Health’s pain management clinic. The clinic provides treatment to patients suffering from chronic pain conditions, through a variety of treatments, which now includes epidurals.

On April 22, a second orthopaedic surgeon will start practicing at Mahaska Health. Dr. Jon Gehrke specializes in general orthopaedics, foot and ankle and sports medicine and has over 20 years of experience. Seth Hockaday, PA-C will also begin in April as a physician assistant in the orthopaedics department. Both Dr. Gehrke and Seth Hockaday, PA-C will join Dr. Sreedhar Somisetty and Mike Johnston, PA-C offering orthopaedic clinic and services to the community five days a week.

“Each new provider brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and passion for treating both adults and children. They are a wonderful addition to the hospital and a benefit to our patients in Oskaloosa and the surrounding communities,” said Andrea Hagist, Chief Nursing Officer of Mahaska Health.

“In order to better support our providers and scheduling team Mahaska Health implemented a new appointment reminder system, Relatient, which automatically sends an email, text or phone call to our patients to remind them of their appointment, went live last week. Relatient will provide a more efficient service for our schedulers/registration team to reduce their callbacks and reduce patient no shows,” said Rujuta Vidal, Mahaska Health Executive Director of Clinics.

Kim Rutledge, ARNP received the honor of being named one of the “100 Great Iowa Nurses” for 2019. The 100 Great Iowa Nurses award recognizes nurses that have made meaningful, lasting contributions to their patients, colleagues, and the nursing profession and are viewed as mentors to other nursing professionals. This is the 11th consecutive year Mahaska Health has been represented in the “100 Great Iowa Nurses” listing.

Preplacement exams are being offered for the employees of local businesses. In addition, Mahaska Health employees are performing blood pressure checks and counseling services at local and regional businesses.

Corporate medical consultation services are being offered to local employers that will focus on health promotion activities, disease and injury prevention strategies and wellness programming services. These screening efforts will lead to the screening of hundreds of local residents for cancer, that would enable cancers to be found at the curative stage—a meaningful shift from late stage detection. These programs have the ability to result in reduction in high cholesterol, diabetes and tobacco use.

Lea Rice, Mahaska Health’s Dietician/Diabetic Educator, is working with Dr. Rippentrop to set up corporate nutrition programs with local employers that will include on-site lunch and learn series, a nutritional intervention course and weight loss programming.

“Overall the outlook is bright for Mahaska Health in 2019, and we are extremely grateful for your support and look forward to serving you in the future!” said Dr. Breon.

Posted by on Mar 8 2019. Filed under Local Businesses, Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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