Kansas Association of Health Care Executives

June 2020

From the Desk of the KAHCE President

Trenton Stringer

What a time to be in healthcare! At a time of year when most people should be planning vacations or family time, most of us find ourselves not having that privilege this year. These have been trying times as we have all had to jump hurdle after hurdle to keep our doors open and our facilities safe.

Coronavirus has and continues to impact all of our work day after day. As a younger professional, I did not think I would experience something like this so early in my career. After talking to several KAHCE members and Board members, they have also echoed that they have never seen anything like this before in their careers. Suffice it say, this has definitely been a learning experience for all of us.

Unfortunately for our members, we had to cancel our Spring Education event in Manhattan earlier this year due to the virus. It was a difficult decision to make, as we will not hit our goal of offering 12 Face-to-Face credits this year, but felt that it was the safest option for all. ACHE Congress was also cancelled due to the virus, falling in line with other major professional organizations. We will be meeting over the next few weeks to work on our Fall Education event that is scheduled to take place in Overland Park this year. We will be discussing with the Board and the Education Committee to see what that event will look like during these interesting times. My gratitude is offered to both of these groups and to all of our members that are doing work that falls outside the norm.

To our members, thank you for everything you are doing in your organizations and communities to improve and maintain the health of those you serve.

Stay safe. Stay Healthy. And I hope to see you all soon!

Message from Your ACHE Regent - Spring 2020

Patricia Sanders-Hall, FACHE

Greetings KAHCE Members: 

I know many of you are very busy and heavily involved with the impact of COVID-19 in your facilities and work environments. I realize you have so many concerns and new challenges in maintaining care for your patients and safety for your staff.  I have heard from many of you and know at this point, you, along with your staff, are weary.  I understand that these many weeks of enduring rising numbers of patients who are sick and dying due to this pandemic is a challenge beyond any other you may have ever faced. 

My heart goes out to all of you on the front lines of inpatient care, as well as all other essential staff coming to work every day.  I hope you will be strengthened by all the thoughts, prayers, support, and the highest respect of our community for your caring, courage, and sacrifices. I am looking forward to a better future and an effective vaccine to be developed and quickly made available to all. God bless all of you.

Sincerest Regards,

Patricia Sanders-Hall, FACHE
Regent for Kansas

Membership Report

Richard "Wes" Hoyt, Jr., FACHE

Greetings Fellow KAHCE Members,

Wow…what a year so far.  It has certainly challenged each of us, and that challenge has also impacted our local chapter.  We experienced a larger than normal decrease in the number of members that allowed their membership to expire.  It is during times like we are facing that membership in a professional society is critically important.  ACHE and KAHCE have a wealth of resources and forums to help us share information and engage peers that are going through the same things as we are.  Collectively, we are much stronger when we share information and techniques as it helps us develop creative solutions and answers to issues that seem overwhelming.  In KAHCE, we strive to connect our members and keep all informed through the challenging and the good times.  Please reach out to your peers and others that can benefit from connecting with healthcare administration professionals and introduce them to KAHCE.  Our diversity of healthcare organizations and demographics in the state provides us with an opportunity to share experiences like no other.  If you know of someone that would benefit from being a member of ACHE and KACHE, please connect them with myself or other members of the membership committee…we would welcome the opportunity to speak with them and get them connected.We have good news to share!  Please join us in welcoming our newest members:
 
 
March
  • Zachary K. Ahrens, Topeka
  • Hayden Palm, CPA, Overland Park
  • Casey L. Pickering, RN, Kansas City
  • Rachel A. Rinehart, Overland Park
  • Shiloh Sutton, BS, Overland Park
 
April
  • Lynnsey Shade, Overland Park
 
May
  • David Caudill, Quinter
  • Michael Hale, Kansas City
  • Bushra Hashmi, Topeka
  • Linda Moody, DNP, Wichita
  • Lotanna C. Okeke, ScD, Pittsburg

 

We also want to congratulate our members who re-certified for their fellowship:
  • Carol S. Perry, Topeka
  • Richard K. Rogers, Mission
 

Advancement Report

Patrick W. Altenhofen, FACHE

In healthcare, leaders continuously hear about accelerated change and that the only thing you can be certain of in healthcare is change. During this COVID-19 pandemic, constant change is an understatement. The last 3 months have been a time of tremendous change, both from a clinical and business standpoint, and leadership has never been more critical. In a recent article published by Deloitte regarding leadership, they touch on aspects of leadership during a pandemic that ties in closely with the foundation of those that have the designation of FACHE:

  1. Design from the heart … and the head. In crisis, the hardest things can be the softest things. Resilient leaders are genuinely, sincerely empathetic, walking compassionately in the shoes of employees, customers, and their broader ecosystems. Yet resilient leaders must simultaneously take a hard, rational line to protect financial performance from the invariable softness that accompanies such disruptions.
  2. Put the mission first. Resilient leaders are skilled at triage, able to stabilize their organizations to meet the crisis at hand while finding opportunities amid difficult constraints.
  3. Aim for speed over elegance. Resilient leaders take decisive action – with courage – based on imperfect information, knowing that expediency is essential.
  4. Own the narrative. Resilient leaders seize the narrative at the outset, being transparent about current realities – including what they don’t know – while also painting a compelling picture of the future that inspires others to persevere.
  5. Embrace the long view. Resilient leaders stay focused on the horizon, anticipating the new business models that are likely to emerge and sparking the innovations that will define tomorrow.

Source – Deloitte (2020) The heart of resilient leadership: Responding to Covid-19. https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/fr/Documents/about-deloitte/covid-19-resilient-leadership.pdf

As leaders in this crazy new world, I know that it is likely that designations (such as FACHE) from professional organizations are not at the top of everyone’s list. However, please know that ACHE understands these trying times and has adjusted the timeline for new fellowship applications and recertification.

Fellow Applications:

All Fellow applications on file with a 2020 expiration date have been extended and will expire on Dec. 31, 2020

Recertification:

Recertification deadlines have been extended for 2019 and 2020 classes. Each recertification class must have met all of the requirements, submitted their application and paid the recertification fee by the new deadlines.

2019 Recertification Class Extension is Dec. 31, 2020.

2020 Recertification Class Extension is March 31, 2021.

I hope everyone is staying healthy and as always, please reach out with any questions or concerns.

 

Patrick W. Altenhofen, FACHE

KAHCE Advancement Chair

VP Operations, Saint Luke's North Region

How to Use Virtual Visits to Connect Coronavirus Patients With Loved Ones

AdventHealth is connecting hospitalized patients and families with virtual visits, including coronavirus patients.

To curb the spread of COVID-19, hospitals across the country have placed strict limits on visits to hospitalized patients. Visitation restrictions have been troublesome for COVID-19 patients, with families unable to see their loved ones for many days or weeks, and seriously ill patients dying without contact with their families.

For COVID-19 patients, virtual visits at AdventHealth have generated significant benefits, says Pam Guler, MHA, vice president and chief experience officer at the Altamonte Springs, Florida-based health system. "This has been meaningful for our patients, their families, and our caregivers. Many caregivers have told stories of creating a moment that has deep meaning not only for families and patients but also has touched their hearts."

AdventHealth features nearly 50 hospitals in nine states. During the COVID-19 pandemic, physical visits to hospitalized patients have been limited to a single loved one in the case of an end-of-life situation, childbirth, and a child in the hospital.

VIRTUAL VISIT BASICS

AdventHealth recently launched virtual visits for hospitalized patients with the distribution of 1,000 Chromebooks and some iPads throughout the health system's hospital campuses, Guler says. The cost of the initiative was minimal because the Chromebooks were already in hand for another project, which has been delayed, she says. "The investment has been more about helping our team members to understand what they need to do."

With help from the health system's information technology staff, Guler has a team of 65 experience leaders who facilitate the virtual visits. In one recent week, the health system conducted 1,350 virtual visits. "Our information technology staff loaded the Chromebooks in a way to make it as easy as possible to use Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, and Facetime. We are using Google Hangouts quite a bit for video chats."

CORONAVIRUS PATIENT VIRTUAL VISITS

AdventHealth has put protocols in place for hospitalized COVID-19 patients to have virtual visits with loved ones, including for end-of-life situations, Guler says.

There are three primary considerations for virtual visits with all COVID-19 patients:

  • To limit the number of people in a patient's room for infection control, a bedside caregiver in full personal protective equipment brings a Chromebook or other device into the room.

  • The device can be held by the bedside caregiver or placed on a bedside table if the family requests privacy for the virtual visit.

  • After the virtual visit, a disinfectant is used to sterilize the Chromebook or other devices.

The protocols for end-of-life situations are more involved, she says. "We have to facilitate calls more when there is an end-of-life scenario and the patient is not able to be an active participant."

The first step is for an experience leader to contact the family and to see whether they want to have a virtual visit. Then the family is asked whether they want to have a hospital chaplain included in the virtual visit.

Once a virtual visit has been arranged, an experience leader initiates the call to the family and hands off the device to a bedside caregiver outside the patient's room. In most cases, the bedside caregiver holds the device, so the family gets a full view of the patient.

Although ICU bedside caregivers are experienced in working with the families of dying patients, they have received training to help them facilitate virtual visits, Guler says.

"This is a very deep and meaningful situation and interaction, and we have shared some words the caregivers might say. They may ask the family whether there is anything they can do to be the family's hands as the family is talking with their loved one, such as, 'Can I touch your loved one's hand?' They have protective equipment on, but they can be the hands of the family. The caregivers try to do anything they can to bring a human touch to this virtual experience."

Many family members can participate in an end-of-life virtual visit, she says.

"In one end-of-life situation, we had 15 family members on the virtual chat, along with their family pastor. The patient could not respond, but the family was able to say some last words. They said how much they loved the patient. Their pastor prayed with them. It was deeply meaningful and facilitated by a caregiver who held the device. In that situation, the caregiver did not need to say anything."

THE NEW NORMAL

AdventHealth plans to continue providing virtual visits for hospitalized patients after the COVID-19 crisis is over, Guler says.

"We want to continue virtual visits in the future. Even in a non-COVID-19 scenario, we often have patients who have family across the country. With this platform now in place, contact does not just have to be through telephone. We are already exploring ways that we can have virtual visits in the future in a non-COVID-19 world."

—Adapted from "How to Use Virtual Visits to Connect Coronavirus Patients With Loved Ones," HealthLeaders, by Christopher Cheney, May 1, 2020.


We Must Stay Informed

We have long known that when it comes to health outcomes in America, inequalities have persisted along racial lines. The recent coronavirus pandemic has shined an ugly light on these disparities as severe cases of COVID 19, the illness caused by the virus, are disproportionately affecting African American and Hispanic/Latino communities at a higher rate. While much is still unknown about the virus, it has become increasingly clear that it is impacting many vulnerable segments of our society. However, in America, that vulnerability is highly intersected with race and poverty.

What steps should we take to stay safe and avoid further spread of the virus? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following steps:

Know How It Spreads

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within six feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

Clean Your Hands Often

Wash often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid Close Contact

Avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home as much as possible and avoid large groups, and put distance between yourself and other people.

Cover Your Mouth and Nose

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. Everyone should wear a face cover when they have to go out in public, such as to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. Continue to keep about six feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

Cover Coughs and Sneezes

Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

—Adapted from “We Must Stay Informed,” Black News Portal, by Kenny McMorris, FACHE, CEO, Charles Drew Health Center, Inc., Omaha, Neb. April 2020