Quarterly SOHLstice
September 2019
In This Issue
President's Message
SOHL Programs: Quarterly Updates
Welcome Our Newest Members of SOHL!
FACHE® Recertification: It's Never Too Late to Begin Planning
Postgraduate Fellowships: Creating Future Leaders
Community Forums Enhance Members’ Experience
Healthcare Consultants Forum Member Directory: Connecting Executives to Consultants
Local Prep Course Offered for the BOG Exam
ACHE Joins a Partnership Focused on Improving Diagnostic Quality and Safety
Planning for the Continuation of Your Career
U.S. Medical Students Choosing Primary Care Specialties in an Eight-Year Decline
Improved Communication Leads to Higher Patient Outcomes, Lower Readmission Rates
Special Thanks to Our Platinum and Gold Sponsors
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Chapter Officers

Executive Board


Regent (California - Southern)
Ellen Zaman, FACHE
Children's Hospital Los Angeles

 

President
Dasha Dahdouh
Rady Children’s Hospital - San Diego

 

President Elect
Edwin Kofler
UC San Diego School of Medicine

 

Immediate Past President
Darrell Atkin
TruthPoint / Darrell Atkin & Associates


Secretary
Spshelle Rutledge 
National University


Co-Treasurers
Amy Kasahara 
UC San Diego Health

Michael Sokolowski

 

Board of Directors


Membership
Allison Noel
ECG Management Consultants

Aubrianna Butler


Programs
Jared Vogt
Rady Children’s Hospital

Nora Bota
County of San Diego


Marketing
Michelle Martin
Casa Palmera Treatment Center

Melinda Hudson
UC San Diego Health


Career Development
Andrea Gonzalez
Scripps Health


Volunteer Coordinator
Vicki Shumulinsky
West Health


Sponsorship
Barbara Gerber
Devon Hill Associates, LLC

Howard Salmon
nThrive


Imperial County Liaison
Kathleen Lang

 

Subcommittee Members


Diversity Council
Chisun Chun
Rady Children's Hospital

Melody Schiaffino
San Diego State University


Allied Healthcare Professional Council
Jose PonCevega
Naval Medical Center San Diego

Nora Bota
County of San Diego

Shawn Amirhoushmand
Generations Healthcare-Friendship Manor Nursing

Yameeka Jones
Vibra Hospital of San Diego

Sarah Gerard
VA San Diego Healthcare System


Annual Conference
Johan Otter
Scripps Health

Kristine Ortwine


Newsletter
Mike De Castro
ECG Management Consultants


Social Media
Alice Dang
Scripps Health


Mentoring
Sarah Gerard
VA San Diego Healthcare System

 

Executive Program
Celerina Cornett

Jack Hallmark


Advancement Study Group
Jose PonCevega
Naval Medical Center San Diego

Andrea Gonzalez
Scripps Health


Graduate Program Council, San Diego State University
Brandy Lipton

Student Liaison, San Diego State University
Sarah Norwood
Britney Prince


Graduate Program Council, National University
Negin Iranfar

Student Liaison, National University
Norelis Dyshkant
Myreen Piazza


Graduate Program Council, UC San Diego
TBD

Student Liaison, UC San Diego
Justin Sigmund
Rene Lopez

 

College Bowl
Peggy Ranke
National University


Senior Advisors Council
Mary Parra
Neighborhood Healthcare

Mark Campbell
TRICARE Regional Office – West


Members-At-Large
Aaron Byzak
Galvanized Strategies

Nia Price


Website Manager
Carol Cannizzo
IKOR International

Improved Communication Leads to Higher Patient Outcomes, Lower Readmission Rates

Aside from top-quality providers and the latest technology, what do the most successful hospitals have that others do not? The answer is clear and effective communication across all levels and areas of care. Effective communication is central to the patient experience and important for both short- and long-term episodes of care, but it is particularly critical at key transition points in care, most notably at discharge.

Collaborative communication across the care team is just as vital as direct communication with patients. In leading patient experience surveys the question “How well did hospital staff work together as a team?” is highly correlated with overall patient satisfaction. That correlation makes perfect sense. When patients receive clear, consistent information from every caregiver, they are more confident about what to both during a hospital stay and after discharge.

Communication in a hospital or other care setting is more challenging than in virtually any other industry. This complexity traces to a number of industry-specific issues, including a high number of unique transactions during and across care episodes; traditionally siloed work processes related to diagnosis and treatment; and longstanding hierarchical barriers among care teams. Clear, open communication builds trust, reduces confusion and increases patients’ confidence, which contributes directly to better outcomes and reduced readmission rates.

Following are three overarching strategies to help organizations change the way frontline staff think about communication:

1. Create a culture of communication first. To improve interactions, staff members have to understand what effective communication looks and feels like at all levels of the organization. Leaders must demonstrate best practices and reinforce communication as a priority every time they interact with staff and patients, through strategies such as organization-wide town hall meetings, attendance at individual departmental meetings and regular rounds at the frontline.

2. Make it easier to communicate internally. If an organization’s culture is one that encourages open, transparent communication, then providers will feel free to question and investigate discrepancies and gaps in information. While the latest comprehensive electronic health records facilitate information exchange, they don’t replace effective interpersonal communication, either among the care team or with patients and families.

3. Fully embrace a customer-centric mindset. With focused training and mentoring from managers, healthcare professionals can develop the communication skills that improve interactions with one another and with patients. An investment in improved communication practices and competencies is an essential part of improving not only patient experience, but also patient outcomes.

Ample research establishes that effective communication is essential to attaining better health outcomes. To be sure, changing both the culture of communication and the specific practices and tools used on the ground entails a significant organization-wide commitment, but the results will be well worth the effort.

—Adapted from "How Better Communication can Improve Patient Outcomes and Lower Readmission Rates," by Burl Stamp, Healthcare Business & Technology, Feb. 26, 2019.

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