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As we kick off a new month, we look forward to sharing an update on UI Health Care at the Board of Regents meeting. On the agenda are reports from the UI Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics, including our continued expense moderation efforts. At the Board’s request, they will also receive an update on our efforts to reduce health care-associated infections.

Patient safety is our number one priority, and we can–and must–do more to diminish health care-associated infections. As you know, we are expending tremendous energy and effort to be a leading force statewide. This includes being vigilant in maintaining hand hygiene, sterile techniques during procedures, using antibiotics appropriately, and making sure as many of our health care workers as possible are vaccinated. Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of celebrating with our Medical Intensive Care Unit faculty and staff as they were recognized for achieving 10 months without a ventilator-associated pneumonia case and six months without a central line-associated bloodstream infection. These remarkable numbers reflect their diligence and exemplify our goals for these ongoing efforts.

As always, please e-mail me any time with comments or suggestions.

Signed, Jean Robillard

Switch to Epic systems this weekend

This weekend the Epic Implementation Team will be fanning out across all inpatient units and pharmacies to go live with new Epic modules. February 7–9 the team will:

  • Replace PICIS in the intensive care units
  • Replace the Bridge system for the medication administration record
  • Implement EpicRx–in the inpatient pharmacies

Thousands of faculty and staff members will be trained on the full system March through April in preparation for the May 2 “Big Bang” Go Live of the full electronic medical record and order entry system. Training schedules and directions to the downtown Iowa City UI Hospitals Training Theater are on The Point. For more details about the Epic project, read the Epic Newsletter on The Point. Please email us with questions or concerns.

UI Health Care leaders meet with Board of Regents

At the Board of Regents meeting in Ankeny on Tuesday, February 3, UI Health Care leaders will report on:

UI Carver College of Medicine–Dean Paul Rothman, MD, will review:

  • Continued growth in research funding for the Carver College of Medicine–5 percent each year since 2006
  • The FUTURE program–which provides annual fellowships to faculty from Iowa colleges that do not offer doctoral programs for research during the summer (10 weeks). Faculty bring one student with them to help with the research project.
  • The appointment of Kimberly Leslie, MD, the new head of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will start April 1.

Volume and financial performance–Associate Vice President and CFO Ken Fisher, and Associate Vice President and CEO Ken Kates will note that through the end of December:

  • Admissions were running just below budget, but slightly higher than last year
  • There was a 5 percent increase in clinic visits
  • The number of patient days and length of stay increased
  • Emergency Treatment Center volume was up, with the ETC accounting for 40 percent of total hospital admissions
  • The case mix index (indicating severity of illness of our patients) was high
  • Net patient revenues were under budget–about 2.3 percent ($10.6 million)
  • Operating income was about $6 million under budget

Expense moderation–Ken Kates will tell the Regents that staff at all levels have submitted 160 recommendations for cost savings, revenue enhancement, or performance improvement. Forty are being implemented while many others are being reviewed for feasibility. Although more expense reduction is needed, there has been progress, including:

  • Total operating expenses are down $7 million (9 percent) since October
  • Salary and benefit costs continue to decline, down $3 million (8 percent) since September
  • Other operating expenses continue to decline, down over $4 million (13 percent) since October

Iowa Medical Mutual Insurance Company–Drs. Rothman and Dan Fick, Associate Chief Medical Officer of UI Physicians and President of the Iowa Medical Mutual Insurance Company (IMMIC), will review the IMMIC with the Regents. The IMMIC is a mutual insurance company, formed by UI Physicians in 2004 to provide medical malpractice insurance coverage for the 650-member multi-specialty medical practice group.

Reducing health care-associated infections–Ann Williamson, RN, Associate Vice President for Nursing and Chief Nursing Officer, and Doug Merrill, MD, Patient Safety Officer, will note the serious problems created by health care-associated infections (HAI), including 5-10 percent of patients admitted to acute care hospitals acquire HAIs, which is:

  • About 2 million patients per year
  • About 90,000 deaths per year
  • An annual cost to the health care system between $4.5 and $5.7 billion

They will review specific challenges at UI Hospitals and Clinics, including:

  • Catheter-related bloodstream infections
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Clostridium difficile

Finally, they will highlight prevention initiatives and outcomes, including hand hygiene programs.

Looking ahead

Wear Red Day–Join the fight against heart disease and stroke–the leading cause of death in the United States. On February 6, the UI Heart and Vascular Center, in partnership with the American Heart Association, invites you to Wear Red and attend events promoting heart health in the Fountain Lobby, Fountain Dining Room, and gymnasium (1701 JPP).

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