As we welcome a new year, it is fitting to reflect on the progress that the people of WellSpan made in transforming our health system for the future. Many of the events of the past year reflect WellSpan’s commitment to improving the health of individuals and communities across central Pennsylvania.
The following notable events of 2013 are not in any particular order.
Bruce Bartels retires after 25 years of service to WellSpan; Kevin Mosser, M.D., named as his successor
Bruce Bartels, president and CEO, WellSpan, retired on Sept. 30 after 25 years of service.
Bartels was named president of York Hospital in 1988. He guided its expansion into a regional, integrated health system that includes four hospitals, more than 11,000 employees, one of the largest medical groups in the country and more than 100 locations in four counties.
Jan Herrold, chair, WellSpan Board of Directors, said, “Bruce’s impact can’t be measured, but it is experienced and felt every day by every person WellSpan cares for.”
Jeffrey Lobach, former chair, WellSpan Board of Directors, said, “Bruce was instrumental in building a health care system you wouldn’t expect to find in a community like ours. He instilled collaboration and partnership in the organization. He had a great way of working with others.”
Kevin Mosser, M.D., who previously served as executive vice president and chief operating officer, was named to succeed Bartels on Oct. 1.
WellSpan and Ephrata Community Hospital align
WellSpan and Ephrata Community Hospital aligned on Oct. 1, as a means to address changes in health care and improve the health of individuals and communities across Adams and York counties and parts of Lancaster County.
By aligning the talents and competencies of both organizations, WellSpan and Ephrata Community Hospital seek to:
- Improve health across Central Pennsylvania while enhancing local systems of care in northern and eastern Lancaster County, Adams County and York County.
- Maintain existing relationships and clinical partnerships with other local health care providers.
- Enhance a model of care that is based on an individual’s relationship with a primary care physician who coordinates all the care an individual requires across the lifespan.
- Offer stronger medical, nursing and allied health educational resources to address a projected shortage of physicians and health professionals.
Online scheduling piloted by WellSpan Medical Group patients
Patients who had signed up for MyWellSpan at six WellSpan Medical Group practices piloted online scheduling in the fall.
When scheduling online, patients are asked what type of visit they want to schedule.
If it’s an emergent need or one requiring direct attention, they are advised to call the office.
Types of visits patients can’t schedule online include treatment for anxiety, abdominal pain or a follow up from a hospitalization. All available appointment times for a physician are listed online.
If there are no available or convenient times for a patient’s physician, times for other physicians are displayed.
“Online scheduling has been an appealing reason for patients to sign up for the MyWellSpan portal,” said Elaine Reed, senior practice manager at Wheatlyn Family Medicine. “It’s convenient and another way for patients to become involved in their care.”
WellSpan York Hospital announces plans for a new emergency department
Construction of a new WellSpan York Hospital emergency department will begin in the summer of 2014.
The approximate 46,000-square foot project will provide patients with a private, patient-centered care experience. It is expected to cost $45 million and be completed in the fall of 2017.
“As our communities continue to grow and age, the number of individuals needing emergency services is only going to increase,” said Keith Noll, president of WellSpan York Hospital.
Noll said great emphasis has been placed on redesigning and improving the processes that impact patient flow in the emergency department and admission to WellSpan York Hospital.
Aetna and WellSpan announce an accountable care organization
An accountable care organization (ACO) was established to improve the quality of care and lower overall health costs for Aetna commercial plan members and for communities WellSpan serves.
Using WellSpan’s comprehensive, integrated system of physicians, hospitals and ambulatory services, the collaboration will give area employers better health care options for their employees by:
- Creating a more coordinated patient experience
- Saving employees money when they use providers who are closely aligned with WellSpan
- Improving health care outcomes ACOs are alliances of physicians, hospitals and other providers who coordinate care for their patients. In an ACO, providers assume responsibility for improving the quality of patient care and lowering costs through better coordination and preventive care.
Seven respected health systems form interstate alliance
WellSpan and six other leading health systems announced the formation of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium that will address quality, population health management, best practices and medical research.
AllSpire Health Partners was created for the implementation of the Triple Aim which, as defined by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, consists of improving the experience of the patient, improving the health of the population and creating more affordable health care.
Together the seven health systems have a service area of more than six million people and combined revenue of $10.5 billion, making AllSpire Health Partners the largest health care consortium in the country.
AllSpire Health Care partners include: Atlantic Health System, Hackensack University Health Network, Lancaster General Health, Lehigh Valley Heath Network, Meridian Health, Reading Health System and WellSpan Health.
Mandatory flu vaccine policy implemented throughout WellSpan
With a continued focus on enhancing safe and reliable care to patients and visitors, WellSpan implemented a mandatory flu vaccine policy for employees and other key audiences.
All employees, volunteers, physicians, vendors, contractors and health care students associated with WellSpan were required to receive a flu vaccine by Nov. 1, 2013.
“Evidence strongly supports vaccination as an effective way to decrease the spread of the flu virus,” said Bob Batory, senior vice president and chief human resources officer. “With more regulatory agencies requiring full compliance, we believe this is the right thing to do to protect our patients, visitors, employees, physicians and volunteers."
An annual flu vaccination is now a standard of new and continued employment.
MyWellSpan exceeds 36,000 enrollees
Managing your health care is as easy as possible with MyWellSpan, an online patient portal that provides access to your personal health care information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It makes it easier than ever to communicate with your health care provider and become more involved in your care.
Enhancements added in 2013 include proxy access to children age 12 and under; access to MyWellSpan through the WellSpan mobile app; and emergency department and inpatient discharge instructions.
MyWellSpan also allows you to view general lab results; request prescription refills at any WellSpan Pharmacy; view imaging reports; view medication and dosage instructions; and more.
WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital earns Pathway to Excellence designation
The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Commission on Pathway to Excellence informed WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital that it was only the fourth hospital in Pennsylvania to receive the designation.
According to the ANCC, the Pathway to Excellence designation identifies elements of work environments where nurses can flourish.
“WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to improving quality and the patient experience through the continuing efforts and focus of our nurses and support staff,” said Kris O’Shea, RN, vice president of patient care services.
“This designation validates those efforts. It is certainly a mark of quality for other health care providers and the larger community to see.”
WellSpan offers premium discount
WellSpan announced that a new premium discount would be offered in 2014 to employees who are enrolled in WellSpan Plus or Blue Cross medical plans.
The premium discount of $30 per month is provided to employees who have enrolled in Wellness Matters and completed their health risk assessment with clinical and biometric screenings by Sept. 30, 2013.
Shirley Dwyer, director of benefits, said, “We have seen how knowing your numbers, talking and thinking about wellness has changed lives throughout our organization.
“WellSpan is committed to continuing these efforts to provide opportunities to employees to improve their health.”