2018 Community Benefits Report
A Message from Our Chief Nursing Officer
Confluence Health is committed to creating safer, healthier places to live, but that commitment does not stop where our properties do. For us to be successful, we need to reach out to the communities we call home.
Four years ago we created a blueprint for our community benefit efforts intended to address some of the most pressing health needs of the patients we serve. Along with community organizations, public health departments, families, donors and others, we have worked to:
• Enhance access to mental and behavioral health
• Improve access to quality healthcare
• Prevent and treat obesity
• Improve education
For us as a community to find success in this effort, cooperation is essential. That means partnering with other groups and people in our community so we effectively care for every patient who needs us. The successes highlighted in this report would not exist without the efforts of such partners. From opening a new clinic in Ephrata to hosting classes on everything from cooking to end of life decisions, we embark on all our outreach partnership efforts with the goal of meeting the needs of our patients, families, and communities.
While we are proud of the positive steps we have taken with and for our community, we acknowledge there is still so much to do to assure the well-being and vitality of our community. It’s a journey we are looking forward to.
As always, we will remain committed to our mission of improving our patients’ health by providing safe, high-quality care in a compassionate and cost-effective manner.
Tracey Kasnic, MBA, BSN, RN, CENP
Chief Nursing Officer
Enhance access to mental and behavioral health
Our mental and behavioral health experts treat children with addiction, depression and other problems that affect their development, safety and well-being. In order to offer timely access to high quality, effective, behavioral health services that improve the medical outcomes for patients, we recently embarked on a significant expansion of our Behavioral Health Service Line.
Confluence Health is committing to enhance access to mental and behavioral health:
• Recruiting new providers:
– 18 new providers hired in 2017 to present – with coverage in all service areas
• 6 Post-doctoral residents on staff for 2017 and 2018
• Recruited a full-time Psychiatric Hospitalist in 2018
• Implemented the PHQ-9 depression assessment in 75% of the outpatient clinics
• Implemented the PHQ-2 suicide risk assessment in all of the primary care clinics
• In 2018 continued to expand the integrated behavioral health services through imbedded providers full-time or through outreach services
• Implemented telehealth services from Wenatchee to remote clinics to provide access for medication evaluation and management
Improve access to quality healthcare
Access to health care impacts one’s overall physical, social, and mental health status and quality of life. Our commitment to providing high quality accessible healthcare has never been stronger. We focus on gaining entry into the health care system, accessing a location where needed health care services are provided (geographic availability), and finding a health care provider whom the patient trusts and can communicate with (personal relationship).
Confluence Health is committing to the following strategies to improve access to quality healthcare:
• Recruited 8 primary care physicians in 2018
• Recruited 12 specialists in 2018
• Recruited 7 Hospitalists, two of which were Pediatric Hospitalist
• Implemented My Chart scheduling for primary care and select specialties
• Implemented Virtual Visits utilizing My Chart
• Implemented after-hours nurse advise line for Primary Care patients.
• Implemented prescription refill requests utilizing My Chart
• Continued implementation of “cascading” schedules to allow for expanded clinic hours to accommodate patients who may not be able to receive services during “normal” business hours.
• Patients surveys to determine if patients are receiving visits when they want them.
• Metric development to identify percentage of visits completed within a specified time frame. Action plans implemented to improve access within the specified time frame.
• Implementation of telehealth services
• Partnership with Columbia Valley Community Health to provide dental care to low income patients.
• Implementation of a Pediatric Hospitalist program through an alliance with Columbia Valley Community Health and Columbia Pediatrics. The program was designed to provide coverage within the hospital to allow pediatricians to improve access within the region.
Prevent and treat obesity
We work in clinics and the community to help children, teens and families make healthy changes to prevent and reduce obesity. Through education, advocacy and research, we promote healthy eating and active living to improve quality of life. Obesity is linked with higher risk for several serious health conditions, such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, asthma, and arthritis.
Confluence Health is committing to developing programs and resources to prevent and treat obesity:
• Utilizing existing nutrition educators their services were expanded to include Intensive Behavioral Therapy for Weight Loss (“IBT”), pre/post bariatric surgery nutrition, plant based eating, weight management as well as providing support groups throughout the region.
• Implemented nutrition and wellness coaches as part of the Confluence Health employee wellness program.
• Implemented a Weight Management program, chaired by a physician, to work closely with the nutrition therapy department to identify patients who qualify for the program based on various metrics.
• Sponsored the Apple Blossom Run to promote health and wellness through fitness.
• Sponsored Cooking with Confluence, a monthly event that focuses on healthy cooking options.
Confluence Health is committing to the following programs and resources to improve education:
• Actively partnered with local partners in Okanogan County to decrease the incidence of teen pregnancy and awareness
• Sponsor of the Caring Student Interns (CSI) program for teens between the ages of 14 and 15 to allow the students to experience a healthcare environment.
• Sponsorship of the Suicide Prevention Community Committee, which is comprised of various agencies (law enforcement, public health, and support organizations) to discuss suicide rates and develop plans of action to support those in need.
• Expanded the communication related to health literacy throughout the organization utilizing means of brochures, face-to-face education with providers and social media.
• Expanded case management by an additional 4 employees to assist patients with chronic health conditions and work individually with the patients to educate and help manage their health conditions.