Pied­mont New­ton, a year later

Hos­pi­tal re­ceived its first ‘A’ rat­ing in May

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­news.com

A year after dig­ni­taries stood out­side of New­ton Med­i­cal Cen­ter and watched as a tarp was pulled from the top of main en­try way, the hos­pi­tal has seen plenty of changes.

Since New­ton Med­i­cal Cen­ter be­came Pied­mont New­ton Hos­pi­tal on Oct. 1, 2015, changes im­ple­mented have in­cluded new staff, new record sys­tems and more.

The most no­tice­able change has been the hos­pi­tal mov­ing up from a “D” to an “A” rat­ing us­ing Pied­mont’s in­ter­nal Leapfrog method­ol­ogy. Pied­mont New­ton re­ceived its first “A” rat­ing in May.

Ac­cord­ing to Pied­mont Health­care Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Spe­cial­ist Ni­cole Dil­lon the Leapfrog method­ol­ogy rates safety, qual­ity and cus­tomer ser­vice.

In the year since Pied­mont en­tered into a 40-year lease with New­ton Med­i­cal, the hos­pi­tal has adopted the Pied­mont Al­ways Safe pro­gram, uti­liz­ing trained Safety Coaches in each depart­ment, im­ple­mented risk re­port­ing soft­ware and has been do­ing “daily safety hud­dles” among the hos­pi­tal’s lead­er­ship.

“We re­main com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing the high­est qual­ity of care to our com­mu­nity and have been able to achieve some great things this past year since be­com­ing a Pied­mont fa­cil­ity,” said Jim Wead­ick, CEO of Pied­mont New­ton Hos­pi­tal.

New to the hos­pi­tal’s lead­er­ship team is the po­si­tion of Chief Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer. Dr. Nor­ris Lit­tle was hired in this role in March.

The hos­pi­tal has also im­ple­mented a new Elec­tronic Health Record (EHR) sys­tem, called EPIC, al­low­ing an eas­ier ex­change of health­care in­for­ma­tion through­out all Pied­mont Health­care or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Since Pied­mont has taken over,

New­ton’s hos­pi­tal has also seen a slight in­crease in de­liv­er­ies and surg­eries.

From the pe­riod of Oct. 2015 through Septem­ber of this year, com­pared to that same time frame a year ear­lier, new­born de­liv­er­ies have in­creased by 3 per­cent, the num­ber of surg­eries in­creased by 1.5 per­cent and in­pa­tient ad­mis­sions in­creased by 1.5 per­cent.

Through­out the last year, staff has also no­ticed changes both in­ter­nally and through­out the com­mu­nity.

“It’s get­ting a lot bet­ter,” said Pa­tri­cia Thomp­son of Pied­mont New­ton. “Changes are grad­u­ally com­ing, and there are a lot more re­sources. [Pa­tients] are real ex­cited about the change, and the com­mu­nity as a whole has been ex­cited.”

The big­gest change for the staff has been new soft­ware and larger fi­nan­cial back­ing, but the peo­ple mostly have re­mained the same.

Teresa Hig­gin­bot­tom, on the pa­tient re­cov­ery team, and Har­riet Grif­feth, of pa- tient fi­nan­cial ser­vices, both re­cently cel­e­brated 43 years at the hos­pi­tal.

“They’ve treated me won­der­fully,” Grif­feth said. “They’ve al­ways been there for me.

As far as cap­i­tal in­vest­ments, Pied­mont has up­graded and ex­panded net­work ca­pa­bil­ity, in­stalled a new wire­less net­work, added a new backup power gen­era- tor and in­creased se­cu­rity on the New­ton cam­pus.

Go­ing for­ward, Dil­lon said, Pied­mont New­ton will ex­pand its emer­gency depart­ment from 16 to 32 beds, and Pied­mont Health­care will con­trib­ute more than $4.5 mil­lion to the cost of the depart­ment’s ex­pan­sion.

Con­struc­tion is ex­pected to be­gin in Jan­uary.

Pied­mont New­ton was of- fi­cially in­tro­duced on Oct. 1, 2015, after a 15-month process of New­ton Med­i­cal Cen­ter look­ing for an eq­uity part­ner.

The New­ton Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal Au­thor­ity was created in Fe­bru­ary 1952 and the hos­pi­tal was opened in 1954 with 36 beds. New­ton Med­i­cal Cen­ter is now a 97-bed med­i­cal fa­cil­ity serv­ing Cov­ing­ton and the sur­round­ing ar­eas.

Bryan Fazio | The Cov­ing­ton News

Wil­liam Love, Pied­mont New­ton’s Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of Pa­tient Ser­vices, serves ice cream to hos­pi­tal staff in cel­e­bra­tion of one year since the part­ner­ship with Pied­mont Healtchare.

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