OakBend Named Finalist for Hospital Charitable Service Awards

OakBend Medical Center’s Titiksha Vats, Ben Steiner, Jeana Manrique and Katie Degen.

OakBend Medical Center’s Titiksha Vats, Ben Steiner, Jeana Manrique and Katie Degen.

OakBend Medical Center has been named one of 26 finalists across the country for the Hospital Charitable Service Awards. OakBend, the only Texas hospital to be named a finalist, was nominated for the hospital’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program.

In 2012, OakBend Medical Center began participating in the DSRIP program. Within the program, OakBend has nine projects: Chronic Disease Registry, Increase Access to Primary Care Providers (PCPs), Expand Specialty Care Access, Patient Experience, Patient Navigation, Breast-Feeding, Wellness, Medication Management and Behavioral Health Patient Navigation.

Chronic Disease Registry: The purpose of this project is to identify and target the at-risk chronic disease population and to move towards decreasing their inappropriate utilization patterns. Once identified, they are educated and encouraged to self-manage their health care, thus improving their quality of life as well as their inappropriate utilization of healthcare services.

Increase Access to PCPs: Currently, OakBend provides high-quality, affordable care to residents of Fort Bend County regardless of their ability to pay. However, access to primary care appointments is limited. As a result, many patients are cared for exclusively in the emergency department. This setting is not designed to provide comprehensive assessment, disease-specific education, preventative care and coordination.

Expand Specialty Care Access: The increase in access to specialty physician services across a wide range of clinical specialties will result in a decrease in preventable readmissions, because effective disease management and access to care reduce the incidence of acute conditions. The purpose of this project is to increase availability of specialty care physicians to improve quality of life, as well as decrease inappropriate utilization of health care services.

Patient Experience: OakBend is establishing a patient experience program where patients feel safe, have their voices heard and are empowered. This concept will involve staff education on communication skills and will be in line with the other initiatives that are designed to create an environment that promotes excellence, operational efficiency and quality patient-centered care.

Patient Navigation: Traditionally, a hospital’s care of patients ends the instant the patient is discharged. This project will offer targeted patient populations assistance in coordinating their care. In addition to helping individual patients, this project will allow all providers across the spectrum of care to utilize their resources more efficiently, delivering care to patients in the most appropriate setting.

OakBend will educate and train patients and staff on the health benefits of breastfeeding, as well as evidence-based strategies to enhance breastfeeding. The training will incorporate the development of educational materials in both Spanish and English.

Wellness: This project involves hiring and training of wellness staff, care coordination, development of educational materials, outreach to community of services offered in bilingual availability, access to or expanded transportation services as well as coordination for transportation, reminder calls to recipients regarding appointment times, eventually a help line for access of services offered, and printed educational materials in multiple languages. This project also has a focus on lowering inappropriate emergency department utilization.

Medication Management: OakBend implemented a formal Medication Management Program that serves patients from admission to discharge and expands the use of electronic medication reconciliation and computer physician order entry. OakBend is continuing to expand utilization of electronic medication reconciliation among providers, 100 percent of front line staff members now utilize electronic medication administration and other medication related documentation. OakBend also continues to expand the education provide on medications to the patient upon admission and across the continuum of care.

Behavioral Health Patient NavigationOakBend’s Behavioral Health Patient Navigation program was established to provide care management and navigation services for at-risk patients in need of crisis stabilization services, behavioral health services and substance abuse services. OakBend’s behavioral health navigator continues to identify behavioral health and substance abuse patients in the inpatient and emergency setting. The navigator links the patient to resources to treat and manage their condition or behavioral health crisis.

“We are excited to have been named a finalist for this award,” said Joe Freudenberger, chief executive officer of OakBend Medical Center. “Our DSRIP program is an ongoing work in progress and continues to look for ways to expand our services to the community.  This nomination affirms we are heading in the right direction.”

For more information, visit www.oakbendmedcenter.org.