5 health care headlines you must read

May 2013

Each month, in addition to marketing and communications posts, I explore new issues impacting Wisconsin’s hospitals and health systems. In partnership and orientation with the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA), this blog will feature headlines and hot button issues concerning Wisconsin hospitals, clinics and organizations. Here, you’ll read about information on new legislation, hospital measurement and performance initiatives and the tools and resources you need to understand and manage today’s current, complex and controversial health care issues.

  • Four integrated health systems honored in national list
  • Report: Wisconsin hospitals see 50,000 patients daily
  • HHS adds millions for insurance exchange enrollment efforts
  • Wisconsin hospitals are rated better than average for infections
  • Three Badger State hospitals recognized for reducing energy 

Four integrated health systems honored in national list

Four Wisconsin fully integrated health systems in Wisconsin were recently named among the nations 100 integrated health systems by Becker’s Hospital Review. Aurora Health Care, Gundersen Health System, Mercy Health System and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare are recognized by the Becker team based on rankings by health care analytics company IMS Health, as well as health systems’ financial, clinical and operational strength.

Fore more information, CLICK HERE.

Report: Wisconsin hospitals see 50,000 patients daily

More than 47,000 people are cared for in a Wisconsin hospital every day according to data collected by the Wisconsin Hospital Association Information Center (WHAIC) and published in the Guide to Wisconsin Hospitals. The WHAIC is responsible for collecting and disseminating Wisconsin hospital and freestanding ambulatory surgery center data.

Wisconsin hospitals helped bring more than 60,000 babies into the world in 2011; about 2,500 babies required care in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

WHAIC reported that in 2011, the 148 Wisconsin hospitals provided health care services to over one million patients who were uninsured and low income, an increase of more than 30 percent since 2006.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association says hospitals continue to report an uptick in the number of patients they see on an outpatient basis. In 2011, there were 15.8 million outpatient visits, or about 40,000 people per day, which is up about 4 percent from 2010. That compares to 2.4 million inpatient days in 2011, or about 7,000 people every day. More than 70 percent or 539,740 of the surgeries and procedures performed in hospitals were delivered in the outpatient department.

Wisconsin emergency rooms (ERs) were busy, with more than 1.6 million visits in 2011, which is the most recent year that data is available. The most common reason for an ER visit was abdominal pain, followed by complications from pregnancy or childbirth. The third most common diagnosis seen in Wisconsin ERs was chest pain.

The 24/7, 365-days-a-year nature of health care requires that hospitals have a flexible, well-trained workforce. Hospitals employ more than 100,000 people statewide in a broad range of skills, from high school graduate to highly-specialized health care professionals.

“Our employees are at the front lines of care. Hospitals are the health care safety net in every community that they serve,” said Wisconsin Hospital Association President Steve Brenton. “As we observe Hospital Week, it is a good time to celebrate our hospitals and acknowledge their efforts in ensuring that access to the high-value care that we are known for is available to even the most disadvantaged people in our communities.”

HHS adds millions for insurance exchange enrollment efforts

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is providing $1.7 million for community health centers to help enroll people in the state’s federally facilitated health insurance exchange. It’s part of $150 million in new funds and is in addition to previously announced funding for health navigators.

Funding amounts are based on the number of uninsured in each state, and the number of community health centers.

To read more, CLICK HERE.

Wisconsin hospitals are rated better than average for infections

Wisconsin hospitals are better than average, when it comes to health-care associated infections. Last year, central line-associated bloodstream infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections occurred at a significantly lower rate than the national norm. Surgical site infections following colon surgeries and hip and knee replacement procedures were similar to the rest country. However, surgical infections following abdominal hysterectomy procedures were higher than the national average.

The findings are from the Department of Health Services’ recently released annual report. The Division of Public Health receives data from hospitals on a voluntary basis and publicly reports aggregate data to monitor trends and to compare Wisconsin to national averages.

To learn more, CLICK HERE.

Three Badger State hospitals recognized for reducing energy 

Three Wisconsin hospitals were recently recognized for reducing their energy consumption by more than 10% during a 12 month period. The hospitals, which are part of the American Hospital Association’s Energy Efficiency Commitment program include: Froedtert Hospital, Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center and Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center. Job well done!

To read more, CLICK HERE.

This post was researched and written by Trish Skram, blogger and research content specialist for WHPRMS. Trish also manages Mercy Health System’s public relations and social media efforts for its 3 hospitals and 68 facilities in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. To read more, CLICK HERE.

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