January 22, 2010
Hospitals’ Social Media Experiences Part of Conference Agenda
Several Iowa hospitals, representing various markets and locations (as well as IHA), have
been early adopters of social media tools and strategies, including blogs, Twitter, Facebook
and YouTube. At the IHA Social Media and Health Care conference on February 9,
representatives of four of these groundbreaking hospitals will be on hand to share their
social media stories.
This panel discussion will help hospitals understand the transition toward adopting social
media communication and marketing strategies. Panelists will share and discuss the social
media choices they have made, their decision-making processes, the social media problems
and breakthroughs they have experienced and the lessons they have learned. Time will also
be allotted to take questions and comments from the audience.
Hospitals that are just investigating social media or those that are ready to expand existing
Web 2.0 strategies will benefit from this full day of excellent presentations that will
introduce social media, illustrate how it impacts health care, show how hospitals can benefit
from it and provide ways to measure results.
The day will begin with an overview and introduction to social media, where attendees can
gain a clear understanding of what social media is and how it is being used in hospitals.
Later in the morning, Lee Aase, manager of syndication and social media at Mayo Clinic,
will discuss how his hospital has been able to move decidedly and successfully into the
social media sphere. In addition to the panel discussion, the afternoon will include a session
on the legal implications of health care social media. The conference will close with an
open discussion among audience members and all of the day’s speakers.
Social Media and Health Care will be held at Iowa Methodist Medical Center’s Thompson
Auditorium in Des Moines. For a detailed brochure and to register, click here.
IHA Data Services Webinars Set for January 27, February 10
IHA staff will be hosting webinars to provide hospitals with an orientation on the broad
array of IHA data services. Through the webinar format, hospital and health system staff
can quickly and easily take advantage of this opportunity to learn how IHA data resources
can assist them.
The IHA Information Center is the source for health care data in Iowa. For more than two
decades, Information Center staff have gathered, analyzed and interpreted data about Iowa
hospitals and health systems. The Information Center staff is available to fulfill data
requests, interpret information and determine what data products and services to use for
hospitals that are deciding which database to utilize, are in need of hospital employee salary
data for benchmarking or are learning to use Dimensions Slice & Dice. The staff can assist
in addressing immediate data problems while helping uncover the right questions that lead
to more precise solutions.
The first Information Center webinar for 2010 is scheduled for January 27 and will be
repeated on February 10. IHA is planning a series of webinars that will continue further
into 2010 as a source of in-depth information and training on selected services for IHA
members. All of these webinars are available to Iowa hospitals at no charge.
To register for the January 27 webinar, click here. For the February 10 webinar, click here.
Iowa Rehab Managers to Meet March 2 in Des Moines
Both the current status of rehab and its future will be covered at the 2010 Iowa Rehab
Manager’s (IRM) Spring Conference on March 2 at Iowa Methodist Medical Center’s
Kelley Conference Center in Des Moines. The conference agenda includes:
A panel of state association presidents representing physical therapy, occupational
therapy, speech therapy and nursing will share current issues facing their disciplines,
describe current initiatives being pursued and forecast what the next three to five years
will look like.
A small-group discussion that will provide a chance to network with peers on current
issues facing the day-to-day rehab work environment.
A presentation by Drake University leadership expert Thomas Westbrook, who will
examine the traits deemed most critical to defining a leader’s success and the reasons
why otherwise successful leaders can be derailed.
For more information and to register for the IRM Spring Conference, click here. Questions
about the conference can be directed to Kathy Trytten at IHA.
Iowa Hospital News Updated Daily on IHA Blog
The IHA NewsStand is now being updated daily on the IHA blog. NewsStand is a round-up
of media and Web articles for and about hospitals from around Iowa and the nation.
Beginning this week, NewsStand went from being released weekly, in conjunction with
each issue of The Friday Mailing, to daily updates each afternoon. As always, NewsStand
is the only source of news that focuses on the news, issues and topics that are most
important to Iowa hospital leaders.
In addition to reading the NewsStand daily – something that is made quick and simple
through the blog’s Really Simple Syndication feature, which can send updates directly to
each subscribers’ e-mail inbox – hospital leaders are also encouraged to share news about
their hospitals by sending releases or media articles to Scott McIntyre at IHA.
The Greater Des Moines Partnership brought pop culture’s version of political theater to
town this week in the personalities of political pundits Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson. As
someone commented, these personalities have quite the gig: They get to say whatever they
want, are not accountable for the veracity of their commentary and never have to get
anything done. As true as that thought is, it’s also true that the way these men make their
living goes right to the core of what makes our republic unique.
Public discourse, no matter how bawdy, vitriolic, inane or flat-out ignorant of the facts it
may be, is protected in this country and has existed in a variety of mediums since the birth
of our nation. Exercise of free speech is a virtue for which many have lost their lives in so-
called democratic republics around the world that don’t value individual liberty on the same
plane as the U.S. Constitution.
It’s also the question that the United States Supreme Court evaluated this week in the
context of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. The question raised against the law
was whether it violated free speech as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.
The Court ruled, 5-4, that in fact it did. It’s not that free speech is an unlimited right – it
isn’t – but it is at the core of a democracy that values individual liberties. Political speech
free from intimidation and/or domination by those who are in power is essential to a people
retaining control of their government and, when they decide, changing that government.
The question before the Court was whether a legal restriction on corporate funding of
campaigns was permissible under our constitution. To the average American, it’s likely
difficult to discern the difference between where corporate advertising on an issue ends and
direct funding of campaigns begins, but there is definitely a difference and the majority of
the U.S. Congress and President Bush endorsed the distinction. It’s not that corporate
money was absent from campaigns prior to this week’s decision, it’s just that it had to flow
through defined legal entities and follow certain rules, much like individual contributions to
a political action committee.
If the Supreme Court’s decision was backdrop for political theater this week, the race for the
U.S. Senate in Massachusetts was on the main stage. The pundits were quick to characterize
the race as an outpouring of voter “anger” over Democrats’ current management of issues
like the budget, health care and the economy. But lost in this superficial, catch-phrase
explanation of the Massachusetts experience is what actually happened.
Campaigns are always about the candidates, their work ethic and money; this one was no
different. Candidates need to project who they are, what they stand for, whether they’re
likeable and can effectively work with others. Scott Brown is an affable family man who
was described by his state legislative colleagues, regardless of party, as approachable and
hard-working. He voted for health care reform in Massachusetts (only made possible by
significant federal financial support) and says he’ll vote against the current health care
reform legislation in Congress. His opponent ran a lackluster campaign and underestimated
the competition – never a good thing to do.
It appears that one man brought health reform to a screeching halt. The more likely truth is
that the Democrats’ inability to bring closure on this signature issue resulted in their
exhaustion and this election gave them the excuse to stop working.
– Kirk Norris
IHA Presenting Financial Management Audioconferences
Bill Ward, the highest rated speaker in IHA’s Health Care Leadership Series, will present a
financial management audioconference series starting in February. Sessions will focus on
performance reports, managing a budget and complying with financial constraints and a
simplified method of predicting future departmental expenditures.
Ward is the director of the master of health science degree program in health finance and
management at the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. He
also heads Healthcare Management Resources Inc., a Maryland-based consulting firm.
Topics and dates for the audioconferences (all programs will be held from 10-11 a.m.) are as
How to Read Performance Reports and Craft a Departmental Dashboard (February
Analyzing Performance Using Volume Adjusted Variance Analysis (March 18
Performance Management: Forecasting, Performance Mapping, Process Analysis
For more information and to register for these audioconferences, click here.
Conference to Address Hospital Trends in Supply Chain Management
New trends surface all the time for industries and health care and materials management is
no different. There are constantly new trends that seem to impact supply chain
management. The Iowa Society of Healthcare Purchasing and Materials Management
(ISHPMM) Spring Conference, to be held March 26 at the IHA Education Center in Des
Moines, will focus on new industry trends in supply chain.
The first session, “Health Care Trends Impact on Supply Chain,” will be presented by
consultant Jamie Kowalski. This session will introduce current health care industry trends
and examine the connection to supply chain management. The second session, “GS1
Standards,” will dive into details of the new standards and explain how this trend will
impact supply chain efficiency.
The afternoon sessions will focus on the reprocessing trend. Lisa Rogalski, materials
services director at Genesis Health System in Davenport, will provide an overview of how
she has implemented reprocessing at Genesis. She will describe the challenges she has
faced and how she overcame them. Mitch Doherty, account manager at Sterilmed, a
medical supply reprocessor, will then present reprocessing from the manufacturer’s point of
view by outlining the history, regulations and benefits involved with reprocessing.
ISHPMM has applied through Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials
Management for education credit that can be applied toward the Certified Materials and
Resource Professional designation.
For a detailed brochure and to register for this conference, click here.
IHA Offers Audioconference Series on Coding Topics
IHA is cosponsoring a series of audioconferences on coding that will review specific CPT
and ICD-9-CM coding hot topics and issues. In addition, one of the audioconferences will
provide an introduction to the new ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS coding systems. The
schedule of audioconferences is as follows (all programs will be held noon-1 p.m.):
CPT Coding – Part 1 of 2: Overview and Surgery Changes (February 10)
CPT Coding – Part 2 of 2: E&M, Radiology, Path/Lab and Medicine Changes
ICD-10-CM and ICD 10-PCS Overview (March 17)
ICD-9-CM Coding Series: Cardiology and Respiratory Diagnosis Coding (April 14)
ICD-9-CM Coding Series: Coding for Neoplasms (May 19)
ICD-9-CM Coding Series: Injuries and Poisonings, E Codes (June 16)
For more information and to register for these audioconferences, click here.
Health Care Scholarship Materials on IHA Web Site; July Fundraiser Set
The application period for IHA’s scholarship program for college students studying for
careers in health care is still open. The program, administered through the Iowa Hospital
Education and Research Foundation (IHERF), awards scholarships of $3,000 per year for a
maximum of two years to students enrolled in an accredited program leading to registration,
licensure or a clinical laboratory science graduate or undergraduate degree. In exchange for
that financial support, students who accept the funds agree to work one year in an Iowa
hospital for each year they receive a scholarship.
Since 2005, when the first scholarships were awarded, 136 students have received IHERF
Health Care Careers Scholarships, with a total value of $408,000. Scholarship recipients are
now working for Iowa hospitals throughout the state, helping to bolster and stabilize Iowa’s
hospital work force.
Scholarship application packets are available at hospital human resources departments and
at financial aid departments at all Iowa colleges. Scholarship information and application
materials are also available on the IHA Web site. The deadline to apply for the
scholarship is March 10, 2010.
The 2010 IHA “Swinging for Scholars” summer golf event, to be held July 15 at The
Harvester Golf Club, will once again serve as a major fundraiser for the scholarship
program. Hospital CEOs, senior staff and trustees are invited to attend.
IHA Associate Members are urged to sponsor the event, which attracts more than 160
hospital executives and trustees. Watch upcoming issues of The Friday Mailing for more
information on registering for this event.
For more information on the IHERF Health Care Careers Scholarship program, contact Pam
Gridley at IHA. Companies interested in sponsoring Swinging for Scholars should contact
Crystal Peters at IHA.
Hospitals Complete Online Data Submission for Fourth Quarter 2009
Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars, Mercy Medical Center-Dyersville and Shenandoah
Medical Center were the first hospitals to complete the fourth quarter 2009 data
submission via the Internet for the IHA Statewide Patient Databases.
Hospitals are reminded that the timeline for submission of the statewide inpatient and
outpatient data is 60 days after the close of a quarter, putting the fourth quarter 2009
deadline at February 28. IHA has implemented a process in which hospitals verify the
information submitted. An additional two weeks past the 60-day deadline is allotted for
completing the verification process.
Questions can be directed to Kathy Trytten at IHA.
Grassley Surveying Hospitals on Federal IT Program
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has sent letters to 31 hospitals and health systems nationwide
asking about their experiences in implementing the $19 billion federal health information
technology program launched last year. The hospitals and health systems are primarily
located in major urban centers around the country; none are in Iowa.
Grassley said that his survey of hospitals is based on concerns brought to his attention in
recent months, including administrative complications, formatting and usability issues,
errors and interoperability. Some health care providers have told him that software is
producing incorrect medication dosages because it miscalculated body weights by
interchanging kilograms and pounds, for example. Some of those providers have also
expressed frustration about the response, or lack of, they get when they take those kinds of
problems to the vendors or the hospital administration.
“Given the taxpayer investment and the investment of the health care system overall in the
information technology industry, the more Congress and others overseeing implementation
of this program dig into the problems and work to get them sorted out now, the better,” said
Grassley. “Hospitals are on the front lines and their perspective will be very valuable in this
effort, so I look forward to hearing what they have to say about expanded use of health care
Last fall, Grassley wrote directly to major health information technology vendors regarding
similar issues and concerns. He is currently reviewing responses from the vendors who
received that letter.
Grassley set February 16 as the deadline for the hospitals and health systems to respond to
To see the survey and the list of hospitals and health systems, click here.
Consumers Wanted to Help Direct State E-health Effort
The Iowa Department of Public Health (DPH) is seeking Iowans to serve on the Iowa e-
Health Consumer Interest Group. The consumer interest group is a forum for health care
consumers to: learn about Iowa e-Health related topics and policies; provide feedback
regarding e-Health planning and implementation; and help communicate the vision and
goals of Iowa e-Health to other Iowa consumers.
The group will be comprised of six consumer members – one from each of the state’s public
health regions – with diverse backgrounds, who have interest or experience in a range of
health-related situations, including, but not limited to: mental health, chronic conditions,
substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, physical disability, children with special needs and recipients
of Medicaid. Applicants not selected to serve on the interest group may be asked to
participate in future consumer focus groups.
Members will be expected to attend monthly meetings, represent the best interests of
consumers and promote benefits of Iowa e-Health to other consumers and engage in
constructive discussion regarding health care system improvements. The group will be
active for approximately one year. Travel and meal expenses will be reimbursed.
Applications are due by February 12. To apply online, click here. Questions can be
directed to Kory Schnoor at DPH.
Average Length of Stay in Iowa Hospitals
The acute average length of stay (LOS) in Iowa hospitals was 4.1 days during January-
September 2009, according to data from the IHA DATABANK program. The Medicare
acute average LOS was 4.6 days, Medicaid 3.8 days, self-pay three days, Wellmark 3.5 days
and other payers 3.9 days. Swing bed average LOS was 8.4 days. Contact Perry Meyer at
IHA with any questions.
Average Length of Stay Comparison
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2. Administrative Rules
3. Employment Opportunities (IowaHealthJobs.net)
4. Friday Mailing Archive
5. IHA Blog
6. IHA Education Program Calendar
“We’re essentially driving by the seat of our
pants. Somebody fresh out of training would
– Dr. Judy O’Young, a California
anesthesiologist, describing the
primitive medical conditions
this week following the Haiti