St. Lukes gains CHS help for strategic planning

Published 3:11 pm Thursday, May 6, 2010

St. Lukes Hospital Board of Trustees discussed the benefits of strategic planning during the April 29 meeting and agreed to engage Carolinas HealthCare Systems (CHS) management company to lead the process.

This was a good decision by the board to engage CHS management company, said CEO Ken Shull. Theyve offered a competitive rate to help us complete our strategic plan. And since St. Lukes is affiliated with CHS, there will be less time spent on groundwork, Shull said, referring to due diligence of both parties before signing a management services agreement in 2008. CHS of Charlotte is one of the leading healthcare systems in the Southeast, which includes 29 affiliated hospitals in North and South Carolina.

In addition to planning for the future, the board heard several reports about the hospitals current situation, including a downward trend in some areas of utilization. Fewer patients using hospital services translates to reduced income, Shull said, adding that the hospital lost money in March after five months of a positive bottom line. The loss was budgeted for the month.

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In addition to financial reports, the board received reports on the hospitals performance from the newly created Quality Committee. St. Lukes quality reports and customer satisfaction benchmarks continue to be positive, and these reports are publicly displayed in the hospital corridor. Both quality and patient satisfaction are monitored, reported and benchmarked against other state and regional hospitals so that the general public can make informed decisions as to which hospital theyd prefer to use, while hospitals use the data as incentive for improvement.

Shull announced that plans are in place to host a general surgery candidate to tour the area and the hospital, and the Auxiliary reported a large increase in sales in just one month after opening a larger, newly renovated Thrift Shop at 148 Trade St. The Foundation provided updates on fundraising and several special events, including the upcoming Mothers Day Mini-Prix at Harmon Field set for Saturday, May 8, beginning at 5 p.m.

Prior to the meeting, Loretta Pack, RN, MSN, Patient Care Navigator, provided an education session on the success of St. Lukes integrated program to help patients prepare for orthopaedic surgery. From physical therapy to medications to auditing ones home for patient safety, the Pre-Op program provides individualized education and support from the hospital team involved in the care of Dr. Brian Rosenbergs orthopaedic patients. Using evidence-based protocols, the program has proven to be extremely beneficial to patients in their recovery.