Dan Ireland, CEO of United Memorial Medical Center, had a steady stream of accomplishments to share with local health care leaders gathered Friday morning at Terry Hills for his annual State of UMMC presentation.
Ireland discussed the awards won by UMMC and staff members, the financial health of the organization, its successes in saving lives and preventing the spread of infections, and future plans for growth.
The hospital, now part of the Rochester Regional Health network, employes 880 full-time, part-time, and per-diem staff members.
In 2017, there were 22,000 emergency room visits, and nearly 100,000 medical visits total.
There were 576 births at the hospital.
"We’re touching our community in many different ways," Ireland said. "We’re making a difference to many patients."
He shared the story of Paul Boylan, a well-known figure in the local legal community as well as the UMMC community. Boylan was diagnosed with prostate cancer and chose the Lipson Cancer Institute for treatment.
After 28 rounds of radiation, Moylan, 78, is now cancer free.
"Paul credits Dr. Meri Atanas and all of the team at Lipson for the care he received right here at home, high-quality care, care that takes you through some of the biggest battles of your life," Ireland said. "Paul is very happy to be back practicing law, enjoying life and doing what he needs to do."
Ireland also shared the story of a staff member whose job includes educating portions of the population on health care. He found to talk with some people about health care, he needed to speak Spanish, so he learned Spanish.
"He did that on his own," Ireland said. "He made sure he had the right tools to give the right care to patients," Ireland said.
Then there is Andrea Sherwood, winner of the Josie King Hero Award. Josie King died in a hospital in Baltimore as the result of a medical staff mistake. Her mother, Sorrel King, created the Jose King Foundation, dedicated to helping hospitals eliminate mistakes that cost lives.
After Sorrel King spoke with UMMC staff at an event last year, she learned of actions Sherwood took to catch a mistake. She may have saved a patient's life.
It was Sherwood's job to administer contrast media to a patient for an MRI. As is the procedure, she reviewed the patient's lab results. Some patients, based on lab results, shouldn't receive contrast media. While an initial review of the results seemed to indicate it was fine to proceed with the procedure, Sherwood's instincts told her something wasn't right so she took extra steps to double check the lab results. It turned out, the wrong lab results had been provided for the patient. That patient could have been seriously injured or killed by the contrast media.
Other awards for the hospital have gone to the Wound Care Center, ICU, and the emergency room for stroke treatment.
UMMC has also received an award from Univera for taking steps to reduce hospital-acquired infections.
"About 10 years ago when they put this tool in place it seemed like it would be impossible to beat, to get that number down to where the benchmark should be," Ireland said. "Last year, Univera said, 'you not only got that number down, you beat the benchmark and now have the lowest (score) in Western New York.'”
In November, the Joint Commission on Accreditation initiated a surprise four-day inspection of UMMC, looking, Ireland said, around every corner and "under every rock." They do everything the can, he said, to find issues, what they call "findings."
"They also told us that they never come in without some findings," Ireland said. "They have to find something. So they did. They found 18 items they wanted us to work on, to make some corrections. As an administrator, of course, I asked the surveyor, '18, good, bad?' 'Well, we did the math and most organizations your size have about 40. You had 18 and we worked really hard to find those 18.'"
UMMC is also undertaken other steps to improve patient safety, including a meeting every morning among senior staff to review the previous day's safety alerts.
The process, because of the extra attention to identifying potential safety problems, has meant in 2017, the number of safety issues identified has gone up.
That creates more opportunities to correct problems, Ireland said. The goal is to get it down to zero.
Anybody can alert the hospital to a safety event, including every member of staff and patients who have access to the patient portal online.
As of Friday, it had been 71 days since a serious event was reported, and it had been 200 days before that without a serious event (the longest streak yet under the new reporting system).
A serious event is defined as one that increases the length of a patient's stay or changes the course of care.
In the area of fighting infections, the hospital also tracks infections as a result of using an IV in a patient's neck -- a very rare procedure because of the health risks associated with it. It's only used when absolutely necessary.
There have been no infections as a result of the procedure since 2013.
C-Diff infections have also been greatly reduced. While the trend across the nation is for C-Diff infections to increase at hospitals, it has declined dramatically at UMMC, Ireland said.
As for UMMC's future, there are plans a new $18 million ICU/Radiology wing, a new urgent care clinic in Le Roy, an improved urgent care in Batavia, and the partnership with the YMCA for a healthy living campus in Batavia.