Hocking Valley Community Hospital

  • Location: Logan, OH
  • Award: Rural Healthcare Organization of the Month
  • Awarded: October 2012

Hocking Valley Community Hospital (HVCH) is located in the heart of the Hocking Hills where waterfalls, remarkable hiking trails, and amazing wildlife await. The hospital is an award winning facility that began as a for-profit entity in 1906 and became a community non-profit hospital in 1949. The original building was a local residence that underwent multiple renovations as community needs expanded. In 1963, responding to pressures of modern medicine and advancing technologies, the community began raising funds to build the current facility, which opened in 1966. We are a Critical Access Hospital with 25 inpatient beds, a Special Care Unit, a robust full-service Emergency Department, Urgent Care, and a busy outpatient program. In addition, the hospital has a 10 bed geriatric psychiatric unit.

Hocking Valley Community Hospital has a long history of serving others. Understanding that we cannot be all things to all people, we felt it was important to focus on providing the best quality care we could in a setting that places service and safety first. We were confident that quality was consistent, however, organizationally, we didn't connect to purpose. Talking to patients and their families was done with complicated medical terms; we blamed other departments for delays, and cited rules and regulations to support a leadership philosophy of "that's the way we've always done it."

Our culture was broken and hindered our ability to be the best we could be for our patients and each other. The Studer Group offered tools and techniques that made sense to a small organization that was looking for a way to differentiate our patient experience apart from the competition, no matter what their size. We partnered with the Studer Group in 2004 when our Coach turned our world upside down and helped us to see healthcare through the patients' eyes. He taught us how to round for outcomes and measure the important things. The early lessons we learned from our Studer Group coach are still with us and continue to be nurtured through our current coach, Carolyn Laughlin. We have achieved incredible results by integrating the Must Have's and the Nine Principles into our everyday life. It's never been "Studer Stuff" to us; it's about running a great hospital.

Hocking Valley Community Hospital has a strong core of Service Teams that have been active in focusing on service and driving process improvement. Through our service teams, employees have been given opportunities to affect the culture and atmosphere of the hospital and to create results that are palpable.

Reward & Recognition
Recognizing the outstanding work that each employee contributes to the success of the hospital is essential to the success and sustainability of the institution. Our Reward & Recognition Team helps individual managers and directors find ways to reward and recognize their employees and also provide celebrations on a quarterly basis where employees, groups, and departments are recognized in front of their peers. Recent themed Reward & Recognition celebrations include Mardi Gras, where staff made their own masks for the event, a May Pole dance, where various team members conducted a traditional May Pole dance, and "Murder on the Grill" a murder mystery game. These are times to have fun and recognize peers for a job well done.

Employee Satisfaction & Retention
In today's health care market, it's important that employees feel valued and have a sense of ownership within the organization. Our Employee Satisfaction Team strives to create an environment where employees have fun, feel valued, and provide an avenue to give back to the community that supports the efforts of the hospital. One of the employees' favorite events is going to the local elementary schools to talk with children about a healthcare topic. Housekeeping personnel talk about why it's important to keep their room clean and ED staff discusses what to expect should they have to go to the Emergency Department. Other topics include winter safety tips, the importance of good nutrition, and hand hygiene.

Leadership Development (LDI) and Employee Development (EDI) Institutes
Investing in our employees through education opportunities is an important aspect of developing outstanding leaders and outstanding employees. November 2012 will mark the 24th LDI the hospital has had since our partnering with the Studer Group. Developing better leaders has always been the primary purpose of the training and has proven to be an important aspect in moving our hospital from "good to great." The Leadership Development Institutes have been so effective that our leaders are anxious to share the information they learn with our employees, in order that they might be better team members. In 2004, our Navigation Team, with full support of the Senior Leadership Team, created the first "Employee Development Institute." AIDET was discussed and set as an expectation for everyone. Included was the Studer AIDET video, competency assessment, and actual role-playing by each staff member. EDI's are small group sessions of 30 employees or less, approximately 4 hour sessions, and all employees are required to attend. Among our six EDI's, topics have included Crucial Conversations, Employee Ownership/Engagement, and Key Words at Key Times. No matter what the topic, AIDET is always reviewed each year.

Patient Satisfaction
With HVCH being a Critical Access Hospital, participation in HCAHPS is not a requirement, however, the hospital has chosen to participate since the inception. This tool offers the hospital valuable information and allows HVCH to benchmark with other hospitals across the country. This information is so valuable that results are discussed at every departmental staff meeting, posted on all pillar boards – departmental and hospital-wide – and also discussed at our monthly Board of Trustee meetings. At Employee Forums, our CEO always discusses current results and provides a direction to improve or sustain results. Our employees find this very informative and enjoy the fact that we can evaluate our results with national and state comparisons, as well as local peer benchmarks. Our most recent national percentile rankings for HCAHPS include:

Nurse Communication 92%
Doctor Communication 88%
Responsiveness of Staff 88%
Pain Management 97%
Communication about Medication 96%
Quietness at Night 79%
Discharge Information 92%
Overall Rating 91%

Progressive and sustainable improvement is the key to successful patient satisfaction. Each year, HVCH has been able to continually improve our HCAHPS composite scores from a national percentile ranking of 78 the first year to 91 at the present.

The economic downturn of the past few years and the advent of healthcare reform have made financial performance for hospitals difficult. Hocking Valley Community Hospital has maintained its financial performance, averaging 5.9% cash flow margin from 2009-2011, compared to 3.9% in 2004, prior to partnering with the Studer Group. HVCH has concentrated on the efficient use of hospital staff and has decreased FTEs per Adjusted Occupied Bed by 12.6% over the same period. This equates to an annual savings of over $130,000. In 2011 and 2012, HVCH overhauled its information system enabling the hospital to meet the requirements for electronic health records. In 2012, we embarked on Phase I of our Master Facility Plan and began upgrading the hospital's electrical system. The electrical upgrade will provide more consistent and efficient electrical service and is the first phase in a multi-phase plan.

Making a Difference
Hocking Valley Community Hospital received the Fire Starter Award in 2007 and was recognized by the Studer Group for "Excellence in Patient Care for Small and Rural Healthcare" in 2011. In addition, the hospital received national attention in 2007 for employee survey results in the area of "Overall Employee Satisfaction and Engagement" from HealthStream Research and in 2008, the Radiology Department was recognized for "Excellence in Overall Patient Satisfaction."

In 2009, readers of the Logan Daily News recognized HVCH as the Gold Medal Winner for "Making the Biggest Difference in the Community" award in Southeastern Ohio. The hospital was recognized in 2011 by the Logan-Hocking Chamber of Commerce with the "Barton Holl Award", given to the organization that exemplifies a commitment to serving the community. HVCH was honored in 2012 by the Ohio Hospital Association for its contributions to fitness through the "David Hendershot Rural Health Promotion Award." A team of passionate and dedicated wellness-oriented individuals developed a program called "WholeFit", a summer camp focused on creating a healthier community for the youth in Hocking County. In addition, the hospital has been designated a Fit-Friendly organization by the American Heart Association.

The employees of HVCH give back to the community through donations to local food pantries, providing school supplies, and participation in local fund raisers such as Race for the Cure. In addition, the hospital provides scholarships to local high school students who are in pursuit of health care careers.

Hocking Valley Community Hospital takes great pride in our commitment to make a difference in the lives of not only those who enter our doors, but to our entire community. We take ownership for our responsibility to assure that the patient comes first and that every patient has a consistent positive experience every time. We also take very seriously our responsibility to improve the health and well being of our community through education, health fairs, and wellness programs.

We realized early in our partnership with the Studer Group the importance of AIDET training for our employees, and committed to making sure this tool was applied and reinforced in every department. By using what we have learned and applying the tools and techniques that have been proven to increase patient satisfaction, we continue to achieve goals and build a culture where we are proud of our hospital, employees, volunteers, physicians, and the positive relationships we have within our community. We are committed to create an atmosphere where employees and physicians find energy, strength, and enthusiasm for providing excellent care to our patients and position Hocking Valley Community Hospital as a healthcare leader.

Print Page