Mission: quality over quantity

Posted: May 15, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — As Valley Health moves forward, quality over quantity will be stressed, members of the system’s corporation were told Tuesday.

The corporation’s semi-annual meeting was in the Winchester Medical Center conference center.

Dr. Chris Rumpf, Valley Health senior vice president, chief quality and medical officer, told attendees his task is to lay out the path that will take the system from volume to value.

“Up until this point, health care has been driven mainly by more and more volume, generating more and more revenue,” he said. “The conventional wisdom now is that’s going to change, and we’re going to move from getting paid for volume to being paid for value.

“So, who’s defining value for us? Who’s going to drive this stuff in terms of setting the rules?”

The answer is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Joint Commission and commercial insurance payer Anthem, Rumpf said.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is changing the rules retroactively, he said. Avoiding hospital readmission — which would lead to penalties — will be a challenge, Rumpf said.

He said the Joint Commission is reinventing itself, and Anthem has also put out its own quality-improvement programs.

How Valley Health views value is actually an amalgamation, Rumpf said.

The first component is doing zero harm, “which means that no patient has a bad outcome,” he said.

“Now, I would like to tell you we’re there, but we’re not there, and neither is any other organization,” Rumpf continued.

But that is the system’s goal, he said, as is delivering great patient and family experiences.

Thirdly, Valley Health considers having no waste as being valuable. That is in reference to not wasting patients’ time and effort, Rumpf said.

A Valley Health performance improvement committee is working to create a state of high reliability, he said.

As part of a safety culture, frontline caregivers are being asked where the risks of bad outcomes for patients may be so they can be addressed before they happen, Rumpf said.

Also during the meeting, Valley Health board of trustees Chairman James Holland highlighted some of the accomplishments from the past year, which included the completion of a five-year strategic plan, the opening of a new War Memorial Hospital in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., the start of construction of a replacement facility for Page Memorial Hospital and the completion of the North Tower at Winchester Medical Center.

Additionally, there was successful physician recruitment, including 13 new surgeons, 15 medical specialists and 24 primary care providers, he said.

Moving forward, greater transparency is needed, and there will be a workforce shortage when it comes to IT personnel and nurses, among others, Holland said.

Popular health management will also be necessary.

“We’re going to have to get more and more involved in wellness,” Holland said.

Valley Health is a major contributor to the local economy, he added.

“We’re the dominant economic player in every community that we serve,” Holland said. “Not only are we responsible for health care, we’re very much responsible for economic success in the community.”

Also at the meeting, Dr. Jeff Skiles, Mary Beth Price, Steve Cluss and Jim Long were elected to the board of trustees.

Valley Health is the parent company of Winchester Medical Center, Warren Memorial Hospital in Front Royal, Shenandoah Memorial Hospital in Woodstock, Page Memorial Hospital in Luray, Hampshire Memorial Hospital in Romney, W.Va., and War Memorial Hospital in Morgan County, W.Va.

— Contact Sally Voth at svoth@winchesterstar.com