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Posts Tagged ‘Renown Health’

Last week I published a post about Renown Health’s commitment to taking action outside of the hospital’s walls to address community health. I visited Renown a couple of weeks ago and was thoroughly impressed by so many aspects of their operation. Today I’m sharing some thoughts about what Renown Health is doing within its walls to create a healing and healthy environment for patients, family members, visitors and employees.

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Photo Caption: Display of artwork at Renown Health

When I speak at conferences, there are always a few audience members who are surprised to hear me say that many hospitals were not designed with the patient and his or her family in mind. For decades we built institutions that were not patient- and family-friendly and certainly weren’t hospitable. The facilities were cold and stark. They were loud. Lighting was horrible. These were not what I call healing environments. They were places for medical and therapeutic interventions – and for monitoring patients during recovery.

Today we understand that the environment has a lot to do with the patient’s recovery and well-being. It can also impact employees and their job performance. So, thank goodness, we are building amazing new healthcare facilities that truly offer patients, family members and hospital employees a healing and healthy environment. Many new hospitals have circadian lighting to simulate a natural environment. It is common to find artwork on the walls of the facility, and occasionally in patient rooms. I love this trend! Patient rooms now make accommodations for family members spending the night. Many hospitals have even eliminated formal visiting hours and offer valet parking – two patient-centric developments.

Throughout the industry there has also been an effort to make hospitals healthier environments by eliminating smoking and by emphasizing healthy food options in cafeterias and other hospital-based restaurants. Many healthcare organizations now have weekly farmer’s markets for their employees and visitors – emphasizing the importance of good nutrition and healthy eating. And finally, the Green Health movement has led to many hospitals to start using non-toxic building and cleaning products to reduce the negative health impact on patients, visitors and employees.

Within the hospital’s walls: As my colleague and I toured Renown last week we were astounded by the healing environment they have created. And trust me, not every hospital qualifies as having a healing environment. So what has Renown done to distinguish itself? First, Renown has more original art displayed throughout the medical center than I have ever seen within a healthcare organization – paintings, photography and sculpture. There are also amazing healing gardens for adults and children. The adult garden has a labyrinth – an amazing tool for meditation and reflection.

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Photo Caption: Glass Sculpture at Renown Health

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Photo Caption: Children’s Healing Garden at Renown Health

One of the other patient- and family-friendly features that impressed me as we toured Renown is the abundance of retail within the medical center. Renown Regional Medical Center is home to a variety of shops offering everything from mom and baby gifts to trendy clothing, from fresh-cut flowers to balloons, from sit-down dining to grab-and-go treats. The Shops at Renown Health include a CVS Pharmacy, the Artisan Market Bistro, Starbucks, an upscale Boutique, a floral shop, FreshBerry Frozen Yogurt, Subway, a logo shop for Renown apparel, a traditional gift shot (Sierra Gifts), and a cafe featuring healthy options and cuisine from around the world (Chinese, Mexican, European, Mediterranean, etc). When visiting the shops and restaurants you get a sense of the familiar – a feeling a normalcy. That has to be a calming experience for patients, family members and visitors.

Finally, Renown has full service hotel on the Renown Regional Medical Center campus. The Inn at Renown offers non-smoking rooms perfect for patients and their families, medical center visitors and guests attending on-campus seminars. Three of the rooms include kitchenettes for guests who plan an extended stay.

screen-shot-2017-02-27-at-8-27-27-amThese are just a few of the features I noted while on our tour of Renown Regional Medical Center. The abundance of original art, because it is so visually striking, left the greatest impression upon me. This was particularly true in the Renown Institute for Cancer. When the patient enters the Institute, he or she immediately faces a vibrant wall sculpture. Around every corner is the visitor finds a new piece of art. My guess is that the environment is not at all what first time visitors expect of a cancer center. However, it is what I have come to expect of modern, patient-friendly facilities!

If you’re interested in the creation of healing environments within hospitals, here are some posts I’ve written on the subject in the past:

Vermont Hospitals Embrace Art to Create Healing Environments

Reducing Hospital Noise to Create Healing Environments

Hospitals Offering Concierge Services for Patients

Green Initiatives on the Rise in Healthcare

Bringing the Arts into your Hospital

 

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In the past, I’ve written quite a few blog posts about the importance of health systems partnering with community and public health organizations to positively impact community and population health. Here are a few examples:

Engaging Public and Community Organizations to address Social Determinants of Health, December 13, 2016

Public Health 3.0, October 5, 2016

Organizations Collaborating to Advance Population Health (Video), July 13, 2016

Replicate This: A Hospital Sponsored Community Blog, May 5, 2016

Population Health Management Is Our Future, March 15, 2016

Population Health: An Informal Conversation with National Leaders, April 21, 2015

One Year of Public Health & Primary Care Working Together, March 5, 2015

Clearly, this is an area in which I have a strong interest; so when I find a person or organization who shares my passion, I get excited; I see hope!

To that end, earlier this week I found the following passage on Renown Health’s website, and I was elated. They get it! This statement clearly articulates a vision of community health that I share and often promote within this blog (as you can see from the list of blog posts above).

Together, We’re Better

“As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, we will broaden our approach, and think not only about healthcare, but also about health. And, we will think beyond the walls of the hospital and take our services and winning spirit out into our communities.

We recognize that we all must come together if we are to really move the needle on our community health statistics and improve the overall health of our community. To accomplish these lofty goals, we are forging new partnerships with doctors, nonprofits, other hospitals, and those who are educating tomorrow’s workforce — just to name a few. We will leave no stone unturned in our quest to think differently and focus on what’s really important. And, we won’t forget our most significant partnerships — the one we share with our 6,000+ employees. The good work we do would not be possible without them.” (Renown Health Website)

It was wonderful to discover a healthcare organization that is embracing this perspective. I believe much of this philosophy comes from Dr. Tony Slonim, Renown’s CEO. He is an amazing guy and a model physician leader. If you’re not familiar with Dr. Slonim, I’ll give you some highlights. Dr. Slonim is a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM). He is a board certified physician in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Critical Care, and a Doctor of Public Health. Dr. Slonim is a nationally recognized expert in patient safety, accountable care, healthcare quality, and innovative care delivery models focused on improving health in the community. He is an academic leader with more than 100 publications, 15 textbooks and more than $2 million in National Institutes of Health funding to his name. Dr. Slonim serves on the boards of the American College of Physician Executives, the Stevens Institute of Technology, and is the Chairman of the Certified Medical Representatives (CMR) Institute Boards.

I first met Dr. Slonim through an article in the The American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC) where he was interviewed about Physician Leadership. As I read that interview, I was engaged by his perspective on the health system’s role in addressing community health.

“We’re on a quest toward a healthy community, and that means we’re looking outside of our walls not only to healthcare and the healthcare we provide, but also ensuring the community’s health. How are we there not only when they’re sick or injured, but when they have questions about what vitamins or herbals to take? When they need support on how to reduce their stress or how to lose weight or stop smoking? Those are the ways that we need to engage the community with prevention and wellness. And we’re doing that a lot more aggressively than we ever have.” (AJMC, March 14, 2016)

After doing a little digging, I found Dr. Slonim’s TEDx Talk where he continues to address the theme of creating healthier communities. I’ve embedded that video below.

In short, Dr. Slonim and I share a common belief that community health needs to be addressed in the community – and that this is best done through partnerships between the health system and community/public health organization. For me, it was so gratifying to discuss a physician leader and health system that is embracing that philosophy!

Here’s the backstory: This week one of my colleagues and I spent a couple of days in Reno, Nevada visiting the marketing team at Renown Health. During my time at Renown, I was fortunate to spend time with their CEO, Dr. Tony Slonim.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Renown, it is a not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. It is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 5,700. Renown’s network includes three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, skilled nursing, and the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network. Of the 5,627 hospitals in the United States, Renown is one of only 281 physician-led organizations.

We left Renown with a great appreciation for the organization and its commitment to addressing community health. The health of our communities is dependent upon hospitals and health systems moving beyond their walls, and partnering with community organizations. It was wonderful to learn that the team at Renown embraces this perspective.

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