This week, starting with our leadership team, we are introducing the I-CARE standards. I-CARE – Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence – are values that are part of the fabric of who we are as healthcare providers. This initiative helps us to more clearly define and practice the values as a system and as a healthcare community. You will hear and learn more about I-CARE in the coming months.
It has been a busy summer and I know many of you have taken on the additional responsibility of attending meetings to help design the new hospital. As the work continues on the design process, we are working on the final site plan for the new hospital. It is our hope that we will be able to announce it publicly in the coming month. I am grateful to Anthony J. Picente, Jr., Oneida County Executive, Robert M. Palmieri, City of Utica Mayor, as well as our Oneida County Legislators and City of Utica Common Council members for their support of the parking garage for the new hospital. Their partnership and vision for the future are helping us to move forward and change the delivery of healthcare in our community for generations to come.
You may have seen a few new TVs in public areas at the St. Luke’s and St. Elizabeth Campuses. The TVs have quality data on them and show how we compare to other healthcare organizations in New York State and the nation. Throughout our organization there are a number of initiatives to improve and sustain the quality of care that we provide to our patients and residents. It has been demonstrated over and over again that organizations that are transparent and share their data (both good and poor) with their healthcare family and their community tend to improve quicker and excel more in clinical quality. Understanding how we compare with our peers and consistently looking at what we need to do to improve helps to drive clinical excellence throughout the system.
We are continuing to work on our financial performance for the system. Since our affiliation more than three and half years ago, we have made great strides in improving finances but there is still work to do. In August we had an operating gain of $46,000 compared to a budgeted gain of nearly $1.8 million for the system. Year-to-date we have an operating loss of $2.9 million compared to a budgeted gain of $1.4 million. While medical admissions are up, there are several areas that have opportunities for growth including outpatient surgery, endoscopy, radiation medicine as well as diagnostic catheterizations and angioplasty.
Flu season will soon be here and we are scheduling our flu clinics for October. I encourage you to get your flu shot this year. As a reminder if you choose not to get the shot you will need to wear a mask in all public and patient care areas throughout the flu season.
October is just around the corner and that means Campaign for Quality which is scheduled for Friday, October 13 at Hamilton College. To date, we have more than 300 people registered including members of our healthcare family and healthcare providers from throughout New York State. I encourage you to make the time to attend the conference. We have internationally-known speakers with presentations that will educate and inspire you! You can register online at www.campaignforquality.com.
I hope to see you there.
Scott H. Perra, FACHE