Joseph FX Casey
President & CEO
At Sturdy, we believe that healthcare is best delivered locally. Which is why we continuously seek to identify programs and services that will meet the needs of our community residents, eliminating the need for them to travel for their care.
It's this commitment that led to the development of our oncology program over 30 years ago. A program that has been recognized and accredited by the American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer since day one, and includes not only state of the art technology for diagnostics, imaging, interventions, and treatment, but a level of personalized care that our patients and families deserve.
It's also what led to the development of our Inpatient Palliative Care Program with HopeHealth. This program aims to enhance the quality of life for our patients living with serious and chronic medical conditions. In its first year, the program has resulted in a 40 percent decrease in unnecessary hospital admissions.
In March 2018, we launched a Pulmonary Clinic in an effort to improve patient outcomes for those diagnosed with chronic respiratory conditions. The clinic provides education and support after a patient is discharged to ensure an understanding of treatment and helps to decrease the chances of a return trip to the Hospital.
For patients coming to our emergency care center (ECC), we expedited our admitting process with the addition of more evening providers, thus helping to relieve the congestion in the ECC. We also made strides in working to fulfill an unmet need in mental health services by welcoming Dr. MacCourt, MD, psychiatrist. He provides behavioral health services two days per week for patients in our care. This along with our partnership with Mclean Hospital to provide access to behavioral health care within the Associates Practices works to reduce the barriers to mental health services for members in our community.
As a community, we continue to feel the effects of the opioid crisis. And as a health care provider, we recognize that we have an obligation to put processes in place to support efforts to reduce the impacts of this epidemic. This year we focused on educating providers on their opioid prescribing patterns as well as alternatives for pain management resulting in a 40 percent decrease in opioid prescriptions in the ECC. Additionally, Dr. Brian Patel, Chief of Emergency Services and Amy Pfeffer, Chief Financial Officer, have been spearheading an initiative to partner with an outpatient addiction provider to further treatment options in our service area.
Ensuring Safe, High Quality Care and Excellent Service
As medical providers, safety, quality, and service are our highest priorities. We continuously examine processes and procedures pertaining to quality and safety through our Quality Oversight Committee. By conducting extensive data analysis we are able to identify potential risks to our patients and develop intervention plans to mitigate those risks.
Patient satisfaction provides us with significant insight, as it is a reflection of our service. In our Emergency Care Center, which treats nearly 50,000 patients each year, we exceeded our benchmark goal ending the year in the 90th percentile for overall satisfaction in Press Ganey. Translated, when compared to our peer group, our patients were more satisfied with their experience at Sturdy than 90 percent of all other hospitals. Quite an achievement. On the inpatient side, however, we finished at the 62nd percentile, better than average, but below our goal. We can do better, and will be focusing on improvement.
Continuous Growth and Advancement
As the world of medicine continues to advance, it's imperative that we invest in key technology, recruit top notch physicians and reinvest in our facilities. This year, we welcomed seven new physicians to our Associates Practices including Dr. Melnitsky, family medicine physician; Dr. Tompkins, urologist; Dr. Pate, obstetrician and gynecologist; Dr. Todani, ophthalmologist; Dr. Shakur, cardiologist; Dr. Roman, pediatrician; and Dr. Khurana, gastroenterologist.
We have also focused on identifying an appropriate partner to help us with a significant upgrade of our Electronic Medical Records system. I am pleased to announce that a contract was signed with Cerner, a leader in Electronic Health Records.This new system will fully integrate the Hospital and the Associates into one single electronic health record that will provide many benefits including: greater efficiencies, faster documentation for providers, and improved medication reconciliation. It will be an enormous undertaking requiring extensive financial, as well as human, resources, but will result in improved care coordination from both the perspective of our care providers and more importantly, our patients.
We have had many changes and transitions, which have included shifts in our leadership. David Spoor, who was previously the Director of Nursing for 7 years, officially assumed the role of Vice President for Patient Services /Chief Nursing Officer in November of 2017. In June of 2018, Amy Pfeffer, who has been with Sturdy for 23 years, most recently as the Vice President of Planning and Business Strategy, was appointed to Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for the Hospital. We also welcomed Carolyn Ross as Vice President of Human Resources in November of 2018. Carolyn comes to us with over 20 years of experience in all aspects of human resources management. We are pleased to have them join us in their new roles as part of our senior leadership team.
Imaging and Anesthesia services at the Hospital are both provided through contracted physician groups. Both of those existing groups were dissolved, necessitating the need to identify new provider groups for both services. After extensive vetting, we welcomed Atlantic Anesthesia as our anesthesia provider in March of 2018 with Dr. Amer Tabba serving as the chief of the department. And in July of 2018 we welcomed Rhode Island Medical Imaging as our imaging provider with Dr. Mark Ridlen serving as the chief of the department.
As a community hospital, we are committed to being active in the cities and towns that we provide service to, not only in relation to health and wellness initiatives, but through engagement in numerous family-related events, which is why we participate and sponsor over 25 community events each year. It's important that the community views us as a both a neighbor, and a partner in their health and wellness.
Sturdy has remained fiscally sound marking our 33rd year in the black. The bottom line attributable to the current year operations for the Foundation, including the Hospital and Associates for fiscal year 2018, was $5,357,461. Operating expenses for the year totaled $235,255,379. Furthermore, the Hospital delivered $5.7 million in uncompensated care for services provided to those who could not or would not pay.
Like many other health care systems, we are challenged with meeting the demands of an ever evolving environment, both internally and externally. Despite this, we remain resilient.
I am confident that by working together, focusing on our priorities, and putting our patients first we will continue to remain strong. I'd like to thank our board of directors, foundation members, medical providers, employees, volunteers, and donors for their commitment and support of our organization.
Joseph FX Casey
President and Chief Executive Officer