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August 2013
In This Issue
Team Cuts Sepsis Mortality Rate in Half
CCRMC Honored for LGBT Service
2013 Ruth Pease Award Winner
CCRMC's New Security Chief
RSVP for the Annual Medical Staff Dinner & Dance
8th Annual Health Care Workers as Creators
Send Us Story Ideas
RSVP for the Annual Medical Staff Dinner & Dance
If you plan to attend, you must RSVP by Sept. 4
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Message from the CEO
Anna Roth portrait cropped
Anna Roth, Chief Executive Officer of CCRMC and Health Centers

Patients & Families as Partners: We Need You

At the very core of what we do and why we do it is the patient. The patient is why we care, why we work so hard, why we strive continuously to improve. So it makes sense that the very reason for our system's existence would drive how we improve our system. This month I wanted to focus our attention on partnering with patients, family members and the community to improve our health delivery system.

We have had success
One example is the opening our psychiatric emergency services entrance (see story in Modern Healthcare). Another is the work we have underway to revise our hospital Visitor Policy to a Welcoming Policy to reflect our commitment to providing the care that our patients want and need. This policy recognizes that patients define who their families are and we know that having loved ones present in care can result in a more supported patient. This work recently resulted in our designation as a leader in healthcare equality (see related story), and I'll share more information on this as we move forward.

We are striving to involve patients at all levels of improvement, which is why we also have included patients and their family members along with other community members in our strategic planning process, which is ongoing and I'll have an update on this next month.


It is encouraging to see hospitals and delivery systems increasingly embracing patients and family members as essential partners in designing systems of care and care experiences.  It's through partnering with those we serve, that we are better able to design systems around what patients actually want and need. This is an invitation to our patients, their families and our community to join us as partners in improving culture of continuous improvement.  


Though we have always had the best intentions to design the best system of care for those we serve, that can't happen unless we include the people we are caring for as essential allies. As we have embedded patients and family members in our improvement efforts, we have seen a growing demand from staff for patient feedback. We need your help in recruiting patients, family members and community members as partners in both the outpatient and inpatient settings.  


At Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and Health Centers, we embrace the voice of our patients, their families, our community members and staff in our improvement efforts. Their voices are essential in building a patient-centered healthcare system that is respectful and accessible to all of our patients.  Focus groups and surveys are important tools for patient feedback, but actually putting patients and family members side by side with staff and involving them in the decision-making process--that is what can bring about groundbreaking change and improvement.


Thanks to all of you for helping to welcome those we serve as key members of our team and essential to our success.


More very soon,





For information on how to get involved, please visit our website for more details and a video or contact Lynnette Watts, Patient and Family Advisory Council Coordinator, at [email protected] or 925-370-5403. 


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CCRMC Cuts Sepsis Mortality Rate in Half 

Sepsis Team succeeds in helping deliver timely care

Improved processes devised by a multidisciplinary team have significantly reduced sepsis mortality rates at our Regional Medical Center. In December 2009, the baseline sepsis mortality rate at CCRMC was 18%. Thanks to the work of front-line staff and the Sepsis Team, which came together in 2010, the sepsis mortality rate at the hospital dropped to 9% during the period from January to June 2013. 

The Sepsis Team. 

The Sepsis Team includes physicians, nurses, and representatives from administration, infection control and pharmacy services. The team is helping CCRMC achieve its goals in the DSRIP plan to improve severe sepsis detection and management.  The team stresses the importance of delivering the sepsis bundle of care within one hour of when a patient is identified as having severe sepsis or septic shock. The team has helped us deliver timely care by revising our sepsis screening tool, creating an ED Nurses sepsis protocol order set, condensing the ED physician sepsis antibiotic order set, and designating nurse each shift as the "sepsis nurse."


Thus far, the team has focused its efforts in the Emergency Department, where most sepsis cases occur. In the past two months, there has been 100% compliance with the sepsis bundle in the E.D. and CCRMC easily met its DSRIP bundle compliance goals for 2012-13. An additional Sepsis Team has recently started meeting to revise the plan of care for inpatients with sepsis or septic shock. 

CCRMC Honored for Service to LGBT Communitylgbt

The largest national organization advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights recognized CCRMC as a "Leader in LGBT Healthcare equality" in its annual survey of hospitals and other healthcare facilities released in July. Only 464 facilities nationwide met the criteria for this designation in the Human Rights Coalition Foundation's Healthcare Equality Index 2013, which recognizes institutions with non-discrimination policies for LGBT patients and employees, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and LGBT health education for key staff members. 


 We qualified for this honor through training and updating our policies, as well as by expanding our relationships with community partners and initiating public events to help raise awareness. CCRMC is currently revising its Visitor Policy into a Welcoming Policy with more inclusive language for all our patients and their loved ones. "We are committed to providing our patients and their families with respectful, equal and high-quality care, and we're continuing to improve by including patients, their families and the community in this critical work," said Anna Roth, Chief Executive Officer of CCRMC and Health Centers. 


For more information about the Healthcare Equality Index 2013, please visit hrc.org/hei.


Medical Interpreter Wins 2013 Ruth Pease Award 
Steven Lam 
Steven Lam honored for his dedication to patient care

Medical Interpreter Steven Lam can translate a doctor's words to the patient into four different languages. But what makes Steven unique, and the winner of the 2013 Ruth Pease Award, is how he communicates. One doctor who nominated Steven wrote, "He listens to the concepts I'm trying to communicate, then teaches the patient the concept." 


Nominators cited Steven's culturally relevant delivery, medical savvy, and reliability in following up with patients as factors in elevating the quality of care in clinic, as well as his versatility within his field - Steven speaks English, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Hakka. He also operates Epic expertly, a skill prized by his coworkers. Stories abound about how he does the little things that help make a clinic run smoothly, from helping nurses with scheduling to staying after hours to help answer questions for patients. 


 The Ruth Pease Award, named for a former employee, is given to a member of the medical staff who demonstrates outstanding achievement and dedication to patient-centered care. Steven will be honored at the Annual Medical Staff Dinner & Dance on Sept. 20. 

New Head of Security at CCRMC 
Lt. Jeff Moule is a 19-year veteran of the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office. 

Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Moule has been named the new chief of the unit in charge of security at our hospital and health centers. A 19-year veteran of the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office, Lt. Moule has worked as a patrol officer, homicide investigator, sergeant in the contract city of San Ramon and, most recently, as an administrative lieutenant in Danville.


Health Services contracts with the Sheriff's Office to provide security for facilities such as CCRMC and the department's health centers.  Lt. Moule started his new post on Monday, Aug. 12. He replaced Lt. Brian Kalinowski, who has departed to work as a police lieutenant in the city of Galt. 

RSVP for the Annual Medical Staff Dinner & Dancemed_staff_dance
Reserve your spot for the Dinner & Dance by Sept. 4 (deadline extended)

When: Friday, September 20, 2013
Where*: Joaquin Miller Community Center -- 3594 Sanborn Drive, Oakland
(*Note new location)
Cost: Free for residents; $40 for faculty advisors; $60 for medical staff; $30-60 for guests

6:30 p.m.-No Host Cocktails with music by The Rhythm Method Band
7:30 p.m.-Dinner
8 p.m. -2013 Ruth Pease Award Honoree & Introduction of New Residents
9 p.m.-Dancing-Music provided by The Rhythm Method Band

If you have questions about the event, please contact Sue Pfister, Medical Staff Office, (925) 313-1137 or [email protected]

Eighth Annual Health Care Workers as Creators to be Held at CCRMC 's Redwood Grove 

Free event featuring artists, musicians and food from 3 - 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17
Live music will begin at 5 p.m. at this year's Health Care Workers as Creators event. 

Doctors, nurses and others will once again share their artistic sides this year for the eighth annual Health Care Workers as Creators event, which will take place in CCRMC's Redwood Grove. The program will feature work by painters and sculptors, musical performances, workshops and hands-on artmaking guided by expressive arts therapists. 


CCRMC Farmers' Market food vendors are catering the event. While the event and food are free, people are encouraged to donate to Art of Health and Healing (formerly Healing Through the Arts), a group of medical staff and others that promotes activities and programs designed to foster creativity, improve patient satisfaction, and create a better healing environment. 


For one week leading up to and following the Sept. 17 event, Art of Health and Healing is collaborating with the Arts Commission to curate an art show of our staff and community artists in the lobby and hallways in Building 1 on the CCRMC campus.


To find out more about the event or if you want to participate or volunteer, contact Dr. Alan Siegel at [email protected] or pager 925-346-4993.

In our article about the results of the medical staff election in the July issue of The Update, we incorrectly identified the head of Anesthesia. It is Dr. Mark Vukalcic. 
Send Us Your Story Ideas contact
Let us know about upcoming events and important happenings going on at the Regional Medical Center or the health centers. 

Click here to contact us or contact Kate Fowlie at: 
(925) 370-5224