News and Updates
July 2015
In This Issue
DNVGL Healthcare CEO to Speak at Kootenai Health July 30th.
Have you heard the word DNV around your healthcare facility? Have you asked, 'What is DNVGL' or 'Why should I need to know'?

DNVGL is the world's largest classification society with expertise in technical assurance, research certification and risk management. The healthcare division was started in 2008 and since then has taken over accreditation of over 400 healthcare organizations out of a market that used to be completely dominated by Joint Commission.

Shoshone Medical Center has been engaged with DNVGL Healthcare and is reaching certification this year. Kootenai Health, Bonner General Health and Boundary Community Hospital have also engaged with DNVGL Healthcare for their accreditations. Other hospitals in the region have also expressed interest.

Hospitals are accredited based on adherence to standards that reflect the minimum requirements of operation to ensure patient safety as well as the provision of quality healthcare. Accreditation represents the most practical way in which a hospital adheres to these standards, improving the quality system to reduce errors and improve performance, improving the effectiveness and efficiency of processes, and providing a level of care that satisfies the patient's needs.

Mr. Horine will be speaking on the topic of ISO 9001 in a hospital environment. ISO 9001 is an international standard by which organizations manage quality, business and compliance of the organization.

He will speak with:

7 AM to 8 AM: Discuss the physician's role in the process, and understanding how process improvement can help us work smarter by: decreasing variability in outcomes, improving patient safety and increasing efficiency. (CME opportunity available).

Hospital CEO's
8 AM to 8:45 AM:
 Discuss what a CEO needs to know about ISO 9001 - Risks, opportunities and looking to the future implementation of ISO 9001.

Members of the Hospital Quality and Compliance Staff
9:30 AM
to 11 AM: Topics Include: ISO 9001 overview, how it improves healthcare, how it impacts facility processes implementation overview, and
Q & A.

All are welcome. Please RSVP your attendance to Jon Scallan at (208) 625-4320.

Upcoming DNV Classes at Kootenai Health

Healthcare Management System Implementation, Aug. 18-20

This class is designed to train healthcare professionals in the flexible approaches to ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System (QMS) implementation. This course demonstrates the ISO QMS as an infrastructure to business and identifies the benefits of a system approach to quality. 
*Class size limited to 20 people.

Internal Audits, Sept. 15-17

This 3-day ISO 9001:2008 course is a healthcare specific auditor course focused on the hospital and healthcare setting. This course is designed to train potential auditors in the principles and practices of QMS auditing and the use of ISO 9001 standards in the process approach to system auditing. *Class size limited to 25 people.

Who should attend? Anyone responsible for accreditation, regulatory compliance, and ISO 9001 Implementation.

This is the first time these classes are being offered here in the Northwest at Kootenai Health. Save on travel costs and take the courses near home.

For more information contact Jon Scallan at (208) 625-4320.

New Peer Group Forms Around Topics of Compliance

There are many different regulations to comply with in the healthcare world. To keep up to date in this complex area, the compliance officers from our regional hospitals have come together as a Peer Group to collaborate on developing and maintaining effective compliance programs in each of the hospitals.
The group focus will be on evaluating different compliance issues, reviewing any recent changes in regulations, sharing educational resources such as compliance policies or webinars, and discussing any other hot topics that affect our respective compliance programs. The group's first meeting was a big success.

Johanna Brown, from Kootenai Health, who will chair the group said, "We had a great discussion around different resources that we've found helpful in our jobs such as websites and conferences we've attended. We also identified different areas of improvement in terms of policies and structure of our programs." 

According to the US Federal Sentencing Guidelines, there are seven elements of an effective compliance program. This guidance is used as the basic structure for our compliance program.
  1. Policy and Procedures
  2. Governance
  3. Training and Education
  4. Effective Lines of Communication
  5. Investigations and Corrective Actions
  6. Auditing and Monitoring
  7. Remediation of Identified Problems
The group will meet the fourth Wednesday of each month from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM at Kootenai Health.

For more information, or to join the group, contact Johanna Brown at (208) 625-4016 or

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Expanding Hospital Facilities to Meet
Growing Needs of Our Region

To address the growing needs of our communities Bonner General Health and Kootenai Health are expanding their facilities. Both hospitals are committed to excellence when it comes to patient care, and increasing their facilities is another way to achieve that level of care for the Northwest. 
Rendering of Bonner General Health
Bonner General Health's grand opening of their Health Services Building is on Saturday, August 22 from 10 AM until 
2 PM. Bonner General Hospital's mission is to provide excellence in healthcare and is committed to expanding health and wellness services, throughout the region, to include:
  • Approximately 40,000 Square Feet in Three Stories
  • Sandpoint Women's Health
  • Women's Imaging
  • Anticoagulation Clinic
  • Wound Care Center
  • Performance Therapy Services
  • Patient Financial Services 
  • Human Resources
  • Community Development and Foundation
The Sky bridge seen in the rendering above connects outpatient services with the existing  hospital.

"We are proud to provide healthcare services, inside and outside the hospital walls, that allow our community members to stay in Sandpoint for care that improves their health and promotes healing," said Sheryl Rickard, CEO of Bonner General. "The new building allows us to move critical services to a new space that is more convenient and provides easier access for our patients as it creates more efficiency for our staff and physicians.  It also frees up space in the hospital building so we can remodel and renovate in the future.  We are excited to provide additional treatments and services that improve the health of the members of our community."

Parkwood Business Properties in Coeur d' Alene is partnering with Bonner General Health. The first two floors will be home to hospital services and third floor will be leased to physicians.

Rendering of Kootenai Health
Kootenai Health's vision to emerge as a regional medical center is becoming more visible every day. Phase 1 of the new expansion has passed the half-way point. The patient-centric design includes a convenient drive-up entrance leading into a modern and comfortable lobby and reception area, which extends into the Family Birth Center. The Orthopedic Department will be located on the second level, accommodating the fastest-growing procedures in health care, knee and hip replacements for aging baby boomers.

The project is on time and on budget with an expected opening date in the spring of 2016. Several community and patient events are being planned to celebrate. Phase 2 will include the Emergency Department on the south side of the existing hospital and an expansion of the main operating room. For more information about the expansion project and to see updated photos, visit

Northwest Hospital Alliance Collaborates with Idaho PTech Network

Because we are looking forward to who will be the nurses, lab, rehab, and multitude of other healthcare workers of the future, the Hospital Alliance is partnering with the Idaho PTECH Network to help build the interest of high school students toward those career paths.

The PTECH Network is a pilot program funded by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. Its mission is to bridge the gap between education and industry by providing students with the credentials and skills needed to secure well-paying jobs in Idaho's high growth industries of healthcare, aerospace and IT while giving businesses access to a qualified pipeline of employees.

The program model works best with smaller rural schools, and includes Clark Fork, Kellogg, Wallace, Sandpoint and a number of other high schools in northern Idaho.

"Rural schools have far too many barriers to list," states Dawn Schatz, a teacher at Clark Fork High School. "In rural communities the absence of college bound culture is palpable - but hands on careers in healthcare, aerospace or IT are pathways to the upcoming generation who needs these real life experiences to complement their academic activities."
By 2018, 61% of jobs in Idaho will require a technical certificate or advanced degree-but only a third of residents will be qualified to take them. The Idaho PTECH Network is designed to bridge that gap through our collaborative network of high schools, colleges, and employers.
  • In 9th and 10th grades, students have the opportunity to explore and discover a path of interest among the three focus areas.
  • In 11th and 12th grade, PTECH advisors mentor the students to help them stay on a path to college. Students already start taking a mix of college classes online while in high school.
  • Students graduate with a goal and an advisor continues to work with them through their college program.
Through the PTECH program students gain valuable on the job experience before starting college through job shadowing and internship opportunities in their chosen industry.

PTECH students leave community college with the relevant certificates for their industry, and/or an associates degree and most importantly- a job.

For more information about the Idaho PTECH Network go to 

North Idaho College and the Northwest Hospital Alliance Partner on Health Career Pathways Grant Project


NIC has partnered with three healthcare providers in northern Idaho - the Northwest Hospital Alliance, Kootenai Health and Valley Vista Care to develop and implement the Health Career Project. NIC received a $202,500 grant from the Idaho Department of Labor, and the three industry partners are contributing $50,625 match for this grant.

The Health Career Pathway Project is designed to expand the ability of industry to increase employment and wages of Idaho workers in our region.

"It will address skill gaps in high-demand occupations within the healthcare sector," said Marie Price, NIC director of Workforce Training and Community Education. "Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries in northern Idaho and this grant will help us make sure training is available for these jobs throughout the region."

The grant is being used to develop short term courses designed to prepare students for in-demand jobs with a specific skill set, and create a degree seeking pathway in healthcare.

The project has three areas of focus: 

Patient Care Coordinator: is a redesign of the Health Unit Coordinator (HUC) course in response to changes in healthcare technology and practices. The Patient Care Coordinator training will enhance the skill set of the current HUC role in providing added support for case management and discharge planners with a strong emphasis in customer service.

Restorative Assistant's: work in rehabilitation settings in long term care and hospitals. The NIC class prepares students for the national certification exam, the first in the state to do so.

Mental Health Assistant: There is an increase in job postings for this type of position. Training and awareness in mental health was identified as the strongest need in our region.

A primary goal for the program will be to have 135 certified nursing assistants (CNA's) complete training and national certification in the next two years.

"It is exciting to advance the skill set of CNA's and work with industry partners to meet the needs of their patients," said Dotty Heberer, RN, project manager for the grant. "When CNA's earn additional credentials, it leads to greater job satisfaction and quality care."

To learn more, contact Dotty Heberer, CNA and Health Professions Coordinator at (208) 665-5448.

The Northwest Hospital Alliance
The Northwest Hospital Alliance serves as a collaborative network to assist our members in offering high quality, cost effective health care in our communities.