Northwest Hospital Alliance

April 2016
In This Issue

Northwest Antimicrobial Stewardship Summit

Please join the Northwest Hospital Alliance for the Northwest Antimicrobial Stewardship Summit. This one-day event will provide participants with the tools they need to plan and develop an antimicrobial stewardship program within their own facility, as well as to establish a collaborative work group to develop and implement a regional Antimicrobial Stewardship Program and

DATE: Friday, June 24

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Kootenai Health Resource Center Fox Auditorium
2003 Kootenai Health Way,Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

Regional representatives from hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, infection prevention, microbiology, pharmacy, and quality.

COST: $45

For more information contact: Caryl Johnston 208-625-4138

Sheryl Rickard Serving Idaho Hospital Association as Board Chairman

Sheryl Rickard, CEO of Bonner General Health, is serving as the 2016 Idaho Hospital Association (IHA) board chairman.

"As chair, Sheryl is guiding our board and staff in representing and advocating for IHA's 44 community hospital members," said Darryl-Lynn Oaks, IHA Director of Communications. "We have undertaken a multi-year strategic plan under her leadership and will continue to find ways to support hospitals and the communities they serve."

Founded in 1933, the Idaho Hospital Association is a statewide, nonprofit trade association that brings hospital/health care leaders together to identify issues of mutual concern and to address these issues in a responsible manner that ensures quality health care for those they serve throughout Idaho.

"It is truly an honor to be the 2106 IHA Board Chair," said Sheryl Rickard, Bonner General Health CEO. "It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work with hospital leaders and the IHA staff to address the health needs in Idaho. Hospitals are vital to the health and economic vitality of our communities. Our job as a board is to help strengthen Idaho hospitals so that they can continue to serve their communities. It is rewarding to work with a group of people who are committed to providing safe, quality care and improving the overall health of our Idaho citizens."

DNV Peer Group to Host Internal Audit Course

Members of the Hospital Alliance are engaged with DNV GL Healthcare as their accrediting organization. This accreditation process enables a culture of high performance and continual improvement within each institution. 

"A peer group focusing on experience, processes and learning with each other has been meeting on a monthly basis," said Caryl Johnston, Hospital Alliance Director. "We've opened the peer group to include additional hospitals in our region who are engaged with, or considering working with DNV GL. The group focuses on process and learning with each other related to quality management."

In order for the peer group hospital employees to have the best training and information, the Hospital Alliance has hosted several DNV GL health care trainings locally.

"The next class is April 12-14 at Kootenai Health. "This class helps us all continue the great work toward DNV GL accreditation and ISO 9001 certification," said Emily Miller, from Shoshone Medical Center and chairperson for the Hospital Alliance DNV Peer Group. "Instead of sending people to get trained we are able to educate more people in a more cost-effective way by bringing the instructors to us."

By bringing a national trainer to provide local training, the member hospitals have been able to save approximately $85,000.

This 3-day course is a health care specific auditor course focused on the hospital and health care 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. Due to the high amount of interest from local hospitals, the class is already full.


Caryl Johnston, Director
Northwest Hospital Alliance

:: 208-625-4138

Nursing Grand Rounds:
Bringing Hospital Teams Together

Nursing Grand Rounds (NGR) provide a forum for nurses between our partner hospitals to share clinical expertise, nursing best practices and education on related topics to improve patient outcomes and enhance patient experiences, as well as building collaboration and respect across the continuum of care. An NGR is a presentation given by nurses who share nursing care and are focused on a particular case.

In a partnership with the North Idaho College School of Nursing, the Nurse Leaders Peer Group of the Northwest Hospital Alliance developed this successful strategy to improve communication, build relationships, gain knowledge, and improve patient care by hosting quarterly Nursing Grand Rounds.
Kathleen Barbera presents the featured patient flow of care while in the ICU at Kootenai Health.
The format includes the case study of a patient who presented at one of the partner critical access hospitals and was then transported to Kootenai Health for specialty care that was needed.
The first Grand Rounds, held last December, featured a patient with a traumatic brain injury. The most recent Grand Rounds held on March 22, featured a patient with a ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI). Each NGR had more than 50 participants with videoconferencing used to bring partner hospital teams together.

Presenting a case study of a particular patient enables nurses to systematically examine a specific patient's episode of care, review the pathophysiology, evaluate the nursing care provided and relate "doing of nursing care" to evidence and science.

"While the intention was to use this as a nursing education opportunity, we have found that inclusion of the EMT's, air or ground transport teams, and others associated with the care of the patient may lead to a bigger learning opportunity, especially as it ties to Idaho working toward it's Time Sensitive Emergency (TSE) structure." According to Chris Way, Chief of Kootenai County EMS and Region 1 chair of the TSE Initiative, "If we all work together and learn from each case, we may be able cut precious time from the continuum of care for the patient."

Regularly scheduled educational opportunities are associated with increased professionalism and improved outcomes for patients.

"Given the success of our current NGR's, we plan to continue the conference style education opportunity on a quarterly basis," said Tari Yourzek, Boundary Community Hospital Chief Nursing Officer. "They will occur in March, June, September and December. Participation of bedside nurses is encouraged in an effort to mentor and support professional development."

Crisis Center: Meeting the Needs of
Northern Idaho

Idaho's second behavioral health crisis center opened its doors in Coeur d'Alene on December 9. Located on the Kootenai Health campus, the center serves men and women from Idaho's 10 northern counties, ages 18 and older, who need help with a behavioral health crisis or drug and alcohol substance abuse issues.
Local agency leaders celebrated the Center's grand opening with Governor Otter on December 8.
The Northern Idaho Crisis Center is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days per week and is providing desperately needed crisis intervention to people in northern Idaho.

"Access to mental health care has been an issue in our community for decades," said Lora Whalen, director of the Panhandle Health District."The Crisis Center is a positive step in providing mental health care services to those in our community who cannot afford these valuable and needed services."
Care at the Crisis Center is free, safe, private, and voluntary. The model is designed to provide care for up to 24 hours, but most people get the help they need in less time. The Crisis Center's purpose is to assess clients and connect them to a network of resources in the community that best fit their needs. If additional care is needed, whether inpatient care such as being admitted to the hospital, or outpatient care like a counseling service, clients receive the appropriate referral before they leave the Center.

The Crisis Center also helps to make sure people are served in an appropriate service site, avoiding the emergency room or jail.

"Our goal is to provide better care to these individuals in a more clinically appropriate and cost effective setting," said Claudia Miewald, director of Kootenai Health Behavioral Services.
The Crisis Center has served 298 clients in just 3 months' time.

"Although three clients were referred to higher level inpatient care, the majority of our clients were stabilized at the Crisis Center and discharged with safety plans and after care instructions," said Don Robinson, Crisis Center director. "Clients have brought themselves to the center or have been brought in by family members. Regional law enforcement agencies have also offered rides and have brought clients voluntarily to the facility."
Many regional community organizations came together to make the Crisis Center a possibility. Regional hospitals, Panhandle Health District, Heritage Health and other health partners, as well as law enforcement, the courts and many other organizations have been working on solutions in our region for many years.
The Northern Idaho Crisis Center is the second Crisis Center funded through the Idaho State Legislature. A grant from the state of 1.52 million dollars provides operational support and $200,000 was provided for construction remodel and set-up. Kootenai Health is the contracted agency with the state and is providing a building on its campus at no cost, as well as providing maintenance of the facility. Additional funding and donations from the community provide funding and support for this needed service. Visit to see how you can help.

Kootenai Health's Phase One Expansion Complete

The exterior of Kootenai Health has transformed dramatically since breaking ground on the new eastern expansion in August of 2014. The new building, totaling 100,000 square feet, not only provides more space to care for our patients, but also frees up space in the existing facility for future expansion and renovations.

Kootenai Health Time Lapse Video
Kootenai Health Time Lapse Video
The $57 million expansion project includes a patient-centric design with a convenient drive-up entrance leading into a modern and comfortable lobby and reception area. The new main entrance is located on the north side of the building.

The lobby includes a new patient registration area. On the west side of the lobby, visitors may notice a staircase. This will eventually lead to an updated waiting area that will serve the soon-to-be expanded surgical suite.

The area just off the lobby is the Family Birth Center. Comprised of labor and delivery, post-partum and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).There are now 10 labor and delivery rooms (compared to six in the former birth center), each with jetted tubs and upgraded technology. Just down the hall are 18 post-partum rooms (up from 12). These rooms are also much larger, private and offer amenities like large windows, a comfortable sleeper-sofa, and a refrigerator.

"The new patient rooms are nearly twice the size of the existing rooms," said Derek Miller, Director, Facility Planning and Property Management at Kootenai Health."This allows the mother and infant to be in the same room while also accommodating visitors."

The new NICU consists of 12 rooms, with two of them equipped to handle twins if needed. Infants will have their own room with the latest technology available. The new NICU provides care for infants as early as 28 weeks gestation and as small as 2.2 pounds.

The second floor of the expansion is dedicated to orthopedics and neurology. All of the new patient rooms are 40 percent larger with amenities for patient education, communication and entertainment. Much like the Family Birth Center rooms, the layout of the second floor is designed to reduce noise and streamline care. It includes 32 rooms split between five nurses' stations.The orthopedic department hosts the Total Joint Program and include a special rehabilitation gym for joint replacement patients.

The hospital expansion is phase one of Kootenai Health's master facility plan. Phase two will include the expansion of the operating rooms and emergency department.
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.


Northwest Hospital Alliance | 2003 Kootenai Health Way Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814 | Coeur d'Alene | ID | 83814