Improvement Plans for Patient Care Services Highlighted at April Meeting

Apr 9, 2019 | SVHCD Board Chair Report

The board meeting last week featured a report on plans to make further improvements and changes in Patient Care Services, along with updates from the Chief of Staff and the Chief Medical Officer. We also heard from Cheryl Johnson, Community Health Center Executive Director.

Patient Care Services
Chief Nursing Officer Mark Kobe provided an update on the many changes made to Patient Care Services in the past year as part of hospital efforts to right-size operations, while ensuring the high quality of care our community has come to expect.

Patient Care Services includes all of the staff responsible for Emergency and Surgical Services, Intensive Care, as well as the SNF, Infusions, Respiratory Therapy and Emergency Management. Patient Care Services employs over 160 professional staff at the hospital.

Kobe reported that SVH already ranks high on measures of safety and patient satisfaction. He noted the Emergency Department receives some of the highest marks from patients, achieving a level of 4.53 out of a possible 5 from RateMyHospital. Kobe also set a goal of being in the top 25 percent in the nation for inpatient satisfaction in the coming years.

In response to the decreasing inpatient census, the hospital recently combined inpatient services on the third floor. This move, which brought together Med/Surg, ICU and Respiratory Therapy, will increase both accountability and efficiency while improving inpatient experience.

Staff retention remains a challenge for many hospitals, including ours. Kobe reported that turnover among patient care staff, especially nursing, was 28.5 percent last year. He said this reflects a national trend of increased turnover among healthcare professionals, but is accentuated by the fact that SVH staff are attracted by higher salaries at larger hospitals.

Kobe also said the hospital has nearly completed the stoke certification process with the Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality and anticipates receiving Acute Stroke Ready certification in the near future.

Community Health Center
Community Health Center Executive Director Cheryl Johnson visited to update us on developments. Johnson was happy to report that the Health Center is serving a growing patient base and is looking to add new services, with Optometry services being the latest offering.

She noted the continuing collaboration between the Health Center and the hospital as we work together to serve the community. She reported that the two organizations have joined with other community groups to plan the Sonoma Valley Community Health Fair which will be held April 13 at Altimira Middle School.

Chief of Staff Report
Dr. Brian Sebastian, who is completing his term as SVH Chief of Staff in June, reviewed the recent changes in services and recognized our physicians for their support of the hospital during this period of transition. Dr. Sebastian noted that the physician staff remains enthusiastic about the UCSF affiliation and is eager to find additional ways to partner with UCSF physicians.

He said the hospital has welcomed several new physicians recently, including Dr. Jasper Schmidt, who has taken over as Director of the Emergency Department, and a new shoulder surgeon, Dr. Paul Roache. He also reported we will be transitioning to a new hospitalist service soon, which is expected to also improve service quality.

On behalf of the board, I’d like to commend Dr. Sebastian for his excellent work as Chief of Staff and also say how much we appreciate the support of our physicians during what has been a period of significant transition for our hospital.

Chief Medical Officer Report
Dr. Sabrina Kidd, our Chief Medical Officer, reported that she continues to meet with UCSF Health to expand our relationship through e-consults and telemedicine.  She said new service lines under discussion include Geriatrics, Pulmonary, Psychiatry, Infectious Diseases and Neurology.

Next Board Meeting
Our next regular District Board meeting will be held on Thursday, May 2, at 6 pm in the Community Meeting Room, 177 1st St. West in Sonoma. The public is welcome to attend and public comment is always encouraged. 



Joshua Rymer
Chair of the SVHCD Board of Directors