December Board Chair Report –
I’m pleased to report that after extensive review, the hospital has selected a new Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. At last week’s meeting, the board approved the hospital’s recommendation to purchase the Epic system, a state-of-the-art technology used by many healthcare providers including UCSF. It is an excellent solution that will provide our hospital, physicians and community many benefits, and do so cost-effectively.
The need for a new system is acute as the Allscripts/Paragon system we currently have has reached the end of its useful life. The Epic system is an industry leader and provides many advantages over our current system in terms of interoperability, which is the ability of healthcare and hospital computer systems to easily connect and exchange information with each other, a critical consideration for the hospital as it considered a replacement.
The Epic system provides:
- Convenient patient access to their personal health information and physicians through MyChart, a patient portal used by many local healthcare providers, including UCSF Health, MarinHealth and Sutter Health. It also makes it easier for patients to schedule appointments.
- Improved hospital access to patient information located with other healthcare providers so hospital physicians can quickly access patient medical records when providing care.
- Quick access by community physicians to patient records at the hospital.
I would like to acknowledge the hospital team, led by our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sabrina Kidd, for finding a truly creative solution that both meets hospital needs and reduces acquisition and operating costs. The new system will cost the hospital significantly less to purchase, install and operate than the current system did almost a decade ago. Efficiencies built into the system ensure the hospital will save money in the years ahead – at least $1 million annually according to preliminary estimates. The hospital has already begun setting aside the funds to cover the acquisition and installation.
It takes time to install and train staff on the new system, so the hospital expects the new system to be operational at the end of 2022.
Also of Interest
Covid Update. While many of us are watching the entry of the new COVID variant, Dr. Kidd reported Covid case numbers in the area appeared to have plateaued in the past month. However, numbers in other communities and nationally have continued to rise. We will continue to update the community as we learn more about this new variant and as guidance regarding safety and precautions evolves.
Dr Kidd also reported that many SVH nurses and staff have volunteered at the pediatric vaccine clinics recently organized by the Community Health Center, and many children in Sonoma Valley have been vaccinated. Our staff and hospital leadership have truly leaned-in to support our community over the last 18-plus months. I’m so thankful for their efforts to keep our community safe.
Annual Report Available. The hospital has produced its annual report to the community. This year’s report looks at the considerable progress the hospital has made in the past decade, with strong community support, to create the first-rate hospital our Valley enjoys today. If you did not receive a printed copy with your home delivery of the Index-Tribune or Press Democrat last week, you can view a PDF copy on the hospital website. Copies are available in English and Spanish.
District Officers Named. The board elected its officers for 2022. I am grateful to have been elected to continue as Chair with Judith Bjorndal named First Vice Chair and Michael Mainardi Second Vice Chair, Bill Boerum continues as Treasurer, and Susan Kornblatt Idell will serve as Secretary.
Virtual Board Meetings Continue. Due to the continuing Covid situation, the board agreed to continue meeting virtually as a safety precaution. We will revisit the question of returning to public meetings during our February meeting. Any decision to either continue remote or return to in-person meetings will be based on expert advice on the state of the pandemic in our community.
Next Board Meeting
The next regular District Board meeting will be held on Thursday, January 6, 2022, at 6 pm. As noted, for safety reasons board meetings will continue to be held via video conferencing. The public is encouraged to participate, and video conferencing details are available on the hospital website. Public comment is always welcome.
Chair of the SVHCD Board of Directors