Patient Services Highlighted At April Board Meeting

Apr 11, 2018 | SVHCD Board Chair Report

Our board chair Joshua Rymer was away last week so I am stepping in to provide the report for the April meeting. We had a full agenda last Thursday, with several presentations I’d like to highlight.

Patient Care Services

Chief Nursing Officer Mark Kobe, RN MPA, presented the annual report on patient care services, which comprises six service areas: Emergency, Intensive Care, Surgery, Inpatient Care, Women’s Services/Maternity and Skilled Nursing. These areas are staffed by 107 RNs and 57 assistants.

Patient experience was a focus of his presentation as these services are critical to hospital operations and directly influence results in all quality measures of the hospital. In most of these areas, the hospital reported strong results. According to Mark, last year we performed far better than the national averages for patient falls and hospital acquired pressure ulcer incidents, and frequently exceed the averages for medication scanning rate. Patient experience was above goal most of the year in the ED, and near goal in Acute Care.

Mark also reported that a new patient satisfaction tool, called RateMyHospital, is reporting good results. SVH implemented it last year for outpatient care in Emergency, Imaging, Outpatient Surgery, Outpatient Physical Therapy and Cardiopulmonary Services. With this system, the hospital sends a text to patients to ask about their experience. For most services, this typically occurs within several hours of leaving the hospital. Results are tracked in real time and allow the hospital to respond quickly if the patient reports a problem or a bad experience. On a scale of one to five, the hospital set a goal of 4.5 and recently has averaged 4.67 percent.

Mark also discussed the Patient Care Experience Team which meets monthly to review satisfaction results and develop strategies to meet goals. This team includes leaders from every discipline in Leadership and last year added a community member to serve as a Patient Family Advisor, bringing new insights into the patient population, including the Latino community. Results have included updating way-finding signage throughout the hospital and creating more bilingual hospital discharge instructions.

Chief of Staff Report

Our Chief of Staff, Brian Sebastian MD, provided updates on medical staff and noted that the hospital has added several new physicians recently, including Alexis Alexandridis, MD, a new general surgeon who is also a specialist in breast surgery. She has already had her first breast surgery at the hospital. He reported we also have seen strong growth in ophthalmology services with the addition last year of Michael Saidel, MD, an ophthalmologist who sees patients in the Sonoma office of North Bay Eye Associates.

Sonoma Fire & Rescue Authority

Fire Chief Steve Akre gave a very informative presentation on Sonoma Fire & Rescue services and noted how impressed his team was by the level of support the community showed to the service and each other during the recent fires.

Our Fire District covers an area of 31.5 square miles with a resident population of approximately 33,000. It also provides ambulance service to the greater Sonoma Valley, an area of approximately 100 square miles.

Steve reported that the service is unusual in that all fire fighters are also trained in EMS procedures allowing greater flexibility in emergencies. The service has five life-support ambulances and about 2,000 of the nearly 3,000 transports handled each year take patients to Sonoma Valley Hospital.

He explained that where a patient is transported – whether to SVH or to another facility – depends in part on patient preference, but also on protocols EMS uses to ensure patients receive the appropriate level of care as quickly as possible.

He noted that the service has a special ambulance program that presents an opportunity for the community. The Authority’s Ambulance Membership Program (AMP), formerly known as FireMed, is one of the best values you will find anywhere. AMP membership, which costs $49.00 a year, protects you and your family with complete paramedic ground ambulance service with no out-of-pocket costs for the entire year.

Given the high cost of medical transport, this is a great deal for the community. For more information on this program, go to:

Strategic Plan Community Meeting

I’d like to announce that the board is planning a special meeting at the hospital to encourage community comment on the draft of the hospital’s 2019 Rolling Three-Year Strategic Plan. This plan, which the hospital updates each year, was developed by a committee of board members, physicians and hospital leaders. It’s become an invaluable tool that helps hospital administration stay focused on strategic priorities throughout the year.

This year, we invite the community to participate in the process at a special meeting to be held at the hospital on April 26 at 5:00 pm, in the basement conference room. A draft of the plan will be made available on the hospital website in the coming week.

The next Sonoma Valley District Board meeting will be held on Thursday, May 3 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.



Jane Hirsch

First Vice Chair, SVHCD Board of Directors