Harrisburg Medical Center announced that it has been chosen to be a teaching hospital and pharmacy for the National Center for Rural Health Professionals and Rural Pharmacy.
Harrisburg Medical Center will be training fourth year rural medicine and rural pharmacy students in a 16-week mentor program. The focus will be on rural medicine.
The hospital became involved with the NCRHP three years ago. The program is administered by the University of Illinois RMED/RPHARM program. There are 24 RMED collaborating hospitals.
Dr. Matt Hunsaker is RMED director.
450 problem solvers
Hospital CEO Rodney Smith spoke also of a new management program that allows employees to rate their performance and identify corrective improvement plans.
"It is a concept borrowed from the auto industry," said Smith. "But it is tailored to the health care industry. The front line staff (the caregivers) identify problems and solutions and then record their findings on a board in the corridor outside their department. Management reviews their input every day during a walk through of the entire hospital. Management looks at the problems (recorded in red ink) as lessons, not mistakes. The caregives identify the solutions to the problems and record those as well."
Employees have been trained on the system and it is showing results.
"We brought in consultants from Canada to learn this system. Every employee receives four hours of training in customer service each year," said Smith.
The board in the hallway is called the Patient Care Improvement Board.
"We ask 'Why?' five times until we get to the root of the problem. That turns 450 employees into 450 problem solvers," he said.
"Our performance scores are above 80 percent of the nation."