Minnesota Hospital Association


October 06, 2014

MHA Newsline: Oct. 6, 2014

In this issue 

Minnesota again ranked #1 in the nation for overall quality of health care

The federal Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ) has once again named Minnesota the top state for health care quality. Minnesota’s strong performance speaks to its long-standing tradition of integrated systems that coordinate care across the continuum. The ranking is based on a new version of the agency's State Snapshots, released last week.  

In addition, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, on average, Minnesota health care spending is less costly per capita than the national average while maintaining high quality, making Minnesota one of the states with the highest quality and lowest health care costs in the nation. 

Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson recognized the accomplishment, saying, "This No. 1 ranking is another affirmation we deserve our reputation as nationwide leaders for health care in Minnesota, from overall quality, to coverage and affordability. We are very fortunate at the Minnesota Department of Human Services to work alongside health care providers and professionals across the state committed to achieving better care for all residents through innovation and collaboration.”   

The Minnesota Hospital Association thanks the health professionals in our hospitals and clinics, as well as the organizations we partner with in the community, for their innovation and care that is improving the health of Minnesotans and keeping costs down.  return to top 

MDH health advisory contains recommendations for evaluating patients for Ebola virus

On Friday, Oct. 3, the Minnesota Department of Health issued a health advisory providing recommendations for evaluating patients for possible Ebola virus. The advisory asks health care providers to: 

  • Increase vigilance in inquiring about a history of travel to West Africa in the 21 days before illness onset for any patient presenting with fever or other symptoms consistent with Ebola; 
  • Isolate patients who report a travel history to an Ebola-affected country (currently Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea) and who are exhibiting Ebola symptoms in a private room with a private bathroom and implement standard, contact, and droplet precautions (gown, facemask, eye protection, and gloves); and 
  • Immediately notify MDH at 651-201-5414 or 1-877-676-5414. 

The advisory also contains guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including an algorithm for the evaluation of a returned traveler and a checklist for evaluation of a patient being evaluated for Ebola. CDC also has a comprehensive website dedicated to Ebola, available here

For more information, visit the MDH Ebola for Health Professionals webpage. return to top   

Member news: Essentia Health names David Herman, MD, as CEO

Essentia Health in Duluth announced its board of directors has appointed David C. Herman, MD, as chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors. He joins the organization in early 2015. 

Dr. Herman, who is a native of International Falls, Minn., received his medical degree from Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minn., and completed his residency in ophthalmology at Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education. He has a fellowship in ocular immunology and uveitis from the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. He also has a master of science degree in medical management from the University of Texas at Dallas.  

With more than 20 years in health care leadership, Herman most recently served as the president and chief executive officer of Vidant Health, an integrated health care system in eastern North Carolina. Prior to that, he served on the Mayo Clinic staff from 1988 to 2011. He serves on the board of directors for the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a member of the (international) board of trustees for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. return to top   

MAPS campaign seeks to empower patients to actively manage their own health care

The Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety (MAPS), through its work with MHA under the Leading Edge Advanced Practice Topics contract from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, has launched the You: Your Own Best Medicine campaign, designed to help Minnesotans partner with their health care teams to stay healthy and safe. The campaign encourages patients to be the coordinator of information sharing and provides a checklist of things patients can do before, during and after a health care appointment to ensure the health care team has the right information to provide care. It reminds patients that often only they know their entire health care story, including medication, test and treatment histories, as well as symptoms. The campaign also offers a free smartphone app that allows patients to keep and share their lists of medicines, warning signs, test results and recommendations. Patients can set reminders about important follow-up steps. Learn more about the campaign at www.ownbestmedicine.mn. return to top   

Gov. Dayton recognizes nurse leaders

Gov. Dayton proclaimed Oct. 2 as Minnesota Organization of Nurse Leaders Day, calling the organization “the collective voice of nurse leaders guiding nurses and nursing and impacting the health care system in the state of Minnesota.” The proclamation went on to say that through collaboration, collegiality and communication, nursing leaders share knowledge and expertise to gain new information and perspectives. MOLN has dedicated itself to shaping the future of health care by advancing professional nursing leadership for 20 years. return to top 

Gov. Dayton proclaims Oct. 5-11 Mental Illness Awareness Week

Gov. Dayton proclaimed Oct. 5-11 Mental Illness Awareness Week, calling it an opportunity for all Minnesotans to take stock of how people with mental illness are treated on a daily basis, and reflect on what changes need to be made to strengthen our mental health system to ensure we are taking care of people in need. 

MHA supports hospitals and their patients with mental health conditions, chemical dependency, dual diagnoses, and other conditions by sharing best practices in treatment and de-escalation techniques. MHA has also partnered with the state of Minnesota to create and run Minnesota Mental Health Access, an online tool to help providers locate available mental health services. To learn more about Minnesota hospital efforts, visit the MHA website. return to top