In the first 100 days of the new partnership between Ochsner Health System and LSU Health Shreveport, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport, is adding new equipment and upgrading facilities at both its Shreveport and Monroe campuses.
Key leadership positions have been added and process improvements have been implemented across the health system, with a focus on improving our communities’ access to care and enhancing patient safety and quality.
Equipment Upgrades: A total of $10 million in new equipment is planned and approved for 2019 and more than $4.5 million has already been ordered. The new equipment includes laparoscopic surgical equipment, orthopedic equipment, Emergency Room (ER) bed monitors for all ER beds in Shreveport, compared to 70 percent previously, and an upgrade to monitors for all ER beds in Monroe. By equipping more beds with these monitors, patients entering the ER with serious symptoms can receive care more quickly. Both Shreveport and Monroe facilities are currently updating ultrasound imaging equipment, fetal monitors and anesthesia machines, as well as undergoing a complete renovation of central sterilization within the surgery department.
Improved Access to Care: The addition of 38 new physicians to the Ochsner LSU Physician Group in specialties including orthopedics, ophthalmology, cardiology and pediatrics is also improving access to care while supporting healthcare needs in North Louisiana. The clinics have increased patient capacity by 10 percent, which reduces the time between a patient’s appointment request and receiving care at the clinic. A walk-in clinic for non-emergency healthcare needs is now open at the Shreveport facility, and the Monroe walk-in clinic continues to see patients, providing a more convenient care option in the appropriate setting. Another Shreveport clinic is expected to begin operations in April 2019 and will be dedicated to the screening, diagnosis and treatment of patients with Hepatitis C.
New Leaders Focused on Patient Experience and Quality: Dr. Mike Sewell joined Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport earlier this month to lead a new hospitalist program in Shreveport that ensures a physician is onsite for emergent needs 24 hours a day, helping patients get the timely treatment they need. Dr. Paul Crawford fills a new position as a dedicated Chief Quality Officer focused on patient outcomes, and Dr. Charles Powers joined the partnership with an emphasis on patient care transitions and clinical documentation.
Process Improvement and New Technology: Process improvements in the ER, outpatient clinics and call center have significantly improved access to care by reducing wait times and appropriately matching patients with providers. New eSignature pads have been installed throughout the system to allow patients to efficiently complete documents at the time of registration with enhanced information security.
Academics: LSU Health Shreveport and Ochsner Health System have committed to growing the medical school from 126 to 200 students over the next five years to address the current physician shortage and meet the future healthcare needs of our state. By combining the resources of both organizations, a nuclear medicine physician residency program will start at LSU Health Shreveport this summer. Nuclear medicine is a type of medical imaging which can help diagnose a range of diseases including cancer, heart conditions and gastrointestinal disorders. Additionally, the partners have started hosting international radiology conferences and radiology continuing medical education conferences for primary care physicians.
Research: Ochsner and LSU Health Shreveport have also been working closely to grow research that impacts patients in Louisiana. Joint research grant applications and collaborative research projects have begun between researchers at LSU Health Shreveport and Ochsner, including a joint application between the two organizations for a $10 million grant with the Department of Defense. The partners have also committed to funding collaborative research through the Louisiana Clinical & Translational Science Center grants program.
Facility Investment: Thirty-million dollars has been allocated to deferred maintenance throughout the year, and $150 million identified for the next five years. Facility improvements currently underway are paint, flooring, furniture and new energy-efficient LED lighting, already seen in the Shreveport ER lobby, ambulatory care clinic and several inpatient rooms. Upgrades to the ICU, Behavioral Health and Emergency Department nurses stations are also underway at Monroe Medical Center. A two-year project to replace and upgrade elevators in Shreveport is proceeding, and roof repairs and replacement are expected to begin this month. Exterior upgrades include lighting, fencing and aesthetic landscaping improvements.
Parking and Safety: Initial changes in parking have been made to increase security, patient convenience and accessibility with additional parking enhancements planned. Tom G. Madden, Jr. recently joined Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport as the new Director of Security and will be working in coordination with the University Police Department. He brings 27 years of law enforcement experience, including service as a commander of Louisiana State Troop G.
“The progress seen in just 100 days demonstrates the commitment of everyone involved in the partnership, and it is just the beginning. By working together, our organization and those we serve will benefit from upgrades in facilities and equipment, process improvements and technological advances. We are proud that through this transition we have maintained and added jobs in North Louisiana. We will continue to invest in our people, who are identifying opportunities to provide better care for our patients and working hard to make our vision a reality,” says Chuck Daigle, CEO, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport.
“These first 100 days of the Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport partnership have been very positive as we are operating in an efficient, collegial manner in achieving our established goals. It is energizing to see the improvements already implemented while continuously working to achieve many more positive changes in the near future,” shared David Lewis MD MBA, Chief Medical Officer, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport.
On Oct. 1, 2018 Ochsner Health System (Ochsner) and LSU Health Shreveport jointly formed Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport to oversee and coordinate activities between the health sciences center and the healthcare delivery system in Shreveport and Monroe, La. Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport is a public private partnership with a vision to improve health and well-being of its communities, access to care, quality, and facilities, expand patient-centered technology, grow the medical school, and enhance research in North Louisiana by building on the strengths of Ochsner and LSU Health Shreveport. Under the new structure, Ochsner brings their nationally-recognized expertise to the management of operations for partner hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe, clinics and the clinical activity of the LSUHSC-S Faculty Group Practice. LSU will continue to successfully oversee the LSUHSC-S School of Medicine, School of Allied Health Professions, School of Graduate Studies, Graduate Medical Education, and research initiatives.