Rome memorial builds its future through collaboration

Published Feb 16, 2018 at 12:00pm

The key to the transformation of the health care system is collaboration, according to Rome Memorial Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer David Lundquist.

“To deliver high quality, accessible care at the lowest cost, we have to work together to coordinate care across the entire continuum,” said Lundquist. “We are establishing and strengthening relationships with providers who were once viewed as competitors to ensure access to care for our community.” 

Numerous relationships have also been strengthened with community partners including health homes, home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, and hospice through multiple initiatives to better coordinate care for patients when they leave the hospital.

“As a result of Rome Memorial Hospital’s affiliation with St. Joseph’s Health, RN (registered nurse) coaches and navigators are embedded into our Rome Medical Group primary care practice to assist us with care coordination for our patients,” said Lundquist. “In addition, St. Joseph’s was awarded the contract to provide our hospitalist services.”

“From unprecedented partnerships and affiliations with other organizations to investments in technology and new services and a continued commitment to quality, we are molding Rome Memorial Hospital into a model for modern health care which is prepared for the future.”

He said in the past year the Rome Memorial team has planted seeds that “bring the promise of success and growth for 2018.”

Here’s a look at some of the highlights from 2017:

• Physicians Urgent Care at Griffiss opened in October in the Mohawk Glen medical building to restore convenient walk-in urgent care services. In an agreement with Rome Memorial Hospital, Slocum Dickson Medical Group is staffing the new urgent care with onsite physicians working in collaboration with nurse practitioners and physician assistants to provide expert, personal medical care for minor illnesses and injuries.

• The Women’s Imaging Center added a second 3D mammography machine and expanded appointment hours to offer more options for women to have routine breast screenings or image guided breast biopsies. In addition, mammography patients receive enhanced screening to determine hereditary risk factors for certain cancers. 

• The Community Recovery Center expanded its services to offer medication-assisted treatment to treat opioid addiction and alcohol dependence. The center was also awarded a three-year certification by the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.  

• Rome Memorial Hospital was awarded a $7.99 million state grant to expand access to integrated primary care services.  

• Rome Medical Practice welcomed AMP urologists Brent E. Carlyle, Wael F. Muakkassa and Bashar Omarbasha. The specialists perform surgical procedures at the hospital and provide 24-hour coverage in the emergency department. The hospital received approval from the state to provide lithotripsy services in 2018 to treat kidney stones with high-energy shock waves as an alternative to surgery.

-- Rome Medical Practice welcomed pulmonologist Mohammed Seedat and family nurse practitioner Katherine M. Freeman to provide care for patients with lung disorders and diseases and sleep disorders. The Sleep Disorders Center at Rome Memorial Hospital earned a five-year accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

-- Boonville Family Care welcomed family nurse practitioners Corrine E. Reed and Diana Carpenter to care for patients in the North Country. Dr. Amogechukwu Okonkwo, former hospitalist, joined the staff at Camden Family Care.

-- Rome Memorial Hospital was recognized as a regional leader among hospitals for avoiding hospital acquired infections and other preventable complications and was recognized by Excellus BlueCross/BlueShield with a Quality Leader Award for its efforts to protect patients from hospital-acquired infections.

-- The hospital’s magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) team is now certified to perform MRIs on patients with magnetic resonance conditional implanted cardioverter defibrillators. Rome Memorial is the only facility in Rome or Oneida certified to perform MRIs on patients with these devices. The hospital has been awarded a renewal of its three-year accreditation by the American College of Radiology for MRI services.  

-- The Residential Health Care Facility was named a top performing nursing home by the state Department of Health. The facility is the only one in Oneida County, and one of only 42 statewide, to achieve the top quintile in each Nursing Home Quality Initiative over the last three years. The facility is also recognized with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ highest five-star rating. 

-- Rome Memorial received a Blue Distinction Center+ designation for maternity care for the second year in a row. The recognition is awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies for delivering quality care and better overall outcomes for patients, while also meeting key requirements for cost-efficiency.

-- The hospital earned special designation as a Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders facility for providing quality care for older adult patients.