New CEO at Nevada Acute Care Hospital Builds on Organization’s Past Successes

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Alan-Olive-thumbAlan Olive, Chief Executive Officer

Alan Olive has been with Northern Nevada Medical Center, a 108-bed acute-care hospital that sits on 23 hillside acres in Sparks, Nevada, for less than a year. In many ways, he was fortunate, he said, to walk into an organization that was already driven and committed to excellence.

As its new chief executive officer, he was tasked with maintaining this excellence, including the center’s solid quality scores and patient-satisfaction ratings.

Prior to his arrival, Olive said the organization had secured the Nevada Hospital Association’s Quality Improvement Award and was recognized by the Joint Commission for its core measures and by the NHA for its fall reductions. It was also awarded the 2013 Nevada Excellence Award by the Small Business Institute for Excellence in Commerce (SBIEC).

“The culture is already strong for outcomes and so that’s easier to work off than to rebuild,” he said.

In previous leadership roles, Olive has achieved leading-class quality results, and his goals for Northern Nevada Medical Center are to take it to the top fifth percentile in the nation for every category, including outcomes, falls, HCAHPS, and employee engagement.

Continuing the implementation of EMR

Northern Nevada Medical Center has completed Phase I of its EMR implementation, and CPOE is set for implementation in June of this year. Olive is well aware of the challenges that confront an organization as it gets deeper into the implementation process.

He said successful implementation requires several factors to be in play: 1.) a culture of teamwork; 2.) physician and staff engagement; 3.) order sets and processes that are proven; 4.) education and training; 5.) a great EMR partner; and 6.) a commitment of resources and support from the administration.

Olive added that he also relies on the vendors for the wisdom they have gleaned over the course of many integrations.

Investing in telemedicine and telemonitoring

Currently, Olive is spearheading investments in shared services for the sake of consistent outcomes. This includes upgrading its facilities, since the current hospital is over 30 years old.

Furthermore, Northern Nevada Medical Center is looking to invest in technology, not just in the hospital, but also with physician groups in rural communities to provide teleheath, telemedicine, and eHealth.

“For example, we have a telestroke robot in multiple rural locations, and we’ve partnered with physicians to provide immediate stroke-consult solutions with video and audio as well as the ability to interchange PAC systems and images,” he said.

Many of these facilities do not have such services, but thanks to telemedicine, one can be online within a minute or two, saving lives and brain function and determining whether or not TPA should be administered, Olive added.

He said the organization is considering eVisits and eTechnology for cardiac monitoring in patients’ homes. In addition, Northern Nevada Medical Center is looking at predictive modeling for patients and disease states so it can address care in advance and lower readmissions and ER utilization.

Remembering achievement is rooted in leadership

When considering Northern Nevada Medical Center’s success, Olive points to its engaged staff, physicians, leadership, and board support.

“You have a board that’s very committed to these outcomes, they’re very intelligent people, very engaging people,” he said. “They’re business leaders and community leaders who say, ‘This is our hospital, and it must provide the best care.’”

He added, “Healthcare today, we’re all working towards the same end to provide the highest level of care, a high-reliability organization, reducing our costs, and ensuring that our patients are extremely satisfied so they have a warm welcome, amazing experience, and a fond farewell.”

Because of these shared goals, Olive would like to extend this excellence to his competitors.

“My thought is we need to be more collaborators than competitors because the cost of care, the need for collaboration and community is greater today than it’s ever been. That’s part of my mantra. That’s why I’m looking at partnering and working with our local hospitals, regardless of their alignment, as well as our physician groups, whether they be employed or nonemployed, and with the local government, to ensure that we provide the right models of care.”

-by Pete Fernbaugh

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