TMH Administration: Memorial Hospital has improved

To the editor:

It was disappointing to pick up the Thursday edition of the Craig Daily Press to find the letter from Joanne Lighthizer about the "lack of quality and unpleasant service" that she experienced at The Memorial Hospital. It has been a year since Ms. Lighthizer was a patient at TMH. A whole lot has changed in a year, and we are awfully proud of the quality care that our staff provides.

Several months ago, we acknowledged our shortcomings in a very public manner - we promised our community that we would do better. We - as a team of more than 180 employees - promised a higher level of accountability, commitment, professionalism and service. It's working. Have you been to TMH lately? Have you observed the commitment of our staff? Have you walked through the halls of your hospital to feel the difference? If not, we encourage you to do so. I don't think you'll experience the negativity that you read about in the opinion pages.

We are proud of the staff at TMH. We are proud of their commitment to our organization, their commitment to Moffat County and their commitment to providing health care in a rural area. We are disappointed that more than 180 employees are lumped into the category of "staff" and chastised for the effort that they put into providing care to the people who need it most.

We are working diligently to be perfect, and we'll settle for excellence when we get there. We commit ourselves to making each day better than the last, and we won't stop until every single patient experience is exceptional, every single time. We aren't perfect and we don't think that we ever will be, but we won't stop trying. We appreciate all of those in our community who support our mission and who continue to choose The Memorial Hospital because of the people who work here. But most of all, we appreciate our employees who give 150 percent every day and who do whatever it takes to get the job done so that others will leave our facility better than when they came. Thank you all for persevering.

TMH Administration

George Rohrich, chief executive officer

Robert Lindberg, chief clinical officer

Barry Bergman, chief financial officer

Beka Warren, chief quality officer

Samantha Johnston, service excellence officer

Comments

diva 5 years, 1 month ago

I read Ms. Lighthizer's article - I may have missed it but she did not say when she was last in the hospital. By Mr. Rohrich and the other administrative staff stating "it has been a year since she has been in" - would this be a breach of HIPPA??? I did not know you could even acknowledge that someone has been a patient without their written consent????? Maybe someone needs to address this!!!

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stuning 5 years, 1 month ago

Posts like this are a shining example of the extremes to which the anti-TMH tirade has reached. Ms. Lighthizer's own letter disclosed her status as a patient in a very public way to the entire community. She deserves no expectation of privacy after making such a public confirmation of her status. The TMH chief officers did not disclose any protected information by simply confirming what she already disclosed in her letter - that she was indeed a patient at TMH. It seems to me that many must spend their days and nights actively looking for reasons to be upset with TMH.

The Daily Press is, in my opinion, not the forum to continue these discussions. For every person who feels that their level of service was sub-par, another letter could be written that praises excellent performance. To what end does the community keep writing these letters and posting these alternatingly scathing and positive comments?

The bottom line is that such comments are counter-productive - regardless of whether one is happy or unhappy with the performance of the TMH staff during a particular visit. Even if all the negative comments resulted in a compelte personnel change at TMH, filling those positions would be next to impossible - especially if the incoming candidates see the ridiculous and outrageous comments made by many in the community. We should, as a community, be careful what we wish for. Recruiting qualified people to Craig, whether physicians, nurses, or adminsitrative officers, is not an easy task. Driving away the current TMH officers most decidedly will not result in the entire community being happy with their individual experiences.

I have reached exhaustion with such rants. While no one, most of a TMH's officers, believe that they are perfect (either as inidivduals or as an organization), there is absolutely nothing to be gained by airing these grievances so publically every time one is unhappy with a level of service. What I would rather see is the letter that indicates one has sought out an officer at TMH to complain about service and has been ignored, or has received an unsatisfactory result. I believe that the officers at TMH are dedicated to resolving complaints, such as Ms. Lighthizer's, when given the chance to do so through proper channels and not through the print media. None of us would fair very well if each of our professional shortcomings was aired in the public square on a twice-daily basis - which is what this lynching of TMH has become.

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Marvin 5 years, 1 month ago

i FEEL AS THOUGH THE COMMENT ABOVE STATING THAT , "It seems to me that many must spend their days and nights actively looking for reasons to be upset with TMH." IS A LOAD OF BULL! IT SEEMS AS YOU'RE IMPLYING THAT THESE EXPERIENCES ARE FABRICATED, AND LET ME SAY THAT IS FAR FROM THE TRUTH. AND IT IS IN POOR TASTE TO DOWNPLAY UPSETTING PERSON EXPERIENCES THAT ARE FAR TOO COMMON IN THIS COMMUNITIE. AND LIKE I HAVE SAID BEFORE, IF HOSPITAL CARE WAS AS PEACHY AND FANTASTIC AS SOME CLAIM IT TO BE, THEN WHY ARE SO MANY PEOPLE STILL OPTING OUT AND DRIVING THE DISTANCE TO STEAMBOAT SPRINGS HOSPITAL? POEPLE HAVE BEEN SO BURNED BY THE TREATMENT HERE THAT THEY ARE WRITING LETTERS TO THE MEDIA. SHAME ON YOU STUNING, FOR CHASTISING MRS. LIGHTHIZER FOR GOING TO THE PAPER. ALL THAT SHE DID WAS SHINE SOME WELL NEEDED LIGHT ON THIS ISSUE. AND NOW, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT IT, AND THAT IS THE MOST POSSATIVE THING YOU CAN DO, AND WITH COMUNICATION, COMES UNDERSTANDING, ANDFROM THAT, I HAVE HOPES THAT WE CAN USHER IN CHANGE. BUT IF WE SILENCE OUR OPINIONS, EXPERIENCES, AND EXPECTATIONS, WE ARE CENSORING OUR ABILITY TO HAVE OPEN COMUNICATION IN WHAT EVER FORUM WE SEE FIT. I APLAUD HER CHIOCE IN WRITING HER LETTER, AND BEING BRAVE ENOUGHT TO PUT HERSELF OUT THERE AS A SPOAKPERSON FOR HOSPITAL REFORM. PUTTING THE BLAME ON THE VITIM IS HEARTLESS AND INSENSITIVE. WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING INSTEAD, IS BEING OPEN WITH WHAT IS WRONG, AND WENT WRONG, AND EMPOWERING POEPLE AND PATIENTS TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST NEGLECFUL AND SUB-PAR TREATMENT WHEN IT HAPPENS---AND NOT TO GO HOME THINKING THAT YOU CAN DO NOTHING ABOUT IT. WE HAVE A VOICE, AND WE ARE EMPOWERED!

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freeman 5 years, 1 month ago

ONE WHO SEEMS TO GET UPSET OVER ARTICLES THAT HE SAYS IS NOT TRUE ,,,OR KNOWS FOR A FACT THAT THEY ARE NOT TRUE ,MUST IN MY OPINION,,KNOW FOR A FACT THE ARTICLES ARE TRUE AND/OR JUST PLAINLY CAN NOT HANDLE THE HEAT,,,,,,WHY DONT YOU JUST RESIGN FROM YOUR POSITION AND LET SOMEONE WHO CAN DO AND HANDLE THE JOB LIKE YOU WERE HIRED TO DO ???????

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Marvin 5 years, 1 month ago

IF WE ALL AS A COMMUNITY TAKE ANYTHING AWAY FROM THIS DISCUSSION THAT MRS. Lighthizer's LETTER INITIATED, I HOPE IT IS THAT WITH HONESTY COMES CHANGE. AND SAYING NOTHING IS DOING NOTHING. I'M AM NOT AT ALL IMPLYING THAT THE HOSPITAL DOES NOT DESIRE TO CHANGE, OR IMPROVE, BUT IT IS EASIER TO SAY THAN DO. I WANT TO SOME DAY FEEL SAFE AND SECURE WITH THE DECISION MAKING & PROPER EXICUTION OF TREATMENT. I WANT TO, AS A PARENT, FEEL SECURITIE IN KNOWING THAT IF MY MOST PRECIOUS CHILD, WAS IN NEED OF MINOR, OR MAJOR MEDICAL HELP, THAT I COULD RUSH HIM IN AND KNOW THAT HE IS BEING GIVEN TOP KNOTCH CARE, BY WELL EDUCATED, COMPASSIONATE CARE TAKERS. UNFORTUNENTLY MY FEAR IS DRIVEN BY MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AT THE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL. AND WHEN I REFER TO STAFF, IT IS INCLUDING THE WHOLE HOSPITAL, BECAUSE WHEN ONE PERSON MAKES A MISTAKE, IT IS ALSO A FALURE OF THOSE IN THE CHAIN OF COMMAND, TO HIRE PROPERLY TRAINED EMPLOYEES, & REPRIMAND, AND FIRE THOSE THAT VIOLATE POLICY AND PROCEDURE. IT SOUNDS TO ME LIKE POOR PATIENT CAR IS NOT AN ISOLATE INCIDENT, AND THAT IT WAS, IS, OR MAY BE, AND ONGOING PROBLEM. AND SADLY ONLY TIME WILL TELL, ( NOT THE HOSPITAL HEADS, BECAUSE NO ONE IS STEPPING UP TO TAKE RESPOSIBILITE FOR THE LAX MANAGMENT OF STAFF!) .

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CindyLou 5 years, 1 month ago

stuning,

I don't believe any discussion is counter productive, but I do agree that some seem more like rants than discussions. But I wonder why they are ranting? There are always going to be people who don't like the service no matter where they are treated I believe the staff is probably doing the best they can with what they have to work with, and I am not talking about the building. I have also received great care from the staff each time I go in, but there is more to great service than just getting adequate care. I have heard a lot of discussion on this forum regarding the leadership at the hospital. To my knowledge the current leadership has been at the hospital for three or more years now. I would think that that is sufficient amount of time to get the ship turned in the right direction, but that is not what I am reading on the forum or what I am hearing from friends and family. Our hospital is like the communities dirty little secret. On the outside we are all cheering them on, but behind the scenes we are asking our selves "what the hell is going on over there?" To qoute a movie line "attitude reflects leadership." When staff are undervalued by leadership, unappreciated by leadership, and disregarded by leadership, it comes out in the service they provide. As a small business owner, everyone matters or we have to close the doors because I can't just call someone else to come pick up the slack. I often hear how the hospital leadership does not view employees this way. I also hear Mr. More publicly speak on another post about how their is teamwork, camaraderie, etc at the hospital, but when I talk with my friends and neighbors who work there, that is not what they say to me.

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CindyLou 5 years, 1 month ago

continued.

Mostly what I am hearing is that employees are frustrated with the way things are run and that that frustration can be seen at times by the community, the rest of the time the community is unaware of what takes place at the hospital.

I agree with you that the paper is the best place for this type of discussion to take place, but the paper won't ever be able to present it in a fair and balanced approach. Take for example the fact that the paper re-printed the same letter by a person who was pleased with the hospital's services at the same time that a letter was printed that show a person's displeasure. Why did they run the same letter twice? I have never seen a paper run a point-counter-point debate when presenting public opinion, unless they were trying to persuade the masses of something.

My hope is that this community builds a beautiful hospital and that the service we receive there will match the beauty of the building. But remember, the Titanic was beautiful and had the best service and accommodations available, and we know where they sailed that ship don't we? I don't think the captain is going to go down with this ship though, I would suspect he will be the first one in the life boat when it's time abandon the ship.

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bjacobson 5 years, 1 month ago

Greetings,

Just to clarify. The letter that CindyLou referenced that was published twice was printed the second time (Saturday) at the request of the family due to the omission of a few family members when it was published the first time(Friday).

Please feel free to contact me with any further questions.

<p>bjacobson@craigdailypress.com or 875-1788.

Thanks Bryce Jacobson Publisher

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AltitudeAdjustment 5 years, 1 month ago

Bryce,

I don't think a response was needed on the part of the CDP.

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CindyLou 5 years, 1 month ago

AA,

Does that realy stand for AlcoholicsAnonymous? He should explain why he put it in twice. Doesn't seem very logical but I guess it's a reason. I see a post has been repressed. What didn't set right with the CDP that they had to remove it? Post it again so the readers can decide if it has any value.

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taxslave 5 years, 1 month ago

CindyLou, I read the deleted post from suzieq...it named names and offenses. If I post what it said I'll be deleted also.

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craiggirl 5 years, 1 month ago

Cindy and Tax - what suzieq posted had absolutely NO business on this forum. It was gossip not fact. The forum is not the place for baseless accusations.

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STANHATHHORN 5 years, 1 month ago

It all starts at the top. To categorize all TMH employees as uncaring or incompetent is grossly unfair. As in any service business, the tone and expectations for quality begin with management. Most employees will endeavor to follow a mandate for perfection, and most employees will feel very useful when they achieve that goal. If management sets goals based only on monetary return, then employees will likely lose that pride of accomplishment. Bottom line, if you can't be successful by being the best at what you do, then there is little hope for any other approach.

TMH and the CDP are both expected to be community leaders. They have no local competition, and therefore should be able to set the standard for perfection. Instead, this forum finds them both playing defense! "They doth protest too much"!

The campaign slogan of last year may apply here, "You can put lipstick on a pig, but -----".

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Marvin 5 years, 1 month ago

unfortunently i know many poeple who feel it to be more of a risk to go to the craig hospital rather than steamboat springs hospital. And it is unfortunate that myself and others feel the risk of travel is worth it to get quality care. i know that when we get into hayden, if you call for an abulance they will take you to steamboat.. And yes, i realize that the staff has changed since my experience, but I am curious if those in 'command' that let that level of patient care be exceptable, are still in charge. because afterall, you can change the staff all you want, but If no one is held accountable when mistakes are made, then boundries and guidelines are more easily crossed. My final point is, that confidence in the memorial hospital will be restored when the care administered there has improved, and people can walk out of there satisfied with their treatment, and not writing letters to the editor. this conversation, no matter the disagreements, is a valuable tool to usher in change, and now we are talking about this issue, and thats a great stepping stone for the hospital to improve. Much thanks for the reply davidmoore, but i'll believe the hospital is fine and dandy when I see it first hand, which I hope I dont have to anytime soon :)

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taxslave 5 years, 1 month ago

craiggirl....so where is the appropriate forum for the accusations made? They were serious and for the life of me I can't come up with a reason why someone would make up that stuff.

I was going to post here too about how much I love the cafeteria at the sbs hospital. I didn't realize they shut the hot lunch down here in craig (if it's true). If I'm shopping in SBS and it's lunchtime I generally will run up to the hospital and eat there.

I've had good and bad experiences at both places so the way I see it, it's all about the food.

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corky56 5 years, 1 month ago

Taxslave and the others who read the comment that was deleted, You wrote " for the life of me I cant' come up with a reason why someone would make up that stuff" you have to be kidding!!! I have dealt with and heard numerous people complain about management and yes even telling out right lies. This could have came from an unhappy employee, a disgrunteled current or former employee or simply someone that does not like senior management at TMH. You ask where the appropriate forum for the accusations should be, well if those accusations were true they should have been reported to the HR department of the hospital. By posting these accusations without any proof it is really just gossip. Just my opinion but I believe if you want to ruin ones reputation dont do it by gossip and false accusations do it by facts TMH is getting a new facility regardless of the moaning that is done on this forum. I for one am very happy and have had experiences at both TMH and YVMC and my first choice is TMH. Have a great day.

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diva 5 years, 1 month ago

I have used TMH, I had several care givers who were absolutely the best and I did have one who was the worst of anywhere I had been. I did address the issue at the time. TMH administration needs to remember that if it wished to increase their care in the community, they should have invited a disgruntled patient to come back and experience them again, instead of insulting her.
Also, although the patient did express she had been a patient, the hospital BY FEDERAL LAW cannot acknowlege that without her direct consent. What the hospital did by that was actually illegal and they can be fined by that. If I were considering a hospital to use, I would certainly think twice about using TMH, if I am unhappy and state that will the hospital insult me also???? The hospital should have said "I am sorry she had such a bad experience, please come see me I would love to discuss that issue with you and see how we can improve, please try us again and see the change.

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stuning 5 years, 1 month ago

Diva, with all due respect, are you actually upset with TMH for responding to the letter? Should unhappy people be allowed a voice in this forum while TMH's response is censored? The TMH response to the letter written about them was permissible pursuant to the following provision in the HIPAA: (which I would assume few in this forum have ever read compeltely - it's quite lengthy and complex)

"...the covered entity may use or disclose the protected health information if it: ... (iii) Reasonably infers from the circumstances, based the exercise of professional judgment, that the individual does not object to the disclosure."

I think we can all "infer from the circumstances" that this individual "did not object" to the release of her status as a patient as evidenced by her decision to publish that fact in a daily newspaper. I find it suprising that anyone can, with a straight face, try to make an argument that dissatisfied persons should be able to tell their side of a story (any story) without response from the accused organization or individual. This is what I mean by "looking for reasons to be upset with TMH." While I'm not a raving fan of TMH myself, per se, I do, however, think that it's completely unfair that people get upset when the hospital responds in print when when challenged openly in print, as they were in this letter. If one doesn't want a public response, they should refrain from writing a public letter.

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