2020: A Year in Review

Published on December 16, 2020

Russ Johnson celebrates a moment with LMH Health staff

LMH Health President & CEO Russ Johnson and staff celebrate with donuts during the pandemic.

2020: A Year in Review

At the final meeting of the year for the LMH Health Board of Trustees, LMH Health President & CEO Russ Johnson outlined the organization's major themes and accomplishments realized during 2020.

Pandemic Response

  • Served in a leadership capacity in Unified Command, ensuring a collaborative approach to the pandemic response.
  • Set up and managed an extended Incident Command response within LMH Health.
  • Prepared and executed surge plans, set up testing infrastructure, and prepared to deliver vaccinations.
  • Adjusted workflows to accommodate patients and the community during the pandemic.
  • Kept our staff, providers and community members informed of the latest in the COVID situation, while telling our hospital’s story in a meaningful and effective way.
  • Participated in >$16M in federal, state and local funding processes through applications, detailed accounting of funds uses, reporting and ultimately deployment of monies.
  • Developed and utilized a flexible labor pool, reacting to daily shifts in staffing and skills needed.
  • Developed an internal predictive model for COVID inpatients and a forecast for PPE.
  • Partnered with the University of Kansas to implement surveillance testing.
  • Accelerated deployment of TeleHealth for all providers.
  • Strengthened public health and emergency management response systems and collaborative relationships with community partners, both locally and regionally.
  • Saw outstanding effort and commitment during pandemic from staff, providers and leadership.
  • Created COVID-fundraising opportunities to raise more than $200K through the LMH Health Foundation in support of the hospital, our patients and front-line workers.
  • Expanded online course offerings.

Patient First

  • Celebrated the opening of LMH Health West Campus, a 25-year strategic investment in our charitable care mission and our community’s health, on time and under budget.
    • Seamlessly relocated clinics and providers
    • Created a specialty clinic opportunity
    • Launched a new pelvic health clinic
    • Integrated therapy within the physician practice in the areas of breast and pelvic health
  • Achieved major milestones in oncology:
    • Earned Commission on Cancer Accreditation for the oncology and hematology program.
    • Maintained progress toward obtaining breast cancer accreditation.
    • Transitioned to MCA for oncology cancer trials, ensuring access to a higher volume of trials, including those available at NCI-designated facilities in the region.
    • Launched service line development efforts.
    • Recruited new, fellowship-trained breast surgeon practicing at West Campus.
  • Realized significant achievements in orthopedics:
    • Completed the first outpatient joint replacement by OrthoKansas at the Lawrence Surgery Center.
    • Maintained progress toward earning the total knee and hip joint commission certification.
    • Invested in a growing relationship with Newman Regional, realizing improved communication, transfers, patient census and follow-up care for orthopedic patients.
    • Launched a running analysis and re-training program.
    • Obtained, through the support of the Foundation, robotic surgery technologies to support state-of-the-art surgical procedures.
  • Launched service line development efforts for cardiology.
  • Acquired First Med and opened new clinic location in south Lawrence, ensuring walk-in availability seven days per week, with further access expansion planned for January.
  • Established a Population Health Department that includes chronic care management, annual wellness visits, transitional care management, outpatient social work, pharmacists embedded in the clinics and incentive management.
  • Invested in patient retention and market share growth:
    • Launched a new electronic patient newsletter highlighting service lines and quality of care to more than 80K current and prospective patients.
    • Created multi-platform campaigns to support West Campus, First Med, mammography, sports medicine, orthopedics, women’s health, robotic surgery, stroke, and many other areas.

Provider Engagement

  • Welcomed new providers in rheumatology, internal medicine, family practice, breast surgery, MSK radiology, emergency medicine, and other areas.
  • Launched a search for a Chief Medical Officer with four providers on the team
  • Created new policy and process for working with hospital-based provider groups that improves communication, clarity of expectations and engaged problem-solving.
  • Successfully negotiated the hospitalists to become an employed provider group, a model that they preferred to enter.
  • Expanded the Physician Enterprise Board to include a hospitalist seat.
  • Strengthened the culture of philanthropy between LMH Health and its physicians by leveraging initiatives like the Patient-Centered Technology Grant and COVID funds, implementing new grateful patient and physician engagement programs, and encouraging physicians to identify new donors and grow grateful patient giving.

Clinical Integration and Excellence

  • Achieved Commission on Cancer designation with outstanding survey results.
  • Achieved a Grade A from Leapfrog.
  • Earned Stroke Gold plus Achievement Award from AHA.
  • Completed a successful infection prevention survey though KDHE with an emphasis on COVID processes.
  • Implemented the reliability tools through the Safety Partners and Leadership Rounding, both of which provide opportunities to communicate the tool, talk about the application and its effect on safety, and reinforce with frontline staff.
  • Implemented the Good Catch Program to keep safety as a priority and prevent harm from reaching our patients.
  • Conducted a Baby Friendly site visit in preparation for a certification.
  • Completed a successful Skilled Unit CMS state survey.

Cultural Beliefs

  • Adapted our Cultural Beliefs to support our workforce during the pandemic response.
  • Refined two Cultural Beliefs to ensure proactive employee engagement.
  • Utilized our Inclusion, Diversity & Equity group to edit our beliefs through this lens.
  • Developed and delivered 13 Conversation Classes on race, diversity and inclusion for associates on six unique topics. One session was delivered in partnership with the LMH Health Foundation to community participants and providers.
  • Conducted 11 sessions on Understanding Implicit Bias with Dr. Pasha.

Workforce Support & Excellence

  • Implemented several programs to support associates emotionally, financially and physically. Temporarily relaxed a few policies to make it easy to be an associate.
  • Developed and implemented an Equity Assessment Tool to ensure that LMH Health policies, programs and practices promote the pursuit and consideration of inclusion, diversity and equity.
  • Recruited, attracted and on-boarded 592 new associates (FT, PT and PRN)
  • Supported career growth - 107 associates were promoted to a higher level position over the course of the year
  • Created and recently filled a part-time Director for Health Equity, Inclusion & Diversity, a position which will work across the organization as we elevate our diversity and inclusion efforts.

Learning and Innovation

  • Enhanced robotic surgery by acquiring DaVinci and Mako robots in partnership with the LMH Health Foundation Board of Directors and donors.
  • Deployed TeleHealth, making it available for all providers and increasing average monthly use by 55 percent from June to November.

Information Excellence

  • Implemented integrated clinically-driven revenue cycle system for hospital and physician practice.
  • Implemented several consumer friendly technologies, including a patient texting solution to meet patients where they are.
  • Reached a major milestone with interoperability implementing the CommonWell / CareQuality Gateway, which allows us to connect to Epic organizations like KU and Stormont Vail.
  • Implemented a new Philips PACS system.

Financial Stewardship

  • Orchestrated a substantial financial turnaround from 2019 to 2020, especially notable in light of significant financial pressure from Q2 pandemic shutdown.
  • Ensured on-target outlook for covenant compliance.
  • Acquired a majority ownership in the Lawrence Surgery Center.
  • Renegotiated Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas contract, negotiated an Aetna settlement to assure fair reimbursement, and identified a UHC Medicare Advantage negotiation opportunity.
  • Implemented new Revenue Cycle software with performance targets approaching expected levels.
  • Leveraged a record $3.6 million amount of philanthropic support from the LMH Health Foundation to acquire new technology, support charitable care, and invest in strategic initiatives.

Community Leadership

  • Provided leadership and program development for the Douglas County Crisis Center, working with community partners to evaluate local behavioral health crisis response system needs and develop the service lines and facility design to suit.
  • Hosted PhilanthroSHE through the LMH Health Foundation, a first-of-its-kind collaborative event that brought together more than 55 local non-profit organizations to celebrate the role philanthropy plays in helping community organizations fulfill their vision in the areas of health, wellness and vibrancy.
  • Achieved an improved score in the most recent Community Partner survey, with participants rating their experience with LMH Health a 4.16 on a 5-point scale, compared to 3.93 for the previous survey.
  • Cross-promoted health and health equity non-profits by sharing contracted media space and received similar opportunities for LMH in return (Bert Nash, Senior Resource Center, education foundations, etc.)
  • Continued Just Food partnership and launched a Van Go partnership to support patients experiencing food scarcity by leveraging Foundation support.
  • Launched a partnership with the Lawrence Arts Center to highlight local artists via new gallery spaces at Main and West Campus facilities.
  • Joined the work groups for the Douglas County anti-poverty initiative.
  • Joined as a partner in ECHO Douglas County, an online hub for early childhood.