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Grande Ronde Hospital Honored for Innovative Excellence by Peers at Summit

Hospital news | Thursday, June 4, 2009

Contact: Mardi Ford

AT LEFT: On behalf of Grande Ronde Hospital, President and CEO Jim Mattes (right) receives the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems award for Innovative Excellence from Sen. Ted Ferrioli, Oregon Senate Republican Leader at the Rural Hospital Summit held May 21 in Lake Oswego.

Grande Ronde Hospital was honored as the Leader in Innovative Excellence at this year’s Rural Hospital Summit held May 21 in Lake Oswego. Grande Ronde Hospital was one of three rural Oregon hospitals chosen by peers to be honored at this year’s event. The summit was hosted by the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems in collaboration with the Oregon Office of Rural Health and the Oregon Rural Healthcare Quality Network.

The award, presented to GRHby Andy Davidson, president and CEO of OAHHS,and Sen. Ted Ferrioli, Oregon Senate Republican Leader, was for creating and implementing innovative solutions to improve health access, cost containment and quality.

"This year's recipients show tremendous promise for the future of rural health care in our state," commented Linda Lang, director of rural health services for OAHHS.

Grande Ronde Hospital has evolved into a national leader in telemedicine, pioneering services for providers and paving the way for the future of rural medicine. During the past 18 months, the Hospital has implemented successful telemedicine programs for neonatology, perinatology, cardiology, psychiatry, neurology, and intensive care medicine—thereby saving many local patients the financial and emotional burden of costly transfers or having to travel out of the area for specialty consults.

Last summer, the Hospital resolved a barrier to telemedicine services posed by the Oregon Medical Board’s licensure rules which required a “hands-on” exam during patient care, by providing the Oregon Medical Board with consultative-type demonstrations of our remote presence technology. Subsequently, in July 2008 the Oregon Medical Board revised state licensing rules to allow telemedicine consultations with physicians anywhere on the United States. At the time, the OAHHS issued a statement lauding the change, which would “assist Grande Ronde Hospital with the innovative work it is doing … and further open the door for all hospitals to use telemedicine in new and creative ways.”

This spring, Grande Ronde Hospital also took a leadership role in drafting groundbreaking legislation (Senate Bill 24A) facilitating reimbursement for telemedicine services and testified before the House Committee for Health Care on behalf of the Telemedicine Association of Oregon on Oregon Senate Bill 24A, helping to bring about healthcare reform and health care cost savings for all Oregonians.