Salem, Ore. – Salem Hospital announced today that its inpatient pediatrics program will move to a new location and will not close. The unit will move from Building B to share space in the mother-baby Unit in Building D’s Family Birth Center, during the first phase of a three-part plan. While the unit will have a separate entrance and secure area, the staff will be able to float between programs as the patient volume fluctuates. This change allows labor costs to be reduced and safety maintained.
Earlier this year the hospital had announced that lower patient volume was affecting the viability of several programs, including pediatrics. The lower volume is being seen by large hospitals throughout the country.
Four teams of 50 stakeholders, from physicians to hospital finance personnel, pediatric nurses, and facilities experts examined the options over several months. Spearheaded by Family Medicine Physician Kendall Graven and Pediatrician Joanne Hyndman, the groups looked at cost and revenue, philanthropy, care providers and future sustainability.
“The doctors, nurses and administrators in this community have families. We got together to figure out not only how to keep inpatient pediatrics here in this community, but how to expand the system to make sure it thrives,” said Dr. Graven. “We succeeded, ensuring children who get sick here in the mid-Willamette Valley can be cared for by their own doctors, now and into the future.”
“It really was an amazing collaborative effort by the physicians and nurses in the community. Not only were the local pediatricians and pediatric nurses involved, but also other physicians that care for children in Salem, as well support from OHSU,” said Dr. Hyndman. “We will continue to work to ensure that the children of Salem receive the best possible medical care.”
The move of the pediatrics program, which is tentatively scheduled for October, kicks off the three-phase plan. The second phase will be to develop partnerships with specialist to provide care for hospitalized pediatric patients. This will help other providers refer patients to the Salem inpatient pediatrics unit and for children to be able to stay close to home for care. Telemedicine will also be used more often. During this phase, a long-term vision will be developed for pediatrics.
Phase three will consist of increasing public awareness about the pediatrics program here and philanthropic opportunities will be explored.
Women’s and Children’s Services Director Sarah Horn was appreciative of the support. “We needed everyone’s assistance and support in order to preserve the inpatient services offered to the community. Everyone pooled together their passion for pediatrics. As a result we will be able to continue to provide the expert pediatric care in the community,” said Horn.
Salem Hospital is part of Salem Health, along with West Valley Hospital, Willamette Health Partners and other affiliated health care organizations offering exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. Visit us at salemhealth.org and facebook.com/salemhospital; follow us on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at youtube.com/user/salemhealth.
News Release from: Salem Health