Since the start of my internship, I have already experienced so much about health administration from a rural health perspective and have had the opportunity to be involved with some amazing projects that assist the county’s rural population.
My internship is located in
My first day at Rural Medical Services (RMS), I was able to attend the both the monthly staff meeting and the Board of Directors meeting. The staff meeting included all providers from each of RMS’s five clinical centers, along with the CEO, CFO, Operations Director, and the Human Resources Director. Although RMS is a health system, the clinics are run with an element of autonomy at each center (the CEO jokes that he calls each center his “little fiefdoms”). In addition to clinical responsibilities, providers are charged with the administration of their clinics. Reports were given from the Medical Director, the CEO, CFO, and Operations Director. Following these reports, a roundtable type discussion was held that let each provider from each center discuss any topics with which they were concerned. An interesting topic that was discussed at the meeting was the passage of the new health care reform bill. The CEO, as well as other providers, voiced concerns about the impact to their patient population as a results of the bill’s passage. RMS experienced decreases in patient population with the changes in TennCare, RMS and is concerned about the effect this bill may have on their patients. It was stressed that RMS must continue to strive to be patient friendly.
The Board of Directors consists of two representatives from the patient population from each center, the CEO, CFO, Human Resources Director, and the Operations Director. The Board meeting is run similarly to the staff meeting, but in a more formal matter with a call to order, motions, quorum, etc. At the first Board meeting, provider patient-visit goals were discussed as well as the bid process for remodeling the
Another interesting administrative aspect that I was able to participate in was the walk-through of the
The second week of my internship included helping with the annual RMS Health Fair held at the
My main project for the summer is to conduct both patient and employee satisfaction surveys. The patient survey asks a variety of questions to determine the overall patient satisfaction with both their respective clinical center and the RMS system as a whole. For example, one question asks patients to assess the level of satisfaction of the centers was “Please rate the treatment received at this facility.” Patients completing the survey rate their level of satisfaction on a scale of one to five, with one being very satisfied and five being very dissatisfied.
I have been collecting the surveys periodically since the start of my internship, but the final collection date will be July 1, 2010. I will record and analyze all the data and will present my findings to both RMS staff and the Board of Directors in a PowerPoint format. I will also include an analysis of the rating percentages for each facility on a separate handout sheet. The purpose of this survey is to help the community by showing RMS and the centers what the patient population perceives as most important and will in turn to use this input to identify and implement quality improvement initiatives.
The employee survey is set up in a similar manner, with the goal of the survey being to assess the employee satisfaction at RMS. I will begin collecting and inputting this data during the week of June 27th, 2010 for a presentation to the staff and Board of Directors at their monthly meeting. I think that this employee survey will be extremely beneficial to RMS because they have never done an employee survey and it will provide a good indication of the overall morale of the staff. I am anxious to see how my presentation of the survey results to the staff and Board of Directors will be accepted. I hope the results will encourage staff and providers reevaluate reconsider how things are running administratively within their center.