Opinion: Hospital celebrates 2-year anniversary of merger with UCHealth
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
Yampa Valley Medical Center recently celebrated two years of being part of the UCHealth family, an anniversary marked by many achievements. We’ve added specialties and enhanced technology. We’ve strengthened relationships with local physicians and have seen an increase in staff engagement. Most importantly, the quality and patient experience we offer have continued to improve, while we have remained committed to our local community.
Our new, advanced medical record gives patients immediate access to their health information, improves communication among health care providers and helps reduce unnecessary duplication of services and tests. This same system is available for many independent clinics as well as all UCHealth locations across the state. We’re reducing costs while improving the care for patients.
Another technological advancement is UCHealth’s telestroke program, which enables a neurologist to interact virtually with a patient and a physician in YVMC’s emergency department within minutes. This improves the care for patients experiencing a serious stroke, and it saves time and expense for patients with a less-serious condition by enabling them to stay at YVMC for care.
Prior to UCHealth, most patients suspected of having a stroke had to be flown to hospitals on the Front Range. Since adding telestroke in 2018, 71% of suspected stroke patients have been able to stay locally for care. This, coupled with our Level III trauma center designation, allows us to better care for patients experiencing serious emergencies.
Earlier this year, YVMC and UCHealth strengthened an important partnership with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. A significant discount in prices at YVMC, available through the Anthem Pathways HMO plan, is helping to make health care more affordable for individuals and businesses.
We have improved relationships with independent providers and physician offices throughout Northwest Colorado, increasing the collaboration across inpatient and outpatient services, and ultimately, improving care for patients. Physicians now have a greater voice in what YVMC does inside the hospital and within the community we serve.
Our providers, nurses and staff have received significant benefits and now have access to additional training and education opportunities under UCHealth. We’ve had a number of staff be able to advance their career over the last two years while still living in Steamboat.
Through it all, we’ve continued to put patients first, both inside the walls of the hospital and in our local communities. From partnerships with Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and Old Town Hot Springs, to commitments we’ve made to ensure our schools have access to mental health resources, our promise — to improve lives — remains steadfast. There’s more impact to be made through financial grants from YVMC’s Community Health Benefit Fund.
I’m energized by what we’ve been able to do as part of the UCHealth family and can’t wait to see what we’re able to do together in the future.
Soniya Fidler is president of UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs.
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