How We Do It

Grants

The Northwest Hospital Alliance began as a grant funded program through a three year federal grant from the Office of Rural Health in 1991. Since that time, over six million dollars in grant resources have been brought into our region through partnerships with the Hospital Alliance.

The Northwest Hospital Alliance identifies, applies for and manages grants to support the mission and goals of our member hospitals.

North Idaho College Nurse Faculty Project Provides Continuing Education in Our Member Hospitals

In order to provide the best patient care in our region, the Northwest Hospital Alliance has built a relationship with North Idaho College Nursing Program where faculty work with the Nurse Leaders from our member hospitals to develop and provide continuing education opportunities for the nursing staffs.

The role of nursing is complex and ever changing.

Hospital nurses play an extremely important role in caring for the sick. This requires an understanding of patients’ psychological as well as physical needs, knowledge of medications and their side effects, and ability to use a variety of medical equipment.

Nurses work to promote health, prevent disease, and help patients cope with illness. They are advocates and health educators for patients, families, and communities. When providing direct patient care, they observe, assess, and record symptoms, reactions, and progress; assist physicians during treatments and examinations; administer medications; and assist in convalescence and rehabilitation. RNs also develop and manage nursing care plans; instruct patients and their families in proper care; and help individuals and groups take steps to improve or maintain their health.

NIC Nursing faculty provide nearly 500 hours toward education projects with the Hospital Alliance members each year. These projects gives our nurses a chance to refresh their skills, keep up to date on new technology, learn best practices and new specialties, maintain and improve their professional competence.

Regional Collaboration through Information Technology

Members of the Northwest Hospital Alliance are able to take advantage of Kootenai Health’s locally supported Information Technology systems. Kootenai Health’s award winning IT Department provides a full range of low cost services without charging the industry standard profit margins of 25 to 65 percent. The systems are structured around meeting the needs of the patient and the clinician using the best technology at the lowest possible cost.

Through regional collaboration, Kootenai Health IT gains economies of scale, while our Critical Access Hospitals save dollars related to development of individual IT systems and departments.

Working together with a common IT system not only reduces overhead costs for individual hospitals, it also allows for a seamless delivery of care for the patient. The IT system streamlines the ability to access appropriate patient information eliminating duplication of services and enabling continuity of care for the patient.

All of the IT services are locally supported and centrally managed. The onsite Kootenai Health IT Help Desk provides client support 24/7, and the specialized staff provides the expertise necessary to offer excellent service.

For more information, go to http://www.kootenaihealthit.org/.