The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) granted Kootenai Health Magnet recognition for the third time; Kootenai has held Magnet status since 2006 and is one of only two Magnet hospitals in the state of Idaho. Magnet designation is the highest and most prestigious international distinction a health care organization can receive for nursing excellence.

The Magnet Recognition Program® recognizes health care organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. To be recognized as a Magnet hospital, health care organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy review process demanding widespread participation from leadership and staff.

“Receiving re-designation as a Magnet hospital requires the teamwork of nearly every department in the organization and is a strong representation of our culture of excellent patient care,” Joan Simon, Kootenai Health Chief Nursing Officer, said. “We are proud of the hard work and compassionate care our staff delivers every day.”

Magnet recognition has been shown to provide specific benefits to hospitals and their communities, such as higher patient satisfaction with nurse communication, availability of help, and receipt of discharge information and higher job satisfaction among nurses.

“We are honored and excited to receive Magnet status,” Jon Ness, Kootenai Health CEO, said. “This achievement is a validation of the professionalism, teamwork, and compassionate patient care Kootenai Health is known for.”

Northwest Antimicrobial Stewardship Summit Resources

The Northwest Hospital Alliance recently hosted the Northwest Antimicrobial Stewardship Summit. The Summit was meant to be a launch to form a regional, if not statewide, effort toward developing Antimicrobial Stewardship Plans for facilities, but more than that, to work as a unified community to change the way antibiotics are thought of and prescribed – a cultural shift.

The purpose of this one-day event was to provide participants with the tools they need to plan and develop an Antimicrobial Stewardship Program within their own facility, as well as to establish a collaborative work group to implement a regional Antimicrobial Stewardship Program and Initiative. Visit the Summit’s Webpage for event handouts as well as other Antimicrobial Stewardship resources.

Northwest Antimicrobial Stewardship Summit

Please join the Northwest Hospital Alliance for the Northwest Antimicrobial Stewardship Summit. This one-day event will provide participants with the tools they need to plan and develop an Antimicrobial Stewardship Program within their own facility, as well as to establish a collaborative work group to implement a regional Antimicrobial Stewardship Program and Initiative.

DATE: Friday, June 24, 2016 | TIME: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

LOCATION: Kootenai Health Resource Center| Fox Auditorium
2003 Kootenai Health Way, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814

Featured Speakers Include:

Souvenir_MDDavid Souvenir, M.D., Infection Prevention Medical Director at Kootenai Health. Dr. Souvenir provides infectious disease consultative services for the region and is the only board certified infectious disease specialist practicing in northern Idaho.



Headshot portrait of Dr. John Lynch, infectious diseases.John Lynch, M.D., M.P.H., medical director of the Harborview Medical Center Infection Prevention, Antimicrobial Stewardship and employee health programs. Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington and leads the medical school’s WWAMI-wide “Invaders (microbiology) and Defenders (immunology)” course. Dr. Lynch is active in the region and nationally, working with the Washington State Hospital Association, the Washington State Department of Health and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, in the areas of health care associated infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship.

Regional representatives from hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, infection prevention, microbiology, pharmacy, and quality.

COST: $45

Register for the Event

Nursing Grand Rounds: Bringing Hospital Teams Together

Nursing Grand Rounds (NGR) provide a forum for nurses between our partner hospitals to share clinical expertise, nursing best practices and education on related topics to improve patient outcomes and enhance patient experiences, as well as building collaboration and respect across the continuum of care. An NGR is a presentation given by nurses who share nursing care and are focused on a particular case.

In a partnership with the North Idaho College School of Nursing, the Nurse Leaders Peer Group of the Northwest Hospital Alliance developed this successful strategy to improve communication, build relationships, gain knowledge, and improve patient care by hosting quarterly Nursing Grand Rounds.

Kathleen Barbera presents the featured patient flow of care while in the ICU at Kootenai Health.
The format includes the case study of a patient who presented at one of the partner critical access hospitals and was then transported to Kootenai Health for specialty care that was needed.

The first Grand Rounds, held last December, featured a patient with a traumatic brain injury. The most recent Grand Rounds held on March 22, featured a patient with a ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI). Each NGR had more than 50 participants with videoconferencing used to bring partner hospital teams together.

Presenting a case study of a particular patient enables nurses to systematically examine a specific patient’s episode of care, review the pathophysiology, evaluate the nursing care provided and relate “doing of nursing care” to evidence and science.

“While the intention was to use this as a nursing education opportunity, we have found that inclusion of the EMT’s, air or ground transport teams, and others associated with the care of the patient may lead to a bigger learning opportunity, especially as it ties to Idaho working toward it’s Time Sensitive Emergency (TSE) structure.” According to Chris Way, Chief of Kootenai County EMS and Region 1 chair of the TSE Initiative, “If we all work together and learn from each case, we may be able cut precious time from the continuum of care for the patient.”

Regularly scheduled educational opportunities are associated with increased professionalism and improved outcomes for patients.

“Given the success of our current NGR’s, we plan to continue the conference style education opportunity on a quarterly basis,” said Tari Yourzek, Boundary Community Hospital Chief Nursing Officer. “They will occur in March, June, September and December. Participation of bedside nurses is encouraged in an effort to mentor and support professional development.”

Two Laboratory Science Students Begin Clinical Rotations in Northern Idaho Hospitals

Laboratory Science students, Mickinzie Johnson and Caleb Cox are beginning their clinical rotations in the laboratories of Hospital Alliance members. The students receive an excellent education through their experiences with knowledgeable staff.

In 2008, the five hospital labs of the Northwest Hospital Alliance became clinical affiliates of the Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center School of Medical Laboratory Science. This relationship was developed at the request of the lab managers of the north Idaho labs and in collaboration with the University of Idaho. At that time, the Medical Laboratory Science program increased the number of students from 12 to 14 to allow 2 students to complete half of their clinical rotations at the northern Idaho hospital labs, and the remaining specialty rotations at PSHMC and PAML.The Laboratory Science program director attends the quarterly meetings of the Hospital Alliance lab managers, and together they carefully plan coordinated clinical rotations for the students.

The benefits to the Alliance member labs are the potential to recruit students to become employees, and for lab staff to become involved in teaching which helps them stay up-to-date with laboratory testing theory and best practices, and the subsequent sharing of ideas regarding lab operation. The students enjoy the opportunity to experience a smaller rural laboratory environment with the Critical Access Hospitals and share with their classmates the nuances of practicing in rural communities.

“In dealing with a shortage of laboratory scientists we are able to work collaboratively with the hospitals to increase the number of students being trained,” said Kathy Gemar, Kootenai Health Laboratory Services Director. “This provides a greater pool of potential candidates to work in the various hospital labs.”

The five year program requires a Bachelor’s Degree in a hard science and a 12 month internship. The lab students spend time in the following departments: Hematology, Chemistry, Microbiology, Transfusion Services, Coagulation, and Urine Analysis. The program includes both clinical and theoretical work.

“This program is important to all of our labs,” said Connie Malone, Bonner General Hospital Laboratory Manager. “It produces quality students who then become quality employees. It is so important to introduce these bright young people into the profession.”

Northwest Hospital Alliance Grants $100,000 to NIC Nursing Program

The Northwest Hospital Alliance presented the North Idaho College nursing program with a $100,000 grant to help support nursing education in our region.

Pictured (from left): (front) Nancy Murren, NIC; Dr. Lita Burns, NIC; Marian Underdahl, NIC; Joan Simon, Kootenai Health; Tari Yourzek, Boundary Community Hospital (back) Eilene Pickett, NIC; Brittany Heidenreich, NIC; Kim Mitchell, NIC; Shannon Badgett, NIC; Misty Robertson, Bonner General Health; Beth Bates, Shoshone Medical Center; and Claudia Miewald, Kootenai Health

“North Idaho College is grateful for the longstanding partnership with the Northwest Hospital Alliance. The relationship truly is symbiotic,” said NIC Vice President for Instruction, Dr. Lita A. Burns (previously dean of Health Professions and Nursing). “North Idaho College Nursing Programs achieve outstanding student success because of the excellent clinical education the students receive at Kootenai Health and the other Alliance partner hospitals. The nurses are willing to teach and mentor students knowing that one day the students will be their peers.”The Hospital Alliance has a history of supporting the program, gifting $1.2 million over the past decade.

“The Northwest Hospital Alliance is delighted to be able to extend this grant funding to the nursing program at North Idaho College,” Joan Simon, Kootenai Health Chief Nursing Officer, said. “We see as part of our mission that we have a responsibility to ensure a knowledgeable, skilled and stable nursing workforce. These dollars will serve to strengthen the collaboration between the hospital and our academic partner, NIC; allowing us to work together on initiatives that strengthen and advance are professional nursing workforce in our region.”

The funds will not only help to educate future area nurses, but will also help those currently in the field maintain competencies and further develop their skill sets.

“The Northwest Hospital Alliance has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with North Idaho College, specifically when it comes to nursing education,” Tari Yourzek, Chief Nursing Officer at Boundary Community Hospital, said. “Funds given will assist in keeping the quality of nursing education at the level our region has grown to expect. In addition, the collaborative efforts of the college and the nursing leadership in our region have fostered a great relationship between our local hospitals and NIC. The future of nursing depends on these relationships in order to provide our community with the highest quality patient care and outcomes.”

Improving Health Care Quality Through DNV-GL Healthcare Accreditation and ISO-9001 Compliance

Kootenai Health is hosting FREE presentations from DNV-GL Healthcare
CEO, Patrick Horine. DNV-GL Healthcare works with national health care
authorities and providers around the world to manage risk and improve health care
delivery. Their innovative approach is helping health care providers identify, assess
and manage risk, enhance patient safety and quality, while ensuring sustainable
business practices.

Date: Thursday, July 30
Location: The Ponderosa Room in Kootenai’s Health Resource Center

Physician Presentation | 7 – 8 a.m. (includes breakfast)

Hospital CEO and Board Member Discussion | 8 – 8:45 a.m.

Quality and Compliance Staff Presentation | 9:30 – 11 a.m.
For hospital staff in charge of quality and compliance programs including:
directors of quality, compliance, accreditation, administrative staff, CNOs
and CMOs

To RSVP or for more information, contact Jon Scallan at jscallan@kh.org or (208) 625-4320.

For details see the Event Flyer.

Kootenai Health’s Expansion

Kootenai Health ExpansionAs Kootenai Health offers more services to care for the patients and families of northern Idaho, more people are coming to our hospital for care. More space is needed to take care for our patients and to make room for improvements in our existing facility. That’s why we are building a new three-story addition.

Kootenai Health’s $57 million, three-story expansion is scheduled to open in the spring of 2016. The expansion will adjoin the east side of the existing hospital. Its first two floors will include a family birth center, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), more patient rooms, a new hospital entrance and registration area, and expanded visitor waiting areas. The third floor will be staged for completion at a later date.

With thanks to our board, physicians, staff, and construction team, we are pleased to report that our expansion is on time and under budget. We would also like to thank you for your patience and understanding as we’ve modified our entrance, changed our parking areas and taken extra efforts to ensure all our patients receive the care they need. Together we are improving health care for our community now and for years to come.

We are pleased to announce a NEW NAME and NEW LOOK for the North Idaho Rural Health Consortium

March 1, 2015
Changing times in health care and opportunities to grow and enhance the collaborative work of our members are behind the new name and new look of the organization.

The Northwest Hospital Alliance serves as a catalyst to develop a collaborative network to assist our members in offering high quality, cost effective health care in our communities.

Currently, the Northwest Hospital Alliance includes five hospitals: Kootenai Health, Benewah Community Hospital, Bonner General Health, Boundary Community Hospital and Shoshone Medical Center, with room to grow in the future.
Tran Creative was hired to develop a branding system. After several months of extensive research and hundreds of logo concepts, the final name and logo was voted and chosen by the five CEOs of our current member hospitals.

  • The 2 linking hospital crosses convey working together, the bridge and connection between hospitals.
  • Blue and green capture the Northwest colors. Blue is for healthcare, experience and stability. Green is for healing and recovery. Orange radiates hope, energy, passion and innovation.
  • The short name will be referred to as the Hospital Alliance.

Look for a new Website in the coming weeks.

Caryl Johnston, Director & Craig Johnson, Board Chair

Northwest Hospital Alliance new logo wins SILVER ADDY Award

Northwest Hospital Alliance new logo wins SILVER ADDY at the Regional American Advertising Federation Awards on Saturday, March 21, in Spokane.

The ADDY’s can be likened to the Oscar’s for the local advertising and marketing industry. The ADDY’s recognize the best annual creative work in our region.

Ben Tran of Tran Creative developed the branding system for the Hospital Alliance.

  • The 2 linking hospital crosses convey working together, the bridge and connection between hospitals.
  • Blue and green capture the Northwest colors. Blue is for healthcare, experience and stability. Green is for healing and recovery. Orange radiates hope, energy, passion and innovation.