Message From the CEO
Anna Roth portrait cropped
Anna Roth, CEO
The Year in Review and the Year Ahead 
2016 was quite a year. Like any other, there were challenges and opportunities.  As we welcome a new and exciting year together, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the things we achieved last year. 

Making Appointments Online
This summer we upgraded myccLink, our online patient portal, so patients could go onto the Internet and schedule appointments with their primary care providers. We've already seen the benefits of this new feature: Patients who make appointments online are more likely to show up for their appointments than those who schedule them over the phone or at the clinic. In the coming year, we will be look at adding more visit types that patients can book on myccLink, including prenatal appointments and Women's Health Clinic visits. 

Opening of the New Antioch Health Center
We opened a new expanded health center in Antioch to help us meet the growing demand for healthcare in East County. The new facility has double the number of medical exam rooms as the old one. And it is now co-located with children's behavioral health, part of ongoing effort to integrate healthcare for the body and the mind. 

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CCRMC & Health Centers Accredited by Joint Commission
Following an extensive 4-day survey of our health system in the late fall, the Joint Commission accredited CCRMC & Health Centers for the next three years. Surveyors were complimentary about our patient care, but issued findings related to the need to improve our physical environment and sterile processing areas. A followup survey satisfied the Joint Commission that we'd made progress to address those concerns. 
Hospital Reduces Use of Antiobiotics
Driven in part by antibiotic overuse and misuse, increasing antibiotic resistance is an urgent concern for the healthcare field as well as public health.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug-resistant bacteria cause 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses each year. As a result, changes to clinical practice patterns to promote appropriate use of antibiotics are now essential.
In response to these issues, CCRMC's pharmacy instituted an antibiotic stewardship program (ASP) in September 2015 by working closely with a group of infectious disease physicians. As a result, there has been a substantial decline in antibiotic consumption at CCRMC.   

We have seen a 26% reduction in our use of piperacillin/tazobactam and a 52% reduction in use of imipenem/cilastatin.  The decrease in Vancomycin use, which is our primary antibiotic for MRSA, has decreased by 30% since July 2012, when our clinical pharmacists took over the vancomycin monitoring and dosing adjustment for hospitalized patients. 
This translates into fewer side effects for patients, shorter hospital stays, reduced healthcare costs and less resistance of bacteria in our community.  

Providers Now Able to Discuss Patient Care Via Secure Text on Their Mobile Devices
Physicians and family nurse practitioners can now use TigerText, a HIPAA-compliant secure   messaging app, to discuss patient care with other medical staff on their mobile devices.

With TigerText, providers can send text messages (including photos) to other individual providers or a group of providers. As with Facebook's Messenger app, the user can see when someone has read their message. The app takes up little device memory and messages are automatically erased after five days in order to comply with privacy rules.

Providers had TigerText made available to them in the summer and about 60% of them are using the app. The long-term goal is for TigerText to replace providers' pagers.

For more information on our adoption of Tiger Text, contact Chief Health Informatics Officer Rajiv Pramanik at 
Update on CCRMC Cafeteria Construction Project 
CCRMC continues to work closely with the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) to ensure that our facility meets California safety standards and is able to reopen. OSHPD requirements have transformed our one project into several projects, each with their own regulatory requirement and approval process, which has delayed the original timeline. It's still unclear when the cafeteria will reopen. 

Once it does reopen, staff, patients and their families and friends will enjoy better food at the same low prices. Debit and credit cards will be accepted and grill hours will be extended. Our patients will also have more choices for their meals.
Music Helps Healing Environment in the ICU at CCRMC
We recently began a pilot project using live therapeutic music to promote health and healing in the ICU and IMCU. 

Therapeutic musicians from  Healing Muses (see photo to the left) and Angel the Harpist have come to CCRMC and played on Monday mornings and weekends to help provide a more relaxing environment for patients, family members and staff.  The project was proposed by the  Art of Health & Healing  and is being funded by the  Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation .
Presidential Award Offers Extra Benefit to Volunteers 
Starting this month, our volunteers will be eligible to receive the  President's Volunteer Service Award for their service to our community. Our volunteer program recently was approved as an official certifying organization of this award. The certification process was rigorous, but Volunteer Program Coordinator Rhonda Smith said, "Our volunteers deserve the opportunity to receive this distinction. The Presidential recognition provides us with another opportunity to thank our dedicated volunteers for the commitment they have made to our organization."
The award is bestowed by the President of the United States. Established by the executive order of George W. Bush, the award was established to honor volunteers that give hundreds of hours per year. 
Meet the Blue Zone team: (Top, L to R): Roberto Vargas, Linda Thomas, Andrea Sandler, Shannon Dickerson, Erika Jenssen; (Bottom, L to R): Sonia Sutherland, Connie James, Chris Farnitano and Tiombe Mashama. 

New "Blue Zone" Team Supports Improvement Efforts
The Blue Zone is a multi-disciplinary consultation team that will support improvement and evaluation, equity, collaboration, innovation and design efforts in our delivery system. Their goal is to support continuous learning and improving in our organization, in order to make things better and more equitable for everyone who lives here in Contra Costa County.  

Blue Zone team members bring expertise in strategic thinking, organizational design, project management, and performance improvement science. The Blue Zone currently is involved in supporting the PRIME improvement team structure, coaching and consulting with individual improvement teams, and helping to analyze data and develop measurement strategies. 

The Blue Zone is building improvement capacity in the system through the Improvement Academy, CoCo2020 summits, the IHI learning collaborative and other avenues for teaching improvement science to staff. The Blue Zone works closely with the health equity team led by Connie James and Tiombe Mashama.