Letter to the Editor

Descripion of NRMC-NMC relationship in story questioned

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Dear Editor:

All in all I want to thank Mr. Johannes Brann for the educational coverage he delivered by bringing public attention to both the changing physician names seen at Nevada Regional Medical Center in recent months and to the occasional role changes by which physicians are engaging with NRMC over the same time period — this via his Friday, Aug. 4 article titled “Stemming Physician Turnover”.

He articulated a new reality in an effective manner — especially regarding the evolution of Locums Tenuns [fill in] physicians working throughout our country in so many settings.

But I take exception to one characterization he made regarding the relationship between NRMC and the Nevada Medical Clinic when he described it “for some years as a frosty relationship.” I can only speak to the three years I have now spent in Nevada and I must say that I would never describe that relationship in such a manner.

In my experience, the type of relationship which independent physicians (or physicians of any nature) have with the hospitals they work with has always been graded and measured (and rightfully so) by the dual general perception of how each party is taking care of their shared patients.

Hospitals owe their medical staffs, and the people who work for them, a great array of services and an ease of access to those services, for each of the patients that they refer to us for additional care. I have diligently tried to improve that process for all of our physicians over the past three years and I have especially appreciated feedback given by NMC physicians citing some opportunities for improvement regarding a patient’s NRMC experience — that prompt feedback is how we can make things better moving forward! And likewise we should share positive and negative feedback back with the physicians if it pertains to them.

As a sidebar, the evolution of electronic health records (EHRs) has put a huge added burden on physicians as it relates to rendering patient care, because of the data extraction requirements attached to physician charting which the government expands each year.

It has added hours to their work day in many cases and has largely contributed to the high prevalence of physician burnout across our nation. As administrators we have to recognize this phenomenon and work very hard to make all other aspects of patient care flow well for them.

Healthcare is at times a business of very anxious moments for many involved. What we have to focus on is creating a culture and an environment that welcomes learning from when we “slip” so that we can be stronger in the future.

Certainly I believe that everyone affiliated with both NRMC and NMC should partner towards delivering great patient outcomes with a great focus on patient safety each and every day. Both partners should have a zero tolerance expectation for errors regarding the administration of each physician order.

I truly believe that NRMC is working with all of our physician partners to achieve these objectives. My thanks and admiration goes out to each of you who work in this profession.

Kevin Leeper, CEO NRMC