By Wade Johnson
In 2015, Walter Knox Memorial Hospital changed its name to Valor Health. Due to changes in the health care environment, and the need to transition from being a hospital to a health system design, a new name and brand were selected. Almost immediately after the announcement of a new name, a new organizational structure and focus began to emerge.
Valor Health rolled out new core values, which are unique among other healthcare organizations. The values of transformation, individuality, collaboration, and courage, showed that the organization was clearly ready to move forward in the new healthcare environment. Valor Health also led with a new promise to Gem County, “With a focus on the individual and a vision for change, we are committed to making people healthier, our community stronger and our business better.”
Over the past year, Valor Health conducted community surveys, held multiple events with community members, met with physicians and employees, and analyzed local, regional, and national healthcare data and trends to determine where they were, and where they can grow. Equipped with the information and through careful study and consideration, they developed a new three-year strategic plan. They developed five key goals including experience, quality, growth, community health, and financial stewardship.
Goals in each of these keys areas have provided the direction for numerous changes in the organization. As an example, Valor Health is now staffing full-time board-certified emergency medicine physicians in the Emergency Department and adding more primary care providers in local clinics. In addition, surgical and medical specialists, advanced practice providers, and new clinical services have been added throughout the health system. Increasing access to care by adding more physicians, specialists, and services are all focused on improving health outcomes for the community.
Obtaining national accreditation for Valor Health was also achieved in 2015. The accrediting process was focused on ensuring patients get the highest quality of care and that the health system is continuously engaged in performance improvement. Valor Health is now in the process of working towards receiving international recognition and certification for their quality management and performance improvement processes by seeking ISO 9001 certification by 2017.
A new electronic medical system is also being implemented over the next year. The project touches every aspect of Valor Health and will help improve care processes, provide convenience for patients, and allow the access of health information across the organization. A patient portal was developed and added to the Valor Health website at valorhealth.org. This online portal will improve patient access to health information and increase care coordination.
This year Valor Health was also able to celebrate along with the community, the exciting news that Gem County is now ranked 14th in the County Health Rankings in the State of Idaho out of 44 counties. Valor Health set the goal to be a top tier performer and collaborated with various groups across the county to help achieve this goal. Being ranked 14th is a significant improvement for the county, which only a few years ago was one of the lowest-ranked counties in the state. This new ranking is a clear indication that Valor Health and Gem County are becoming health leaders in the state.