Community Hospital joins in Value University program

Community Hospital in Grand Junction has joined in a training effort to implement processes that improve health care.

“For me, it is the shared learning that makes this so exciting,” said Debbie Riggle, vice president of operations at Community Hospital and one of two leaders guiding hospital staff through the process. “No one hospital has all the answers, but we’re gaining insights from different places to make things better,” Riggle said.

Community Hospital has teamed up with University of Utah Health Care through a program called Value University. The free online learning platform and an associated national training pilot program, made possible with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is designed to implement processes to provide better care at lower costs.

The pilot program engaged 10 teams from regional and national health care organizations to learn and share ways to create high-value health care using University of Utah processes. The training consisted of short case studies that followed the true stories of four physicians leading efforts at the University of Utah, which has decreased its costs by 0.5 percent annually in recent years while remaining ranked among the top 10 academic medical centers in quality and safety by the University HealthSystem Consortium. In addition to the case studies, a process tool enables health care professionals to put their plans into action and measure the results.

Riggle and Kristin Gundt, chief nursing officer at Community Hospital, served as team leads in guiding staff through the processes.

“Classically, health care providers are not trained in any of the competencies around what improving value actually is and means,” said Dr. Robert Pendleton, chief medical quality officer at University of Utah Health Care. “We’re sharing what we’ve learned about what centering health care around patients truly means in an efficient package that people can access at their convenience.”