NBHH board finalizes organizational goals

Ryan Fitzmaurice
North Big Horn Hospital District CEO Eric Connell unveiled a new list of organizational goals during the hospital board’s regular Sept. 19 meeting, looking to establish a culture of continuous improvement throughout the district.

“We’ve put in a lot of thought and spent time with our senior team about what to set for appropriate goals for the organization. These are the things that will be important for the operation to accomplish,” Connell said. “When the board sits down at the end of year and asks how it’s going, we can go back and look at these.”

There are 11 different goals Connell presented to the board, falling under the categories of “team,” “quality,” “safety,” “guests” and “stewardship”.

Under team, Connell highlighted a need to increase engagement, satisfaction and loyalty scores on the staff survey, and an even greater need to develop a professional development plan for members throughout their staff. 

“We want to empower our employees and help them find that next piece of education, certification or career step so they will continue to be engaged,” Connell said. “There is a significant generational shift that is occurring, so if we don’t find a way to help our employees do that, they will find somewhere else.”

Under quality, Connell highlighted an ongoing process to have their emergency department designated as pediatric-care ready, with the state conducting a survey on October 12. 

Also a focus for the district is increasing staff survey results and providing reports on the status of the district to members throughout the district and the community more regularly, calling for two townhalls a year. 

“We’re going to focus on quality in every area of our organization,” Connell said.

Under safety, Connell highlighted an initiative to develop a provider peer review process, allowing greater feedback and accountability for providers within the hospital.

“We want to ensure that we can allow protected conversations among the providers about medical care and also establish processes and different metrics to track quality,” Connell said. 

Under guests, Connell said NBHH will focus on achieving an 87.8 percent top box score among “likelihood to recommend” survey scores. Connell said the top box score is the highest score a patient or resident can score the hospital, meaning the district is looking to be ranked the top score 88 percent of the time.

Under stewardship, Connell called for the hospital to develop a financial sustainability plan focusing on reducing operating loss. The hospital projects a 9.2 loss compared to budget in 2024.

“If we run an operating loss, that impacts our ability to invest in capital, or invest in new services or education for our team,” Connell said. “We would like to by the end of the second quarter bring a plan with tactics that will have the most bang for our buck.”

Board president Dave Winterholler said he approved of the goals for the organization, with the board as a whole unanimously voting to cement them. 

In other business, the board reappoint Tsun Ku, MC; Irene Lohkamp, MD; Martin Prager-Sanchez, MD; and Patrick Cobb, MD to the medical staff and tabled a discussion on bids to fix the leaking care center patio roof.