Jefferson Healthcare to care for immigrants, no questions asked

Posted 4/4/17

Chris Tucker, ctucker@ptleader.com

Although a hospital must ask patients the most intimate questions about their bodies and health, there’s one question that won’t be asked: their immigration …

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Jefferson Healthcare to care for immigrants, no questions asked

Posted

Chris Tucker, ctucker@ptleader.com

Although a hospital must ask patients the most intimate questions about their bodies and health, there’s one question that won’t be asked: their immigration status.

The Jefferson Healthcare Hospital Commission voted unanimously March 29 that it was committed to providing health services to anyone without consideration of immigration status.

“We don’t ask,” said Jill Buhler, commission chair.

Buhler said the hospital didn’t keep a record of how many immigrants it may have treated.

“Our policy is to treat everyone and all equally,” she said.

Jefferson Healthcare’s resolution aligns with a position paper from Cassie Sauer, president and CEO of the Washington State Hospital Association.

That paper states, “While our country seeks to find a path forward on immigration, Washington State’s hospitals and health systems are focused on the people who are right in front of us, needing our care.”

Doctors and nurses are to focus on providing care without judgement.

The paper states that providing care regardless of immigration status is also practical in that “viruses and bacteria don’t check visas. A healthy community depends on everyone’s ability to get healthy and stay healthy.”

“It’s not in our realm to ask those kinds of questions because, for one thing, just from a practical standpoint, whoever comes in, if they have an infectious disease or they have something that might be spread, we certainly wouldn’t want them to be afraid to be treated. That’s why we don’t ask,” Buhler said.

“We’re in the business of health care. That means every member of our community regardless of their status – financially or any other way.”

Jefferson Healthcare named leader in LGBT health care

There are seven hospitals and one clinic in Washington state that have been named 2017 Healthcare Equality Index leaders in LGBT health care, and for the first time, Jefferson Healthcare is on the list.

Jefferson Healthcare has participated in the index since 2014. The program is meant to combat discrimination against LGBT patients.

Jefferson CEO Mike Glenn said the honor was “a pretty big deal.”

Hospital gets high marks in survey

Jefferson Healthcare received high marks during an International Standards Organization audit, according to Brandie Manuel, executive director of patient safety and quality at the hospital.

“We only had four [nonconforming issues], which is a really great survey,” Manuel said.

One of the inspectors told her, “I’ve been to a lot of hospitals, and this is the best critical access hospital I’ve ever surveyed.”

Manuel said the things that were found to be out of compliance were minor and that most of them have already been fixed. One of the problems, for example, was that an informed consent record lacked a time stamp. Another was that a fire sprinkler head was positioned too close to a piece of equipment, which could have limited the sprinkler’s ability to spray water.

Hospital employees happy with their place of work, survey finds

A survey of 458 of Jefferson Healthcare’s 580 employees found that 46.9 percent rated their workplace as 9 or 10 on a scale of 1-10.

The score beats the average of 31 percent for the industry.

Sixty-one percent of employees would recommend the hospital as a place to work. The average score is 41 percent.

“That is a wonderful validation as well,” said CEO Mike Glenn.

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