October 13, 2009 · 11:19 AM
As a health care provider, I have been observing the progress of the “race” for a seat on the board of Cascade Valley Hospital. My observations have caused me to wonder about some things.
I wonder, why would a medical doctor spend what appears to be a good amount of money and indulge in negative politics (only a hair dresser) to seek a non paid seat on the board of a hospital he chose to turn his back on years ago and take his business outside of the community to a hospital that competes with Cascade Valley Hospital for patients?
I wonder, how could a medical doctor who receives his income from performing procedures on patients, many of which must be performed in a hospital, serve on the board of a hospital without being involved in some element of conflict of interest? Medicine is, after all, a business. If he takes his patients to a competing hospital, wouldn’t it be against his best interests to try and attract more people to Cascade Valley Hospital? Further if he chooses to bring his patients to Cascade Valley hospital as a board member couldn’t his decisions tend to serve his interests as opposed to competing physicians with practices at Cascade Valley Hospital or the best interests of the community? I do not believe that having a practicing physician on the board of a hospital is illegal but, I wonder about the ethics.
I wonder, given the candidate’s statements about being “a voice for change” and “creating a center of excellence”, if the candidate has read any of the surveys conducted recently regarding care quality and patient satisfaction. Cascade Valley Hospital regularly enjoys high ratings from its patients in surveys conducted by an independent agency. Surveys of patient care quality, also conducted by independent and governmental agencies, consistently rate Cascade Valley Hospital very high in its category of hospitals. A 2008 survey of 30 day patient readmissions (a measure of quality and effective care) showed the readmission rate for Cascade Valley Hospital to be one of the lowest (best) of the hospitals surveyed.
These surveys are all public record as are the reports that show Cascade Valley Hospital is financially sound and continuing to grow in care capability, physical size, and patient volume during difficult financial times.
It appears that the existing Board of Cascade Valley Hospital, consisting of non medical professionals who have the best interest of the facility and the community in heart and mind, have made, and are continuing to make, appropriate, sound decisions for the benefit of all.
My dad used to tell me: if it isn’t broken, don’t pull it apart and try to fix it. Given all of the above, I wonder if that might be the best advice for the upcoming election for the seat on the Board of Cascade Valley Hospital? I wonder.
H. Kingman R.N.