Two new members in WellOK

Last month, we welcomed the University of Tulsa and Dr Gerard Clancy. Dr Clancy is the VP of Health Affairs and the Dean of the College of Health Sciences. He has been a strong advocate for high-quality, accessible care in our community.

This month, we welcome Shannon Hammons, Director Human Resources, at HoganTaylor. HoganTaylor will be doing the accounting work for our non-profit organization. Ms. Hammons is enthusiastic about the mission of our organization.

Two more hospitals doing Leapfrog and another "A" rated hospital for safety

Thanks to the efforts of WellOK's Board of Directors, two more hospitals in our area are doing the voluntary Leapfrog voluntary survey.

Oklahoma Surgical Hospital completed and submitted their survey at the end of 2015. Hillcrest Medical Center announced they will do the survey in 2016.

These are two giant steps forward in WellOK's quest for transparency in our region's healthcare. Both Oklahoma Surgical Hospital and Hillcrest Medical Center are to be congratulated for this contribution to patients in the greater Tulsa area.

The Leapfrog Group announced 1750 hospitals in the US. a record number, have enrolled in the hospital survey program.

Leapfrog Group published the Fall 2015 hospital safety ratings. These safety ratings are derived from publicly available data for over 4000 hospitals in the US. Bailey Medical Center in Owasso continues to carry an "A" rating for safety. Saint Francis South on 91st Street just achieved an "A" safety rating.

Research proves the value of Diabetes Prevention Programs such as ours in Greater Tulsa

A major research paper has looked at many studies that evaluated the cost-effectiveness of diabetes prevention programs. Researchers at the CDC and the HealthPartners Foundation in Minnesota reviewed 28 published studies and concluded that programs such as the National Diabetes Prevention Program reduced long-term expenditures by delaying or preventing Type 2 diabetes for people at risk for it.

QuikTrip, the Greater Tulsa YMCA, Oklahoma State Department of Health and WellOK have collaborated to create the first employer-sponsored program in our area. Now in its third month, this program is showing good results.

The annual cost of diabetes medications per person with diabetes (in 2012 US dollars) is $1423. Prevention programs cost about $429. Factoring in other costs for diabetes, employers can make a solid economic case for sponsoring these programs.

The research is available here. The Community Preventive Services Task Force just published a recommendation statement about diabetes prevention.

WellOK will bring the Leapfrog Group to northeastern Oklahoma

The leadership steering group of WellOK resolved at its October 2014 meeting to bring Leapfrog Group to the greater Tulsa and Northeastern Oklahoma area.

The group will work to get our hospitals to participate in this important activity. Leapfrog now surveys and evaluates hospital for quality and safety in 43 regions (representing 28 states) around the country. Around 1500 hospitals currently participate.

Unlike other survey systems, the results from Leapfrog's work are publicly available at no cost to everyone. Those results are also easy to understand.

Bringing Leapfrog to our area fits nicely with WellOK's mission and vision. We plan to have regional hospitals participating in the survey in 2015.