Friday, September 8, 2017

Have Questions About the Billing Process? Here's What You Need to Know. (Click on each page to see it large.)

Fauquier Hospital Offers Bicycle Ergometer Stress Testing

Dr. Neel Shah, cardiologist, keeps track of his “patient’s”
heart rate, while Cardiopulmonary Supervisor,
respiratory therapist  Angie Tolley monitors his blood pressure and Kathy Grammo,
cardio-vascular sonographer, takes a real-time echocardiogram.
On the bike is Fauquier Health CEO Chad Melton,
who is demonstrating Fauquier Hospital’s new technology.

A stress test – putting stress on the body through exercise – is an invaluable tool used to assess a person’s cardiac function. Commonly, the patient walks on a treadmill that gradually picks up speed and increases its incline as technicians monitor the patient’s vital signs and symptoms. The patient exercises until reaching a target heart rate, and then continues until he or she reaches a maximum heart rate.

A cardiologist may order the procedure when a patient complains of chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath, or has an abnormal calcium score (a non-invasive CT scan of the heart that measures the amount of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries.) If a patient has a family history of heart troubles, a physician may require a stress test prior to a surgery.

But what if a patient can’t use a treadmill? Balance or gait issues, joint pain or dizziness could preclude the use of this stress test staple. And some patients have trouble walking on an incline.

Enter the ergometer bicycle, Fauquier Health’s newest addition to its cardio-pulmonary unit. The high-tech bike gradually increases the tension on the pedals -- requiring more effort from the patient -- at three-minute intervals. Heart rate and blood pressure are monitored, as well as the patient’s symptoms, if any. Respiratory therapist Angie Tolley explains that a patient’s physician will determine what kind of stress test would be best. “Someone with a walker or a prosthetic might be able to use the bike instead of the treadmill. If a patient cannot get their heart rate up to its maximum on the treadmill, we might switch them to the bike.”

Cardiologist Dr. Neel Shah said, “For the large swath of our population that may be elderly, obese or have orthopedic issues, the bicycle stress test is particularly attractive.”
Cardiologist Neel Shah, M.D.

An added bonus is that echocardiograms can be performed while the patient is on the bike actively exercising, allowing a real-time look at how the heart muscle is functioning. An echocardiogram uses ultrasound to create moving images of the heart. When the exercise echocardiogram is compared to a resting echocardiogram, the cardiologist can determine how the heart is working. If there are sections of the heart that are not moving normally, this suggests the presence of significant blockages in the coronary arteries. This will prompt the cardiologist to consider further testing, such as cardiac catheterization.

Dr. Shah is enthusiastic about the new technology and the enhanced data it can provide. “When we use the treadmill, the patient has to step off the treadmill and lie down before we can take the echocardiogram. The heart rate slows down during the transition so the measured data is not as accurate. On the bike, we can see more directly the heart muscle’s reaction to the exercise. The treadmill echo is about 68 percent sensitive; the bike is closer to 85 percent.”

Thursday, September 7, 2017

2017 Global Patient-Centered Awarded Announced at Fauquier Health

Fauquier Hospital was one of the first five hospitals in the nation to become a designated Planetree hospital in 2001. In a multi-year process, the hospital was evaluated on how well it focused on patient-centered care, putting the patient first and treating the whole person. Since then, Fauquier Hospital has stood out as a model of patient-centered care.

·       Planetree is all about people caring for people, providing friendly, nurturing, compassionate and personalized care. Every hospital experience is viewed from the perspective of the patient, to provide the best holistic care possible. The health system has worked hard to create a culture that is supportive and nurturing for the staff. When employees care for and support each other, increased staff satisfaction means less employee turnover, which, in turn, is good for our patients.

·       All this is still true today, but just like healthcare, Planetree has grown and changed in the last 16 years. Its focus on quality and patient satisfaction has made Planetree a more rigorous champion of compassionate care.

·       The Spirit of Planetree awards (which were awarded at each Planetree hospital) have evolved as well, into the Global Patient-Centered Care Awards. This year, the process asked for hospital nominations for Pet Therapy Animals, Person-Centered Care Innovation teams and Planetree Scholars. Fauquier Hospital has nominated Pet Therapy animals for years, and the Planetree Scholars awards combines the caregivers and physician champion awards of previous years.

·       The Innovation Awards are new this year, and represent Planetree’s new direction. The nominees celebrate healthcare’s constant changing landscape and the desire to update processes and technology for the good of the patient.

·       Award recipients were announced at a reception last week. Here are the nominees and recipients (highlighted in bold):
         Animal Therapy Team Award 
     These teams are often comprised of ordinary pets and their handlers who do extraordinary things in healthcare environments, whether helping patients with their physical therapy, lending an ear to a person who is suffering emotionally, or by simply providing a tail-wagging welcome.

• Luci and Jan Nelsen, with Pet Representative Carolyn Strong
• Remy and Stephanie Teague, with Pet Representative Charlotte Flohr
• Royce and Joanne Pinnette, with Pet Representative Pat Morris
• Tess and Lisa Fox, with Pet Representative Pat Morris

          Person-Centered Care Innovation Award
Betty Jo Mills-Mocarski, Sandy Shipe,
Heather Reid and Sue Dove were
nominated for the
Innovation Award for spearheading a
Reiki program for cancer patients

This award recognizes ideas and initiatives that serve to radically improve the experience of care for patients, families, staff and communities.

     • Citrix Xen Desktop with Imprivata Single Sign On
Justin Kaminski and Mike Del Grosso
Offering Reiki to Infusion Center patientsSandy Shipe, Richard Shrout, Sue Dove, Allison Cameron, Staff RNs (Heather Reid, Chrissy Patterson, Trenna Larson, Lisa Mountjoy, Lorie Harris, Karen Gilbert, Betty Jo Mills-Mocarski)
Patient Rights and Responsibilities RewriteMarlene Gardner, Alesia Schraf, Amy Powers, Amanda Sturgeon, Katy Reeves, Kathy Stump, Will Thomas, Cindy Hobbs-Witmer, Angie Kallio, Dave Jones, Donna Staton
• Ramser Total Joint Perioperative Protocol
James Ramser, MD

Sarah Pearson, administrator at
The Villa at Suffield Meadows,
congratulates Rebekah Abate
on her nomination as a
Planetree Scholar Award.
Rebekah was a Planetree
International finalist.
Dr. Wesley Hodgson, OB/GYN
was a recipient of the
Planetree Scholar Award.
           Planetree Scholar Awards
This award honors individuals whose patient-centered works and deeds inspire us all to greater heights.

• Rebekah Abate, LPN, Villa at Suffield Meadows
• Carrie Banks, RN, Intermediate Care Nursery
• Donna Burke, RN, ED
• Pam Burns, RN, PCU
• Deborah Carver, RN, FBC
• Harleigh Childress, Clinical Tech, PCU
• Alexandra Cleckner, RN, Care Manager, FHRNC
• Sue Dove, Reiki Volunteer, Wellness Center
• Amy DeMarr, RN, 3 South
• Claudia Dornin & Amy Powers, HR and SD
• Jim Favareau, RN, PCU
• Helen Gaines, Associate, EVS
• Janet Getty, Patient Care Technician, 3 South
• Wesley Hodgson, MD, FHPS
• Charlene Holland, Unit Support Specialist, MI
• Colleen Jacobs, RN, PCU
• Mackenzie Madonna, RN, 3 South
• Bonnie Martinez, Mammography Technologist, MI
• Ken McCaldon, Engineering Mechanic IV, Facilities
• Kristen Pierce, Physical Therapist, PMR
• Delia Pomeroy, RN, 3 South
Amy Powers, Organizational Development
• Katie Rivera, Patient Access Specialist
• Alesia Schraf, Patient Advocate

• Belinda Schultz, Financial Patient Advocate/Counseling Manager
• Mohammad Siddiqui, MD, Hospitalist Chair

Wellness Hours Change for Fall

The Fauquier Health Wellness Center is now operating under its fall hours:

Monday to Thursday: 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Friday: 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday: 8 a.m to 2 p.m.

Seeking RNs, LPNs and CNAs

Fauquier Health Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (360 Hospital Drive, Warrenton) will host a Career Open House on Wednesday, September 20, from 1 to 6 p.m.

Please stop by to see the facility, meet the patients and learn about RN, LPN and CNA opportunities. Recruiters and hiring managers will be conducting:

  • Onsite interviews (must submit an online application at before September 20)
  • Onsite employment offers, including sign-on bonuses:
                 $5,000 (Full time RNs/LPNs)
                 $2,500 (Part time RNs/LPNs)
                 $2,000 (Full time CNAs)

Questions? Call (540) 316-2900.

Fauquier Health Employees Honored for Years of Service

Tom Day (cardio-vascular sonographer) and
Peggy Dunn, (Cardiac Services technician),
were congratulated on their years of service this week.
Tom has logged 15 years at Fauquier Health and Peggy
has been with the health system for 30 years.
Respiratory therapists Phyllis Cordova and Patti Roberts
celebrated 15 years of service this week.
Laura Brent of the Bistro retired last week after
almost 30 years of serving Fauquier Health
employees and visitors. Her co-workers
(and CEO Chad Melton) helped her celebrate.

 The Fauquier Hospital Auxiliary held an Ice Cream Social for Fauquier Health volunteers. 
Cindy Hobbs-Witmer and Bernice Pearson share a laugh.
Scotti Joseph president of the Fauquier Hospital Auxiliary pours on a sweet topping.
Brenda Connally, Sheryl Vollrath and Hazel Kizer help dish out the sweet treats to their fellow volunteers.
Volunteer Stan Hunter enjoyed the celebration.
Kay Patton with Ralph Agavino.

Equestrian Art on Fauquier Hospital Art Wall

Linda Martin's paintings are brightening the walls at Fauquier Hospital.
 Artist Linda Martin’s work will be featured on Fauquier Hospital’s conference center Art Wall through the end of October. Linda paints local horse and wildlife in a folk realism style. Linda also has a blog at

RN Emily Martin Publishes Research on Oral Health at the Bedside

RN Emily Martin
   Emily Martin, BSN,  RN, in Fauquier Hospital’s PCU, learned a lot while researching how oral care was provided to inpatients. The journey began while she was working as a registered nurse at a 225-bed hospital in Indiana.
   While there, she was the head of the hospital’s research council. The idea for the research came from seeing a poster on oral care at a conference. She returned to her hospital and asked if there was a policy in place. There wasn’t. That led to a two-year effort that included combing the already available research, coming up with a study and getting it approved.
   The project turned out to be a survey for registered nurses. “It was a very small study, but it led to our being able to put together a policy on oral care for the hospital. It was surprising how what  we learned during our research could have a direct affect on patient care.”
   Emily said that in the course of the project, she worked with inpatients, CNA’s, respiratory therapists, speech therapists, materials management and bedside nurses.
   “It was an example of a bottom-up change that happened because of an effort from bedside nurses. We put it all together; as a result, the process was changed.”
   Another result of the nurse-led research: Emily was one of three authors on a paper (Supporting and Empowering Direct-Care Nurses to Promote EBP: An Example of Evidence-Based Policy Development, Education and Practice Change) that was recently published in Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing.
   The publishing process was long and involved, even after all the research was finished.
    Emily said the experience has informed her approach to taking care of her patients; she uses evidence-based methods in oral health, helping patients to see its importance. She said she has spoken to her co-workers at Fauquier Hospital about it, too. “I’ve shared on a person-to-person level. I’ve spoken to techs and nurses about techniques and procedures.”
   Sometimes, said Emily, hygiene basics can just fall off the radar when nurses are dealing with other medical problems.
   “It’s so important clinically, and it helps the patient to feel better. Did you know good oral health can help prevent pneumonia? It is pushed more with ventilated patients, but with non-ventilated patients, it can slip. It’s one of the little things we can do to make communities healthier.”
   When Emily is not caring for patients or being a parent to three children, she writes young adult  fiction. “I find the creative process very exciting,” she enthused.
   Emily’s author website is at