Letters to the editor, April 13, 2014

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Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014 7:00 pm

For Christus: Fewer ads, more staff

Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center has no competition, but it spends large amounts of money on television and newspaper advertising. These expenditures are particularly strange since the hospital has reduced the nursing staff and demanded that the remaining nurses work longer hours. Overworked nurses cannot give patients their full attention, which puts patients at risk.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Al Corste posted at 5:58 pm on Sat, Apr 19, 2014.

    alcorste Posts: 8

    LeRoy, I think anyone who lives in Santa Fe or travels through Santa Fe has a reason to be scared. Sure, there have been people who have stated St. Vincent has provided them acceptable care, but the majority of comments and articles we see today are complaints about service and concerns about their integrity. Lillian is quick to state that staffing a unit is "complex" - hmmmm, other hospitals a mere 55 miles away do it successfully and by successfully I mean with a fraction of complaints that Christus racks up. If the people who have had great experiences at St. Vincent want to ignore the fact that there's a problem and not think outside of their little box, then that's their decision. I, however, am with you and trust that most people will see that something needs to change - accountability within that establishment is long overdue. Once day, we the people of Santa Fe, will have our hospital back.

  • Lillian Montoya posted at 1:26 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    Lijomo Posts: 12

    When a physician practice becomes a hospital-based department, we are keeping doctors here in town, so that they don’t leave our area due to financial considerations. Patients were finding it harder and harder to locate a doctor to take their Medicare or Medicaid. All of our physicians accept Medicare and Medicaid patients and, provide services to all in our community regardless of ability to pay. When a provider office becomes a hospital department, there are significant regulatory requirements and accreditations that must be met with respect to investment in the facility, its operations and its technology. All of this must occur in order for the hospital to meet requirements of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and to obtain Joint Commission Accreditation. (None of this is location-based but rather service based.)

    As a result, the services rendered are billed as “hospital-based” and not “provider (physician office) based.” Billing at a hospital-based department is different than physician/provider offices. The result is that a patient will have more than one co-pay which can include a co-pay for physician/provider bill and co-insurance for hospital or facility. This is an accepted, industry-wide practice.

  • Lillian Montoya posted at 1:10 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    Lijomo Posts: 12

    Regarding emergency rooms visits, all care and treatment administered in our Emergency Room is rendered by highly trained doctors and nurses who are qualified to treat anything from a broken finger to traumatic brain injuries or even amputations. This Emergency Room is staffed 24-hours a day 7 days a week and must be ready to handle any number of unpredictable cases with varying level of sickness. The CHRISTUS St. Vincent Emergency Department is not considered an Urgent Care Center, and Fast Track merely provides a faster way of treating less serious patients quickly, thus freeing up doctors and nurses to treat sicker patients. Since the service is provided in Emergency Room, it must be charged as emergency room treatment. CHRISTUS St. Vincent provides financial counselors who can help patients work on payment plans, if necessary.

  • Lillian Montoya posted at 9:59 am on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    Lijomo Posts: 12

    Regarding staffing, our nurses reflect nearly 1/3 of our workforce. Our 600 highly trained nurses ensure coverage for an average daily patient census of 130. Staffing a unit is complex and can vary by the shift or by the hour. Our staffing plan follows an industry-wide standard practice. It includes provisions for flexibility of adjusting nurse staffing in order to respond to workload, patient needs, staff skill levels and other unit/patient activities. We do NOT forgo patient safety and clinical outcomes for cost savings – ever. We are making improvements every day in patient care and safety but your personal experience matters most when you share your specific, recent experience with us directly. Please email mypatientexperience@stvin.org with details.

  • Pierce Knolls posted at 8:41 am on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1688

    As if businesses regularly fire good employees for no reason. I'm sure that when someone gets fired, there's a reason, even if the employer declines to state it.

  • LeRoy Sanchez posted at 9:35 pm on Sun, Apr 13, 2014.

    LNS Posts: 1

    Since Santa Fe apparently has a majority of baby boomers, shouldn't we all be scared that Christus St. Vincent Hospital is subpar? In addition, has anyone seen the condition of the parking lots and grounds in the last few years? Filthy and full of trash, unkempt, no discernible landscaping-not even xeriscaping!

  • Mel Hayes posted at 3:11 pm on Sun, Apr 13, 2014.

    Hobson Posts: 117

    A right to work law offers no protection to the employee, you can be fired or let go for any reason or for no reason.

  • John Greenspan posted at 1:15 pm on Sun, Apr 13, 2014.

    johnthejazzman Posts: 8

    I agree with Pat Johnson "A Smart Proposal." We should adopt a right to work law which would make us more competitive with surrounding states. A good union doesn't need a union shop and a bad union doesn't deserve one.

  • Frank O Mahony posted at 11:41 am on Sun, Apr 13, 2014.

    frankomahony Posts: 2

    This letter articulates what's been nagging me for some time. Marketing only works when the message matches the experience, and all those cheery faces and concerned advertorials are completely undercut by the stories of real patients. There's another letter on this page outlining yet another horror story.

    St Vincents needs to take their ad budget and spend it where it counts, on the frontline. If all their board is local, as one of today's extravagant ads proclaims (wow, a local board, what a novelty), those board members need to walk the corridors and learn the unfiltered facts themselves.

  • Carolyn Garcia-Martinez posted at 8:14 am on Sun, Apr 13, 2014.

    CarolynDM Posts: 428

    I completely agree with the letters above addressing Crusty's St. Vincent's ads. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. The ads don't entice people to go to SVH. Nobody is going to plead to be taken to our local hospital because of what they claim in their ads, so it must be so! The fact of the matter is, that unfortunately in alot of cases, we have no other choice. So instead of the daily, repetetive ads, how about listening to the people that matter most, which are the patients and the staff that work with them and make improvements that need to be made. That may actually lead to praise rather than the look of desperation that seems to have taken over. And oh, most boards are local. That was your largest ad yet and I'm thinking it impressed absolutely nobody.


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