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Kirby Medical Center receives 'Innovation of the Year' honors


Kirby Medical Center was awarded Honorable Mention honors in the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network’s hospital ‘Innovation of the Year’ competition for its ‘KirbyWellness’ program. Participants were encouraged to submit innovations implemented at their respective hospitals which initiated a new approach to improve patient relationships, implemented a new process flow or life-safety improvement, found a creative way to motivate and inspire staff, or fostered a successful community project.

Karin Sykes, OTR/L, Director of Therapy Services, and Sara Wade, OTR/L, Director of Food and Nutrition Services, accepted the honor for KMC during a ceremony held November 11th at The Crowne Plaza, Springfield, and attended by critical access hospital leadership from throughout the state. Kathleen Baran, RD, Assisting Dietitian, was also extensively involved in the project.

Prior to 2014, all Kirby Medical Center employees were able to enroll in the hospital’s Wellness Program; however, participation was limited due to the Wellness Program incentive being a discount on the hospital’s employer-offered health insurance benefit, which many employees did not use.

“Strong administrative support, however, has allowed the rebranding of Kirby’s original Wellness Program to ‘KirbyWellness,’ complete with a ‘KirbyWellness’ logo. ‘KirbyWellness’ is a results-based program directly tied to biometric health outcome measures and features an annual cash incentive. The incentive is now available to all employees participating in the program, regardless of their employment status,” said Sykes. “The health outcome measures were approved by Kirby’s Chief Medical Officer and are based on a review of guidelines established by the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the Illinois Department of Transportation.”

Each participant schedules a ‘KirbyWellness’ appointment for biometric measurements and is offered a one-on-one nutritional counseling with a registered dietitian, exercise prescription with an exercise physiologist, and supervised exercise performance for a nominal monthly fee. Additionally, employee ‘Lunch and Learn’ educational sessions have been focused toward employee needs and interests.

“'KirbyWellness' demonstrated an 11% increase in participation from 2014 to 2015 with improved biometric results in hypercholesterolemia, elevated triglycerides, hypertension, elevated fasting blood sugar, unhealthy BMI, and unhealthy waist circumference,” said Wade. “We are also tracking health insurance claims data, prescription claims data, employee sick day usage, and worker’s compensation claims data to determine changes in expenditures over time.”

The hospital ‘Innovation of the Year’ Award is given annually to the critical access hospital project that ICAHN’s Education Committee and other esteemed judges deem the most innovative or inspiring for the hospital, its employees, patient, and community. Paris Community Hospital/Family Medical Center won top honors this year with its Project Management Team project, and Hamilton Memorial Hospital also won Honorable Mention honors with its Baseline Concussion Screening Program.

Pictured is Karin Sykes (center) and Sara Wade of Kirby Medical Center as they accept ICAHN's 2015 Hospital 'Innovation of the Year' Honorable Mention Award from Angie Charlet, ICAHN Director of Quality.