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|League of Women Voters of California
David W Reeder
The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Los Altos/Mtn. View Area and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates.
1. Discuss how the Master Plan for El Camino Hospital meets the future health care needs in our community.
The El Camino Hospital Board has developed a Strategic Plan and Vision of where the hospital should be over the next 20 years to meet the needs of District residents. With the support of a community committee, we conducted research and obtained community input which has led to a Master Plan which allows for flexibility to respond to changing health care needs. Specific inputs were provided by the Campus Facilities Steering Committee including the needs of nurses, physicians, the Emergency Room and outpatient services.
2. Please discuss the financial condition of El Camino Hospital and how this affects its bond rating.
El Camino Hospital experienced a financial setback in the late '90s primarily as a result of drastically lowered Medicare reimbursements dictated by the Balanced Budget Act. A successful effort has been undertaken over the last two years to improve the hospital's financial condition to levels that warrent an A+ bond rating if needed to finace the hospital rebuild program. It is important to understand that our improved financial position wass the result of poductivity improvements rather than cutbacks in the quality of health care and our excellent nursing staff.
3. Is El Camino Hospital current in its standards of medical staffing; e.g. the ration of RNs to patients? Is housekeeping staffing adequate as back up for nursing and admissions from ER? What do you recommend to improve the staffing situation, if needed?
The Board carefully reviews benchmark standards for non-profit hospitals to ensure that our medical, nursing and houskeeping staffing levels are adequate to allow for health care service levels well above the median for comparable hospitals. We recently gave our nurses an unsolicited salary increase to make sure we retain our highly qualified nursing staff. We have also increased our diatary staff when we fell below benchmark standares. We have recently reviewed our housekeeping staffing levels and determined that they are adequate.
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