AGH Joins Regional Exchange

BERLIN – Atlantic General Hospital is the first hospital on the Eastern Shore to begin actively sharing patient demographic data and clinical test results through the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP) health information exchange.

The CRISP health information exchange, or HIE, is one of many such exchanges being put into use across the country to allow hospitals and other health care organizations to share important diagnoses and treatment data about their patients. This exchange of data allows a given hospital’s clinical staff to quickly flesh out a medical history and establish the presence of any chronic illnesses or existing conditions for a patient who has arrived for care, which will dictate how they approach that person’s medical care.

In the case of Atlantic General who went live with CRISP on June 20, the exchange will be particularly useful in AGH’s emergency room, which cares for a large number of visitors, particularly during the summer months. Now, if a patient previously treated at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring arrives at Atlantic General Hospital’s emergency room, the clinical staff can quickly search the CRISP system and pull up any previous laboratory or imaging results.

This tool has the potential to reduce the need for redundant blood tests or further radiation exposure to collect an x-ray or other image.

The CRISP system will become more robust in time, eventually allowing for the exchange of diagnosis information in addition to test results and basic admission and discharge information.  

“When clinical records are available at the point of care, patients receive more accurate and timely service,” said Barbara Riddell, the vice president of information services at Atlantic General. “This was accomplished with patient privacy and the security of private health information at the forefront of our minds at every step in the process.   

Atlantic General Hospital joins nine of Maryland’s 48 hospitals that have already begun some level of patient information sharing through CRISP. Those hospitals are Holy Cross Hospital, Montgomery General Hospital, Northwest Hospital, Shady Grove Hospital, Sinai Hospital, Southern Maryland Hospital Center, Suburban Hospital, Washington Adventist Hospital, and Western Maryland Health System.

Maryland’s Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) has mandated that all Maryland hospitals connect with CRISP by Dec. 1, 2011, with the minimum requirement of sharing hospital admission and discharge data for each patient.

Atlantic General Hospital leadership has made their participation in the health information exchange a priority, but not just for regulatory reasons. The organization recognizes the vast improvements to patient safety and quality that can be realized as well as the increased efficiency and lowered cost of care delivery.

“Health information exchange will also play a vital role in helping all participating healthcare organizations provide health management for an entire population,” said Michael Franklin, CEO of Atlantic General Hospital. “In the future, we will be able to identify patients at high risk through predictive analytics based upon all their healthcare interactions; and we can more effectively guide them through their care and disease prevention processes because we have a more complete picture of their medical history.”

Top Producer Named

WILLARDS — Atlantic/Smith, Cropper & Deeley has announced Nikki Strickler as top producer for the month of May.

Strickler has been with the agency since 2006, as an account executive. She is licensed for property, casualty, life and health lines of insurance.  

Appointment Announced

SALISBURY — Steven Leonard, Vice President of Operations Optimization and Innovation at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, has been appointed by Dr. Patrick Gallagher, Director of the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to the 2011 Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The Award, created by public law in 1987, is the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence that a U.S. organization can receive.

As an Examiner, Leonard is responsible for reviewing and evaluating applications submitted for the Award. The board is composed of approximately 500 leading experts selected from industry, professional and trade organizations, education and health care organizations, and nonprofits (including government). Those selected meet the highest standards of qualification and peer recognition. All members of the board must take part in a preparation course based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and the scoring and evaluation processes for the Baldrige Award.

The Baldrige Award may be given annually in each of six categories: Manufacturing, Service, Small Business, Education, Health Care, and Nonprofit. Awards have been presented to 80 organizations.

Franchise Gets Makeover

WEST OCEAN CITY — The local franchise owners of the Dunkin’ Donuts at White Marlin Mall in West Ocean City announced last week they have expanded their previous store into larger quarters and adding a new drive-thru window for its fans to enjoy their favorite donut flavors and freshly brewed coffee. The new larger store is located adjacent to their previous store that is situated next to Route 50 near Radio Shack.

Area Manager Igor Chuburkov, who has been with the local Dunkin’ Donuts operation for over five years, is helping to manage the larger White Marlin Mall store during its initial phase.

"We are excited to expand Dunkin’ Donuts’ presence at White Marlin Mall,” Chuburkov said. “We now have a beautiful new store. We want to play an important role in the daily lives of people who live, work and visit here."

After the store transitions through its introductory phase, the White Marlin Mall location expects to appoint a new permanent store manager.

District Manager Julia Bilecka is in charge of the store and others in the greater Ocean City area. Bilecka has also been with the local Dunkin’ group for over five years.

Bilecka said that they have hired and trained new Dunkin’ Donuts store employees who have gone through an extensive training course that emphasized customer service and enhanced product knowledge. The training period for new Dunkin’ Donuts employees lasts about three weeks. Those who will be working at the new White Marlin Mall store were trained in different Dunkin’ Donuts locations that have drive-thru windows, especially those in Ocean Pines and Rehoboth Beach.

“Our employees have hands-on training and further computer training through Dunkin’ Donuts Online University,” Bilecka said. “These employees received training at Dunkin’ Donuts shops with drive-thru windows so they will be well versed in handling customers who use our new drive-thru window at White Marlin Mall.”

Designation Achieved

OCEAN CITY — The designation of Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) has been conferred upon Lisa Levy, a personal lines account manager at Insurance Management Group, Inc. located in Ocean City. The designation follows her successful completion of a professional insurance education program sponsored by the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors.

The CISR designation represents a comprehensive understanding of risks and exposures by the professional who has earned it. This achievement confirms that she has passed a series of written exams and has made a commitment to continuing education in the insurance industry.

Market Survey Released

COLUMBIA — Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC has released its Home Listing Report (HLR), a snapshot survey of listing prices for four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes in more than 2,300 North American markets. The survey included 41 real estate markets in Maryland and Delaware.

The report identified Annapolis as the Maryland’s most expensive market, where the average four-bedroom, two-bathroom home has a listing price of $688,232. The difference of more than $525,000 between most expensive and most affordable Maryland housing markets is just one of the many findings in this comprehensive market report. Compared to the national average of $293,251, the average four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Maryland overall was $381,314.

Meanwhile, the survey named Bethany Beach as Delaware’s most expensive market, where the average four-bedroom, two-bathroom home has a listing price of $865,765. There was a difference of more than $660,000 between most expensive and most affordable Delaware housing markets. Compared to the national average of $293,251, the average four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Delaware overall was $368,934.

The Coldwell Banker HLR provides the average home listing price of four-bedroom, two-bathroom properties on its website that were listed between September 2010 and March 2011 from more than 2,300 North American markets. Markets included in the U.S. report were required to have at least 10 properties fitting the above criteria within the relevant timeframe.

“Real estate is local, and the HLR report shows how home prices across the nation run a wide gamut,” said Dean Cottrill, President of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Greater Baltimore. “In the Baltimore region, we are fortunate that a number of our towns have been somewhat shielded from economic pressures due to our strong industries like healthcare and defense, and our close proximity to Washington, D.C.”

"This year’s home listing report is by far the most in-depth local market source of data that Coldwell Banker has ever released,” said Jim Gillespie, chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “We’ve included nearly ten times more markets than ever before, which gives us unmatched real estate insight into thousands of North American cities. For instance, we can see that there are 775 U.S. markets averaging $200,000 or less for these types of aspirational homes. We know that home buying remains a deeply personal lifestyle decision, and we believe that reports like this, along with trusted real estate agents, will help to today’s buyers make smart decisions.”

Firm Wins Award

SALISBURY — The Architectural/Engineering firm Becker Morgan Group was recently awarded the 2010 Home Builders Association of Delaware Regal Award for Best Residential Addition / Alteration over $500,001 for “The Seaside House” in South Bethany, Del.

The Regal Awards, with a panel of judges including architects, builders, and marketing experts, recognize the achievements and excellence of Home Builders Association members and exceptional projects completed within the last year. Miken Builders was the builder and developer of “The Seaside House”. The design team included Christopher L. Pattey, Senior Associate and Eric M. Catellier AIA, LEED AP of Becker Morgan Group as well as Barry Dixon Interiors.

Situated on an Atlantic oceanfront dune, “The Seaside House” underwent a dramatic makeover. The design challenge was to repurpose, reconfigure and reinvent the existing beach house. The owners desired an overall aesthetic update; an increase in space; and an improvement in overall flow and function. The sharp modern lines of the exterior are complemented by classic textures to create this unique “modern cottage”.