Quality | Published March 20, 2013

Mount Nittany Health welcomes students from the Netherlands

Recently, one of the most widely discussed topics in our country managed to unite Mount Nittany Health with a group of individuals living more than three thousand miles away: healthcare reform.

According to Richard Stoller, coordinator of academic advising and international programs of The Pennsylvania State University’s Schreyer Honors College, honors students from Netherland’s Radbound University Nijmegen had expressed a fascination with “the totality of our healthcare system and the debates surrounding its reform.”

It was that fascination which led to a visit, organized by Stoller, of the students to Mount Nittany Medical Center on March 19. The visit began with a presentation by Gail Miller, RN, MS, CPHQ, vice president for quality. During her presentation, Miller discussed the mission, vision and strategic plan of Mount Nittany Health as well as our core values and service standards. In addition, Miller explained how government and non-government entities, like the Joint Commission, work to ensure that the highest standards of patient quality and safety are met at hospitals like Mount Nittany Medical Center.

In addition to healthcare reform, Miller also touched on other major national healthcare trends, including telemedicine programs, patient navigator services, the concept of value-based purchasing (having a percentage of Medicare reimbursements tied to quality outcomes), and how consumers can “comparison shop” for healthcare by using websites like whynotthebest.org and hospitalcompare.gov, which allow them to compare quality outcomes among hospitals.

Students also had the opportunity to meet Patty Watson, RN, MSN, vice president, nursing and chief nursing officer, and Kathy Dittmann, RN, director of service excellence. After the presentation, Watson, Dittmann and Miller lead small group tours of the Medical Center’s Galen and Nancy Dreibelbis Auditorium, emergency department, east wing and main entrance.

“It was a pleasure to welcome these students to our facility and offer an inside look at how healthcare reform is impacting hospitals like Mount Nittany Medical Center,” said Miller. “It was also a wonderful opportunity to discuss how we are poised to manage the current and impending changes of healthcare reform, including how we measure, report and prioritize our quality outcomes.”