Shannon Responds to Comments from Public Meeting
At Shannon, it is important to us that we collaborate with and listen to our community, as well as share how we are continually evolving, to enhance services and meet the needs of the people we serve. On September 14, 2022, our organization hosted a public meeting regarding its Certificate of Public Advantage (COPA). Shannon provided an overview of the many positive changes and new services since the integration of the South Campus. This meeting was open to anyone within the Shannon service area, and participants had the opportunity to share oral and written comments. There were approximately 15 attendees at the public forum. Shannon included a summary of the oral comments provided at the meeting. The PowerPoint presented by Shane Plymell, President and CEO, is also included.
Shannon has addressed the items presented in the public comments in the response below. All attendees that submitted oral and/or written comments and provided an email address will also receive a copy of the response by email.
Quality and Access to Care
Shannon continues striving to preserve and expand access to high quality, community-based healthcare for west Texans. Shannon is a private, locally-owned non-profit health system. Through the support of The Shannon Trust, Shannon is able to maintain its commitment to patients without a hospital tax. The Shannon Trust is instrumental in providing funding to expand access, technology, and modernization of facilities. Shannon has several projects underway to enhance infrastructure and advance technology to continue to serve patients, such as implementing a full-time PET CT. Consistent capital expenditures indicate Shannon’s additional post-Merger investment in its operations and community, with the goal of improving the overall patient experience and patient care.
Shannon tracks access to care data for primary care, specialty care, and ancillary services. The average number of new patient lead days is tracked by quarter. This data is reviewed by leadership and action plans are developed to decrease the number of lead days in some of the departments with the greatest opportunities. This data supports the need for recruiting providers to specific areas and developing processes to improve workflows that impact access.
Shannon has been CIHQ (Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality) accredited since 2014. CIHQ is an accreditation organization approved by CMS to deem acute care hospitals as meeting Medicare Conditions of Participation.
To maintain needed neonatology services at Shannon facilities, Shannon entered into a partnership with Cook Children’s Hospital to provide board-certified, full coverage neonatal services to the Concho Valley. Furthermore, Shannon has hired a board-certified Neonatologist, the first in the region, to provide full-time on-site neonatology services at Shannon.
Shannon is committed to caring for our patients’ health and well-being, and that includes providing healthcare that is accessible and affordable. We know patients are increasingly more interested in being well informed about their healthcare costs prior to and after they receive care in order to make financially reasoned decisions.
Healthcare costs can be complicated and depend on many factors including patients’ individual insurance coverage, the circumstances of their medical care, and eligibility for financial assistance. On our website, www.shannonhealth.com, we provide an extensive list of the standard charges for each service we provide. In addition, we created the Shannon Price Estimator tool, which allows patients to obtain a projected cost of their specific healthcare needs based on service, procedure, and insurance provider.
As of the acquisition date in 2020, the total workforce combined between both entities was 3,709. As of June 30, 2022, there were a total of 3,951 employees across the Shannon system.
Staffing shortages are not unique to Shannon and the Shannon leadership continuously works to develop programming and benefits to meet the needs of the Shannon workforce. Additionally, short term travelers are contracted to help fill open positions and offset staffing needs. Hospitals throughout Texas and the U.S. are utilizing travel nursing staff to fill vacancies until core staff can be recruited.
To further support recruiting efforts and address staffing needs, Shannon has launched a scholarship program that will annually invest dollars to support future healthcare professionals. This program is available to local/regional students for these key positions: RN, LVN, CNA, MA, EMS, Surgery Tech, Respiratory Therapist, and Radiology Tech.