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Asante temperature check: How are we doing?

How is Asante rolling out the vaccine? When will employees return to the workplace? How is the system planning for the future? Asante executives answer these frequent questions and more in this Q&A.

Every quarter, Asante executives, directors and managers gather to share information and updates about system initiatives. The following Q&A is an excerpt from the most recent Asante Leadership Forum.

What are the resources to help us discuss the COVID vaccine with patients?

These are complicated conversations to have with patients. An ALEC module is coming soon to help, and Words That Work tips have recently been developed by Nursing.

How are we planning for Asante’s future?

Moving forward with our construction projects is key. Current capacity problems have shown the need for growth. We are actively engaged in reducing our costs. We are preparing for a post-COVID world. Growth and strategy are constantly being addressed, including developing our infrastructure, connectivity (telehealth) and outreach to bring in new partners. The strategic financial plan (a 10-year forecast) determines what Asante needs to have a sound financial plan for the long-term.

What is Asante’s plan to roll out the vaccine to the broader community?

Thousands of shots were given during two mass vaccination in January, and another mass vaccination was planned for those who are due for their second dose.  A state model for distribution is needed to guide distribution through our health care partners.

What is Asante’s plan for COVID-19 capacity and staffing?

How we manage COVID capacity has evolved since March. We have developed safe PPE and testing protocols and we have adequate PPE and testing supplies. Our limitations are related to staffing concerns and high capacity, despite decreasing COVID volumes. We are shifting resources and load balancing across the system to meet demands. Each hospital plays a key role in accepting COVID and non-COVID patients.

Is there a plan to open a day care for employees’ children?

Asante used to have an early learning program at ARRMC. It was eliminated because it served only a small number of employees and it was costly. It is difficult to implement child care due to state requirements, so Asante partners with other organizations such as the YMCA.

When will employees working remotely start coming back into the workplace?

An HR team is working on this issue. The model is unlikely to be the same for every department. Some groups are already coming back in a hybrid version on a team-by-team basis. Reducing commute times and real estate costs are part of what will be considered. There will be an accountability structure to ensure teams meet their milestones. Oregon is still under state orders to work from home if able.

What are we doing to implement the “Asante Way”?

COVID has forced us to perform more like a system rather than in silos. Some measures include new payer arrangements, a centralized process for licenses and inspections, and committee alignments that unify directives and align strategies.

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SnapSHOT: Employees capture the moment they got their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
When staff speaks up for safety we all benefit

If you need answers for a personal work matter, please contact the author or department directly.

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