DCHA Welcomes New Chair of Board of Directors, Kimberly Russo, MS, The George Washington University Hospital

Kimberly Russo

On November 9th, the District of Columbia Hospital Association’s Board of Directors elected Kimberly Russo, MS, Chief Executive Officer of The George Washington University Hospital as Chair of the Board, effective January 1, 2018. Ms. Russo has been in her role as CEO of The GWU hospital since May 2016, prior to which, she served as Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Russo has extensive clinical and operational experience, and among her many accolades, was recognized in 2010 as one of The Washington Business Journal’s 2016 “Playmakers,” and named an honoree of “Women Who Mean Business.”

“I am happy to welcome Kim as our next Board Chair. Even prior to stepping into her role as CEO, Kim was an active member at DCHA meetings, and as a member of the Board she has enthusiastically taken on several leadership roles, serving on the Executive Committee, as well as Co-Chairing DCHA’s Quality Collaborative. In her leadership roles, Kim has been integral to the development of the Association’s new strategic framework, and on behalf of DCHA, I look forward to working with Ms. Russo as we continue to advance health care in the District of Columbia.” Jacqueline D. Bowens, President & CEO, DCHA

“I am honored to serve as the new Chair of DCHA’s Board of Directors as we continue to facilitate a unifying voice for hospitals and health systems across the district,” says Kimberly Russo, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of GWU Hospital. “I look forward to collaborating with the Board, DC hospital leadership and the Association in the ongoing advancement of healthcare services for the DC community.”

In December, DCHA recognized the contributions of its outgoing Chair, Richard “Chip” Davis, PhD, President and CEO of Sibley Memorial Hospital – Johns Hopkins Medicine who steps into the role of Immediate Past Chair.“I would like to thank Dr. Davis for his 2-years of service as Chairman of the DCHA Board of Directors,” said Ms. Bowens. “His contributions have been vital in leading the Association through our recent transition and we are grateful for his leadership and dedication.”

DCHA is also happy to welcome the entire 2018 slate of officers:

  • Chair: Kimberly Russo, MS, The George Washington University Hospital
  • Chair-Elect: John Sullivan, MedStar Washington Hospital Center
  • Secretary: Kevin Chavez, BridgePoint Hospital National Harbor
  • Treasurer: James Diegel, Howard University Hospital
  • Immediate Past Chair: Richard “Chip” Davis, PhD, Sibley Memorial Hospital – Johns Hopkins Medicine


DCHA’s 40th Anniversary Events Featuring Impressive Line-Up of Speakers

Washington, D.C. – The District of Columbia Hospital Association (DCHA) is celebrating its 40th Anniversary as the
unifying force advancing hospitals and health systems in the District of Columbia.

DCHA is hosting an educational symposium on Nov. 15, DISRUPTION! Relevance, Impact & The Road Ahead for Health Care at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health, featuring keynoters, thought leaders and presenters conversing about disruption in the marketplace, consumerism, leveraging technology, pay for performance, workforce resiliency and other important topics impacting hospitals, health care providers and patients. The symposium will explore factors driving disruption, including the shift to alternative and less expensive health care provided in non-traditional settings, price transparency, skills transfer and technology-based care. The Symposium features keynoters:

Dr. John Whyte, MD, CMO, WebMD, who will address consumerism and the shift of power and control in health care delivery from physicians and hospitals to consumers. From an increasing sophistication when it comes to their own health, to their role in provider transparency, Dr. Whyte will discuss the powerful role of today’s consumers and how hospitals can better engage them to remain relevant and successful.

Dr. Farzaneh (Fazi) Sabi, Associate Medical Director, Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic Medical Group, will focus on historical trends and changes in the hospital industry over the last few decades, and some of the advancements in the medical industry which are gearing towards less invasive approaches to care, faster recovery, and more care in the ambulatory setting. This will set the stage for a provocative discussion about what hospitals in the future will look like, and the role we will play in this transformation.

Zeke Emanuel, Health Care Futurist, is a nationally recognized health “change agent.” Dr. Emanuel is one of the leading practitioners shaping the future of health care. With extensive experience and engagement at the most senior levels of policy making, Zeke has been instrumental in shaping the way health care is delivered and financed in the U.S. Zeke is an engaging, incisive, forthright, and witty speaker on health care policy and the transformation of American medicine.

The Thought Leaders Panel will react and respond to the message delivered by the keynote speaker and discuss their perspectives on disruptive innovation; and the moderator will ask the panel thought-provoking questions about disruptive innovation, is the D.C. market ready and how to lead in a disruptive environment. Panelists include:

Elaine Batchlor, MD, MPH, is the CEO of Martin Luther King, Jr Community Hospital, which opened in 2015. Dr. Batchlor was the driving
force behind the effort to open the new, state-of-theart, community-oriented, safety-net hospital providing compassionate, quality care and improving the health of the South Los Angeles community. Dr. Batchlor received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University, a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Doctorate in Medicine degree from Case Western
Reserve University.

J. Stephen Jones is President and CEO of Inova, the health care system that serves more than two million people annually in its five hospitals and multiple ambulatory programs. Dr. Jones previously served as President of Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals and Family Health Centers. He led 11 hospitals and more than 24 large ambulatory centers. He also served as Professor of Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and held the Leonard Horvitz and Samuel Miller Distinguished Chair in Urologic Oncology. This endowed chair has now been renamed the J. Stephen Jones Distinguished Chair in Urology Research.
He earned a BS in Zoology at the J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Arkansas and his M.D. at UAMS.

Ken A. Samet is the President & CEO of MedStar Health, and is responsible for a $5.6 billion not-for-profit, health care delivery system. With more than 35 years of experience in health care administration, Samet provides strategic oversight and management for MedStar Health the largest health care provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, comprised of 10 hospitals, a comprehensive network of health related businesses that includes ambulatory, home health, a large multispecialty physician network, and several insurance products with more than 145,000 members. MedStar has large research and innovation platforms and one of the largest graduate medical education programs in the country. In addition, MedStar Health serves more than half-a-million patients and their families each year. Samet received his master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan.

DCHA is also hosting a 40th Anniversary Celebration Gala on Nov. 16, 2018 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC to honor and salute the health care community from 1978-2018. Complete details of both events at www.dcha.org/40years.

2018 Utilization Indicators Report

The report includes summaries of admissions, discharges, patient days, neonatal and newborn admissions and patient days, emergency department visits, and ambulatory surgeries. New to this year’s report is data including observation patients and patient days, occupancy rate and operating beds per hospital.

Overview & Observations

In contrasting 2018 with the recent past, the greatest influence was from changes in services offered by United Medical Center and Providence Hospital. UMC discontinued the maternal/newborn services in September 2017. Providence discontinued maternal newborn/newborn services and psychiatric services in October 2017, significantly reduced inpatient acute care services in December 2018, and finalized the closure of the Emergency Department scheduled for April 2019.

Compared to 2014, in 2018, acute care hospitals in D.C. experienced:
  • 5.2% decrease in inpatient admissions
  • 5.5% decrease in newborns delivered
  • 0.3% increase in ED admissions
  • 2.9% increase in ambulatory surgeries
  • 6.2% increase in patient days
  • 20.7% increase in observation patients
The decrease in admissions was steady over the 5-year period. The decrease in newborns delivered seemed strongly related to the discontinuation of obstetric services from Providence and UMC. While the overall number of newborns decreased by 5.5%, the number for hospitals other than Providence and UMC increased by 13.6%.

Download complete report


Two Variables Significantly Impacted Utilization in D.C. Hospitals in January 2019

The report includes summaries of admissions, discharges, patient days, neonatal and newborn admissions and patient days, emergency department visits, and ambulatory surgeries for the month of January 2019.

Overview & Observations
Two variables that appear to have significantly impacted utilization in D.C. hospitals in January were the regional influenza outbreak as well as the termination of Providence Hospital acute care services and decreased Emergency Department operations in December. Most other acute care hospitals had relative increases in admissions, emergency department visits, and observation patient admissions. MedStar Washington Hospital Center and Howard University Hospital report the greatest increase in ED visits.


February 2019 Utilization Indicators Report

The report includes summaries of admissions, discharges, patient days, neonatal and newborn admissions and patient days, emergency department visits, and ambulatory surgeries for the month of February 2019.

Overview & Observations

Emergency Department (ED) visits in January increased along with the CDC noted influenza outbreak. However, ED visits decreased in February despite CDC reported increased incidence in Region 3 (Delaware, DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia ). Underlying reasons for this pattern are unclear based upon the utilization data available. Hospitals may wish to further analyze reasons for admission or diagnostic data to identify additional details. Although overall ED visits decreased slightly in February, the impact of the Providence closure remained evident, particularly for MWHC and HUH. [A similar impact is also evident when comparing changes in Providence admissions to overall admissions for other District hospitals.]

Read the full report.

DCHA Gives 2019 Patient Safety & Quality Awards to Deserving Individuals and Teams


On June 6, the District of Columbia Hospital Association (DCHA), awarded its 2019 Patient Safety & Quality Awards recognizing five exceptional individuals and teams in the hospital community. Two individuals and three teams were recognized at DCHA’s Patient Safety and Quality Summit at the Marriott Marquis in D.C.

“We are so pleased to recognize and celebrate individuals and teams for working tirelessly every day on behalf of patients and families,” said DCHA President & CEO Jacqueline D. Bowens, “It’s through the hard work of hospital personnel that help us prepare for a better health care system and outcomes for the residents of D.C.”


The 2019 Patient Safety & Quality Awards were given to:


Dr. Khadijatou Njimoluh, Howard University Hospital, for her creation of multidisciplinary Power Rounds, a unique approach to discussing a patient’s plan of care and discharge. Dr. Njimoluh exhibited key communication components that directly promoted quality and safety for patients. Her creation of multidisciplinary Power Rounds, designed to discuss a patient’s plan of care and discharge, allowed for substantial information sharing which resulted in improved staff communication in line with Howard University Hospital’s Patient Safety goals. The Power Rounds, supported by physicians, nursing staff, social workers, rehabilitation and physical therapists, post-graduate residents and medical students, and of course, patients and family, markedly improved the quality of care during the patient’s stay because of a new way to approach care coordination and decision-making. Dr. Njimoluh accomplishments go beyond just clinical work. Her exceptional ability to communicate and connect to a broad audience is noted daily. She is enthusiastic, culturally sensitive and absorbs knowledge quickly. She possesses exceptional interpersonal skills, is a team player and has a cooperative spirit. Dr. Njimoluh adjusts well, welcomes critique and uses it to elevate her experience during her training. She will undoubtedly excel as she continues to grow in the field of medicine.


Rachel Buckman, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, for her excellence in infection prevention and patient safety. In the three short years that Rachel Buckman has been with MedStar Washington Hospital Center, not only has she excelled in her initial role of infection prevention and reducing CLABSIs, she’s excelled in leading MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s patient safety program. Rachel has recruited and trained new patient safety coaches and introduced many program innovations. Rachel also leads the hospital’s peer review process, hand hygiene compliance program, quality improvement data initiatives, training, wellness and emergency preparedness.Rachel is a superb communicator, with excellent public speaking and writing skills. She often teaches groups and very ably shares the messages she must deliver, to clinical and non-clinical associates as well as to physicians. She is unafraid to speak up for safety and point out missed opportunities in a very professional and polite manner. Rachel is an extremely hard worker, never reluctant to take on new tasks. In fact, on more than one occasion when other associates have left the organization, she has immediately volunteered to assume some of their responsibilities. Her work product is always excellent, very carefully vetted before it’s presented. She is extremely well liked and universally noted to be a “star.”


Clostridium Difficile Prevention Team, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, for their work to drastically lower C. Diff rates, a common hospital-inquired infection. The C. Diff Prevention Team is a multidisciplinary team approach consisting of a physician, nurse, infection preventionists and pharmacist. MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s onset C. Diff rate was persistently higher than goals set both by the Centers for Disease Control and MedStar Health. The work of the C. Diff team created to address the problem and the required process changes, were shared repeatedly with presentations at hospital leadership and staff meetings and on individual units. The team was very diligent about following the C. Diff testing guidelines that had been established. Members of the infection prevention team regularly contacted nurses to discuss C. Diff orders. Members of the executive team conducted “Triple C” rounds with C. Diff, CLABSI, and CAUTI prevention teams and spoke with associates and medical staff on the units about the program. The repeated communication, in various formats, engaged and educated staff, and ultimately inspired the necessary team work to drastically lower C. Diff rates which absolutely contributed to patient safety.


Division of Nursing, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, for outperforming the national teaching hospital average for injury falls, outpatient falls with injury, hospital acquired pressure ulcers, CLASBI and CAUTI, and prenatal care. The Division of Nursing at MedStar Georgetown has worked hard to have measurable impacts to patients, nursing and the community. For patients, MedStar’s overall patient experience scores outperformed the highest benchmark in the nurse patient relationship, education, efficiency, and pain management. For nurses, successes included providing an environment for autonomy in practice, excellence in nursing leadership, professional development opportunities and nurse-to-nurse interaction. The Division of Nursing’s focus on achievement creates a care environment that goes above and beyond to promote improvement, strengthen care and engage the stakeholders. The proof is in the data. MedStar Georgetown outperformed the national teaching hospital average for injury falls, outpatient falls with injury, hospital acquired pressure ulcers, CLASBI and CAUTI, and prenatal care.


Reducing Vancomycin Use in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Children’s National, for improving the quality of care by reducing vancomycin exposure. Benchmarking data on antibiotic use in 2016 and 2017 showed that vancomycin use in Children’s neonatal intensive care unit was more than three times that of the average level. Prompted by this data, Children’s assembled a multidisciplinary team to reduce vancomycin use by 50% in one year and to sustain for at least one year. The team developed and implemented interventions including clinical practice guidelines, educational initiatives, pharmacist-initiated prompts on rounds to de-escalate or discontinue vancomycin review from the antimicrobial stewardship team, and documentation of blood culture volumes. Within one year, their vancomycin days of therapy per 1,000 patient-days decreased by 60% and this decrease has been sustained for the past six months. The rate of vancomycin-associated acute kidney injury has similarly decreased by 50%. This project improved the quality of care provided at Children’s National by standardizing the approach to several infectious conditions in hospitalized neonates, by integrating pharmacists into antibiotic review, and by improving documentation of volume of blood culture samples. This project improved the safety of our patients by reducing unnecessary vancomycin exposure and by reducing vancomycin associated acute kidney injury.


Individual winners were presented with a $2,500 prize, and teams with a $5,000 prize thanks to support from Ascension. The award winners were chosen out of more than 25 nominees by a panel of independent judges from the health care industry.

Utilization Report-May 2019

Overview & Observations

In recent monthly summaries, we focused on the impact of the termination of Providence Hospital acute care services and decreased Emergency Department (ED) operations since December 2018. In addition to the previously noted shift in ED visits to other hospitals after the Providence closure, a general increase in ED visits per day was also noted across the majority of hospitals beginning in March 2019. These patterns are more pronounced when examining ED visits as a rate per day rather than by straight count per month. The table below summarizes the most recent 12 months of Emergency Department data with a color metric to highlight that the volume of daily admissions for most D.C. hospitals was highest in the spring months of 2019.

Download Report

Utilization Report-June 2019

Overview & Observations

The summary of Total Patient Days for acute care hospitals (see page 4 of the report) shows a 10.5% decrease this July compared with last July and a 4% decrease in the last three months compared with the same interval last year. However, the comparison of the most recent 12 months with the preceding 12 months shows a 1.7% increase. A review of the different variables submitted by acute care hospitals reveal that there are decreases in all measures except for Total Patient Days, Neonatal Admissions and Observation Patient Data. The graph below summarizes the percentage of change for 12 variables.


Utilization Report-July 2019

Overview & Observations

The summary of Total Patient Days for acute care hospitals (see page 4 of the report) shows a 10.5% decrease this July compared with last July and a 4% decrease in the last three months compared with the same interval last year. However, the comparison of the most recent 12 months with the preceding 12 months shows a 1.7% increase. A review of the different variables submitted by acute care hospitals reveal that there are decreases in all measures except for Total Patient Days, Neonatal Admissions and Observation Patient Data. The graph below summarizes the percentage of change for 12 variables.


Utilization Report-August 2019

Overview & Observations

The general increasing trend in Observation Admissions was noted in this report (figure 1). Further analysis to identify whether the recent increase observed over the last six months indicated any statistically significant change over the prior period was conducted.A control chart analysis with control limits set at the 3-sigma level did not indicate a significant shift over the past six months (figure 2). However, outliers above the upper control limit were noted for three of the past six months. We will continue to closely monitor.

Download August 2019 Utilization Report

Figure 1
Figure 2

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