Vince Oliver, Chief Executive Officer
Vince Oliver took the Island Hospital helm as Chief Executive Officer in May 2000.
Since his selection as Island Hospital CEO, Oliver has led the hospital to financial wellness, from a $2 million loss in 2000 to $10-million-plus net revenue over the next three years. He also focused the hospital on its mission of providing needed services to the community, including a Cancer Care Center that reached capacity within six months of its inception. He oversaw the construction and opening of the Island Hospital Cardiopulmonary Care Center, very successful Sleep Wellness Center and Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Program, and recruitment of needed physicians to the community, including a Psychiatrist, Family Practice, and several Internal Medicine physicians. This allowed a quality team of "hospitalists" to be put in place, and strengthened Island Hospital's relationship with physicians in outlying areas such as the San Juan Islands, significantly increasing market share.
Under Oliver's leadership, Island was recognized for being one of 100 hospitals displaying the greatest progress in improving hospital-wide performance over five years (2000-04). Top 100 organizations have shown consistent improvement in clinical outcomes, safety, hospital efficiency, financial stability and growth. Findings from the third edition of Solucient's 100 Top Hospitals: Performance Improvement Leaders study appeared in the May 1, 2006 issue of Modern Healthcare magazine.
Island Hospital received a certificate of commendation from Qualis Health, the Medicare quality-improvement organization for Washington and Idaho, recognizing its successful engagement in a two-year quality improvement program to enhance an organizational culture of patient safety through instituting computerized programs for physician-order entry and medication administration. An electronic medication-administration system uses automated bar-coding on the patient ID bracelet and on medications, to assure a correct match. It also assures correct match to the patient for orders for surgical or other procedures – such as Diagnostic Imaging and Laboratory tests – to improve accuracy. Medication errors have been shown nationally to account for the majority of patient-safety concerns and this system helps lower the risk for these mistakes. Island Hospital fully implemented this system across all inpatient and most outpatient units, and has seen an impressive reduction in medication errors as a result.
In 2009, Consumer Reports recognized Island Hospital for high HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores, specifically on the issue of communication. HCAHPS is the inpatient-satisfaction measure regarding patients' hospital experiences that Medicare mandates for public reporting. Island received the third highest score in Washington State and was one of five Washington Hospitals above the national average.
Leading a successful campaign to pass a $30.5 million bond issue in Island's Public Hospital District (Skagit County PHD #2) by a landslide, the Island Hospital Renovation & Expansion Project (IHREP) resulted in new clinical space that includes an enlarged Level III Emergency Department, completely digital Diagnostic Imaging Department, Laboratory and efficient, private patient rooms. In addition, the hospital's Birth Center was expanded, front entrance rebuilt and efficient Central Registration area added. The IHREP was completed on schedule and within budget, as Oliver promised the community.
In early 2012, the new 25,000-square-foot Medical Arts Pavilion at Island Hospital will open with an expanded Cancer Care Center, Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation program, an advanced Wound Care services offering hyberbaric oxygen therapy and more.
Oliver likens Island Hospital's various departments as parts of one organism dedicated to a common purpose. His bachelor's degree in Anthropology from Montclair State University (NJ) no doubt reinforced his organic view. This ability to understand how parts function within the whole was further exercised during his tour as an engineering officer in the US Navy from 1975-81. Working to "civilianize" himself into the work force, Oliver responded to a blind ad placed by ServiceMaster Management Services. Hired and placed at St. Luke's Hospital in Bellingham, he was rapidly promoted to director of facility operations, coordinating and supervising support-service departments for the 117-bed, acute-care hospital.
Two years later, he moved to Salt Lake City to become regional operations manager for ServiceMaster Management Services. In 1994, when the company issued a call for a college-trained manager to initiate a new operation at St. Luke's Hospital in San Francisco, Oliver accepted the challenge. Initially he served as director of facilities, but was rapidly promoted to vice president of professional and support services. He was selected as the president and CEO of St. Luke's Health Care Center in 1995 and served in this capacity until his move to Anacortes. In the meantime, Oliver had gone back to school, earning his MPA in Health Services Administration at the University of San Francisco.
"It was while I was VP of Professional and Support Services, that I was given the opportunity to move into the outpatient arena and build a medical group," he says. "I enjoyed recruiting very well-trained physicians into the community and providing easier access to quality healthcare to an under-served population."
Oliver retired in 1999 with the rank of Commander from the U.S. Naval Reserve after 22 years as a Surface Warfare Officer.