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At the University of New Mexico Health System cultural change leads to improved patient flow and patient care.
Geographically, New Mexico is the fifth largest state in the United States and home to 2 million residents. Healthcare needs for this vast population are served by 28 acute care hospitals, nine of which are critical access hospitals having 25 beds or less. UNM is the state’s flagship facility, providing the only level one trauma center, the only safety net hospital, and the only academic medical center.
The system uses TeleTracking to manage patient flow and provide timely access care. However, in 2014, things were very different, very taxing and all manual. “We knew something needed to change,” says Dr. Irene Agostini, Chief Medical Officer.
Irene Agostini, MD is the Chief Medical Officer for the University Of New Mexico Hospital and a board certified practicing emergency medicine physician. She has worked in many capacities that support the need for patient throughput and engagement to include Medical director for both case management and the patient placement and transfer center at Presbyterian Hospital. In her current roll, the functions as the medical director for the Physician Access Line and the patient placement center for the University of New Mexico. In addition to this Dr. Agostini is the Medical director for Pass port Health Travel Clinic and volunteers her time and talents as the Medical Director for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Collaborative (SANE) . She is also very active in her community serving as the medical director for Sandia Prep School Outdoor program. She is an avid skier, hiker, climber, rafter and has recently been on a seven day backpacking trip on the John Muir Trail.
Dusty Chavez, RN, BSN is the Director of Clinical Operations for the University of New Mexico Health System. Her 18 year career in nursing includes a background Cardiac and Medical Intensive Care, progressive care and telemetry monitoring. Since 2011 she has had the opportunity to open and build two patient placement and transfer centers to serve the state of New Mexico. She currently has oversight of the only Level 1 Trauma center in New Mexico as well as a sister community hospital in an adjacent county for the coordination throughput services. Through cultivation of community relationships and resources also coordinates efforts to support the patient first mission in assisting in placement of patients in affiliated local hospital facilities. She is an avid Pittsburgh Steeler fan, Disney lover and loves New Mexico.