U.S. News & World Report Names Northwest Texas Healthcare System among Best Hospitals 2023-2024 as High Performing
Northwest Texas Healthcare System (NWTHS) has been named by U.S. News & World Report to its 2023-2024 Best Hospitals as a High Performing hospital for Heart Failure, Heart Attack and Kidney Failure.
This is the highest distinction a hospital can earn for U.S. News’ Best Hospitals Procedures & Conditions ratings, according to a news release. The annual Procedures & Conditions ratings are designed to assist patients and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care for challenging health conditions or elective procedures.
“This recognition is a testament to the physicians and employees of our hospital who are dedicated to providing quality, patient care,” shares Patti Thompson, Chief Nursing Officer at NWTHS.
U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 hospitals across 15 specialties and 21 procedures and conditions. Hospitals awarded a “Best” designation excelled at factors such as clinical outcomes, level of nursing care and patient experience.
“For 34 years, U.S. News has provided data-informed rankings to help patients and their doctors find the best hospital to treat their illness or condition,” said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis and managing editor at U.S. News. “Fewer than half of evaluated hospitals earned any High Performing rating. Hospitals that are High Performing have excelled in providing high quality care in specific procedures and/or conditions.”
For more information on the U.S. News Best Hospitals, explore Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #BestHospitals.
Telehealth Week @ TTUHSC Conference to Highlight Digital Health Care
Telehealth Week @ TTUHSC, a conference about digital innovation, will offer an immersive experience in digital health using technology for access to care. The free conference, which takes place Sept. 19-21 at the TTUHSC Academic Event Center located at 3601 Fourth St. in Lubbock, is open to all clinicians, administrators, health care providers and stakeholders.
The conference aims to demonstrate how digital health enhances access to care and solves rural health disparities. Three goals of the conference include:
- Exposing stakeholders to the broader goals of digital health at TTUHSC
- Motivating stakeholders to go beyond telehealth and embrace the fullness of digital health
- Celebrating and launching the Institute of Telehealth and Digital Innovation
“Health care in this region is a collaboration of many stakeholders,” TTUHSC President Lori Rice-Spearman, Ph.D., said. “We’re proud to be among those preparing the providers and delivering excellent research-backed care, but we also want to identify and implement innovative initiatives that truly transform health care.”
TTUHSC Executive Director for the Institute of Telehealth and Digital Innovation John Gachago, DHA, said digital health is all-encompassing and includes a variety of current and emerging digital tools to improve health care delivery.
“When we look at digital health, it includes all tools to leverage technology not only to improve access, but also to improve health care as a whole,” Gachago said. “Some of these technologies are current while others are emerging, such as artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things and blockchain technology. If leveraged strategically, these technologies have the capacity to enhance health care outcomes and lower the cost of care.”
TTUHSC’s telehealth programs continue to bridge the barriers in the 108-county service area of West Texas through new projects and innovations to expand telemedicine into most rural areas.
TTUHSC experts and telemedicine professionals from across the country will serve as presenters. Gachago said the conference will educate, motivate and jumpstart stakeholders around digital health. Telehealth Week @ TTUHSC will focus on three tracks that include: an introduction to telehealth; rural health care; and AI in health care. Panel discussions will include: How Digital Health Can Help Overcome Rural Health Challenges; Telehealth and Organ Delivery Drone Project; and a TTUHSC Telehealth Poster Showcase. Other presentations will include: Leveraging Technology for Access to Care; AI Can Help Rural and Urban; Mayo Clinic and The Role of AI in Health Care; and Opportunities for AI in Health Care and Related Challenges.
Conference participants will have vendor opportunities that will be interactive.
To register for the Telehealth Week @ TTUHSC conference, visit https://tthsclubbock.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3juOAINoanOD52K.
Additional details, including speakers and agenda will be provided at https://www.ttuhsc.edu/president/telehealth-week/.
The Telehealth Week @ TTUHSC conference is in conjunction with the American Telemedicine Association Telehealth Awareness Week Sept. 18-21.
Xcel Energy offers payment options, billing help as extreme heat impacts region
An extended streak of record-setting temperatures in Xcel Energy’s Texas-New Mexico service area has driven up electricity usage and billing costs, following a trend seen across many parts of the country. Xcel Energy is urging customers who may have difficulties paying bills to contact customer agents for options in making payments.
“We understand our customers are operating on tight budgets, and a high bill can create a lot of anxiety. said Adrian J. Rodriguez, president, Xcel Energy – New Mexico, Texas. “This summer has been an especially difficult one because of extreme heat, but our customer care representatives are standing by to discuss these high bills and can provide options that will help customers manage their payments.
“We also want to express our thanks to Xcel Energy colleagues who safely work outdoors to address any issues during the hot days and warm nights,” Rodriguez added.
Xcel Energy’s weather records show higher-than-average temperatures in every operating division, with the highest increase in the Roswell area where temperatures in July were 5% above normal. Lubbock temperatures were 3.7% higher and Amarillo saw a 1.7% increase above average. The heat has been compounded by a lack of rain.
Electricity prices are down from earlier in the year thanks largely to a reduction in the cost of natural gas used to fuel about 30% of the region’s electricity production. But with higher usage, many customers are paying more than they expected. Xcel Energy customers having difficulty making payments should contact Xcel Energy before falling behind. The company offers pay arrangements on a case-by-case basis, allowing customers to pay over time should they need to.
“These pay arrangements vary according to individual circumstances, but most are from three to six months, said Canda Henry, Amarillo-based senior director in Xcel Energy’s Customer Care group. “Customers facing loss of income or other hardships that prevent them from making payments can talk with one of our personal account representatives, who can connect them with agencies in their area that offer help with utility bills.”
Customers wishing to visit with Xcel Energy about payment arrangements can call 1-800-895-4999 Monday through Friday or visit the customer support page at xcelenergy.com to learn about options and programs to help manage bills.
Customers can reduce energy use and remain comfortable by making simple and low-cost efficiency improvements and adopting energy-saving habits. Xcel Energy offers tips to beat the heat and save money at its Energy Saving Tips page at xcelenergy.com .