Compassionate patient care: Infusion services at North Valley Hospital
The infusion department at North Valley Hospital (NVH) provides a service to the local community that makes receiving care more convenient and pleasant for many patients.
The infusion department staff at North Valley Hospital take their role in patient care very seriously. Tonya Nance, CNA and Infusion Administrative Supervisor at NVH, explains, “Whether we see someone once or for a few months, we feel lucky to be part of their healing process.”
Infusion services include a variety of treatments delivered via intravenous application. It can be a successful alternative to oral medications or antibiotics for serious or chronic infections. Illnesses treated through infusion include infections, dehydration, Rheumatoid arthritis, Crone’s disease, anemia, electrolyte imbalances, multiple sclerosis, ALS, and more. Additional infusion treatments include blood transfusions, chemo support and follow up care, and antibiotics.
A registered nurse (RN) and certified nursing assistant (CNA) staff the department daily including weekends, offering services seven days a week.
Nance details the aspects of North Valley Hospital’s Planetree philosophy of patient-centered care that make the infusion treatments more pleasant for patients, but the experience speaks for itself. While we were talking, two lovely volunteers came by offering fresh baked cookies, followed by an energetic pet therapy dog and owner/volunteer.
Nance continues, “We build a relationship with our patients, which often allows us to address additional patient needs as we get to know them better. Advocating for patients is something we are passionate about.”
Infusion services are offered in various locations throughout the valley, such as at Kalispell Regional Medical Center. As an affiliate of Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH), North Valley Hospital offers infusion services in addition to the other locations for infusion across KRH. Providing multiple locations for infusion throughout the valley allows patients to have options in selecting the location of their care.
For example, some patients who live in Whitefish can come in to receive treatment on their lunch break, and some patients who receive specialized care in Kalispell decided to receive infusion treatments at North Valley Hospital because it’s closer to home. Patient-centered care in the infusion department also means letting patients choose the location that is most convenient for them. Also, many seasonal residents and tourists find that they can transfer care to North Valley Hospital to receive infusion treatments in Whitefish while they are in the area.
Nancy Henriksson, Director of Care Continuum and Infusion Services, explains that many complex patients often visit infusion, and she works to improve patient care coordination and advocacy via the infusion department. Her employees enjoy working closely with a variety of patients, as they get to know them during treatment.
Infusion focuses on healing and quality care, and the staff are an integral part of the atmosphere. The team referenced several stories of patients they built strong relationships with who still came by to say hello once in a while.
“Sometimes it’s a moment, sometimes it’s a friendship,” says Nance. “We think it helps with healing, to build a relationship between the treatment team and the patient. We really value that aspect of patient centered care.”
Visit https://www.krh.org/nvh/services/infusion-services to learn more about infusion services at North Valley Hospital.
Written By Allison Linville
This article was originally published in the Whitefish Pilot, September 2019.