Dana Dye, chief operating officer and interim administrator, Renown Regional Medical Center, Reno, Nev.
Dana Dye, M.P.A., R.N., chief operating officer and interim administrator, and chief nursing officer, is no stranger to changes in the health care arena. A nurse for more than 25 years, Dye has held management positions in various health care facilities for more than 20 years. She came to Renown Health in Reno, Nevada, about 18 months ago and recently assumed the chief nursing officer role for the health network. Most recently she was asked to serve as chief operating officer and interim administrator for Renown's largest hospital, Renown Regional Medical Center.
Dye is excited about the transition and understands that it won't be easy. "The challenges faced at Renown Health are not any different from other health systems in the country. The rising costs of health care, with declining or static reimbursement, is a top challenge along with the recruitment and retention of nurses and other allied health professionals (pharmacists, therapists), and even some specialty physicians such as vascular surgeons, pediatricians, and primary care physicians," says Dye.
To tackle the problem of higher local housing costs when trying to recruit health professionals from other parts of the country, Renown partnered with a local real estate developer and purchased land to offer affordable and convenient housing to its recruits and existing employees. Located just across the street from the hospital, the development will be ready in the spring of 2007. "The results of this project on our recruitment efforts have yet to be determined, but we do believe it has helped us in recruiting professionals from the South Dakota market. When we recruit outside of Reno, we can speak to potential employees about the housing market and what weÃƒ Ã¢â€š Ã¢â€ž re doing to help alleviate those costs," says Dye.
When addressing other daily challenges, Dye relies heavily on her communication skills. "Being able to communicate clearly and effectively with everyone you interact with at all levels from physicians, the community and hospital staff is vital," says Dye. Dye also emphasizes flexibility in the field. "Health care is an ever-changing and dynamic market. Whether it's new technology in the clinical arena or new skills required of your hospital staff, health care today is very transparent. From the quality of care provided to an organizationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s daily activities, a leader has to have very clear and strong communication skills and be willing to lead change."
Dye's leadership skills have also assisted in the excellent job Renown Regional Medical Center's staff has done in increasing organ donation rates. Renown's involvement with the California Transplant Donor Network, its organ procurement organization (OPO), and the HRSA Breakthrough Collaborative has helped them earn the Excellence in Organ Donation award. Presented by the Nevada Hospital Association this past September at the Nevada Hospital Annual Meeting, this award honors Renown for the number of organ donors identified and subsequent conversion rates. This is the second consecutive year Renown has received the award. "We have a very sophisticated model here compared to other facilities across the country where I've worked. And we are constantly looking at ways to improve it," Dye concludes.
Dye credits Renown's staff education program for its organ donation successes. Her well-informed hospital staff establishes relationships with families before obtaining consent. "Clearly, if we have a family that's wavering or sitting on the fence about donation, then we'd bring in the local OPO to help obtain consent," says Dye. "Renown serves a large Hispanic and Native American population, and it's better for us to handle the consent process with sensitivity toward cultural perspectives on donation as our staff is well-versed in working with these populations," she adds. "I'm proud that we have a staff devoted to making organ donation work in our community and grateful everyday for their commitment."