Buffalo Hospital named Best Minnesota Hospital Workplace and Innovator of the Year
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. 01/29/2004--
The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) recently named Buffalo
Hospital the Best Minnesota Hospital Workplace and Innovator of the
Year in Patient Care. The 2003 MHA Health Care Awards honor the best
and brightest in Minnesota health care.
The Best Minnesota Hospital Workplace award is designed to honor
hospitals that "go the extra mile" in enhancing employee
satisfaction. This is the second time Buffalo Hospital was name the
Best Minnesota Hospital Workplace in the small hospital category.
Judging was based on retention strategies and outcomes, demonstrated
effectiveness in raising employee morale, and employee descriptions
of the work environment.
In this very mobile society and during a time of health care
worker shortages, Buffalo Hospital employees rated their work
environment significantly higher than their counterparts in Minnesota
and the nation. “Through innovative employee selection, involvement,
compensation, communications and safety initiatives, we are retaining
the best talent and building an outstanding team of health care
workers,” says Steve Bauman, director of human resources at Buffalo
"I have always believed that the true character of a hospital
is determined by its employees, volunteers, and medical staff,"
says Mary Ellen Wells, president of Buffalo Hospital. "This
community is blessed with an organization filled with dedicated, top
notch people who deliver outstanding care. Receiving this award for
the second time is a testament to their commitment and ownership of
The Innovation of the Year award honors hospitals that implement
creative, new methods and models for the delivery of patient care.
Judging was based on originality, scope, demonstrated effectiveness
and potential for applicability to other hospitals.
Buffalo Hospital has a history of innovation. In 2002, Buffalo
Hospital was the first small hospital in the nation to offer
InstyMeds, an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) dispenser of
prescription medications for Emergency and Urgent Care patients.
Buffalo Hospital teamed with Minneapolis-based Mendota HealthCare to
implement the InstyMeds System.
“InstyMeds offers convenient access to prescription medications
for Buffalo Hospital patients obtaining care at odd hours,” says Tom
Plihal, RPh, pharmacy manager at Buffalo Hospital. “The system
eliminates the need for a stop at a pharmacy when patients aren’t
“The added convenience has increased patient satisfaction and
helped to ensure that patients fill and take their prescribed
medication,” says Tracy Powell, MD, emergency physician at Buffalo
Hospital. Here’s how the system works--After a physician enters a
prescription on a hand-held computer including instructions for
taking it, patients are given the option of a traditional, paper
prescription or using InstyMeds. Those who choose InstyMeds are
given a unique security code. The patient then enters that number
and their date of birth on the touch-screen of a machine that
resembles an ATM. Co-payments can be made by swiping a debit or
credit card or paying hospital personnel with cash or a check. After
the machine double-checks bar codes, the pre-packaged, pre-measured
product is dispensed from the machine along with written
instructions. Patients with questions can talk with the emergency
physician or call an InstyMeds pharmacist from a nearby phone. The
entire process typically takes about three minutes.
For information about employment opportunities at Buffalo
Hospital, call 763-682-7163 or go to
www.buffalohospital.org. Buffalo Hospital is a non-profit
regional medical center committed to improving the health of the
communities it serves in Wright County and the surrounding areas.
Part of Allina Hospitals & Clinics, information about Buffalo
Hospital’s services along with the latest health information can
also be found online at www.buffalohospital.org.