Alaska Native Medical Center
Care centered on our people
The Alaska Native Medical Center operates a state-of-the-art, 173-bed hospital that provides specialty medical services to Alaska Native and American Indian people. ANMC is Alaska’s first Level II Trauma Center, is a Level II Pediatric Trauma Center, and shared the American Hospital Association’s Carolyn Boone Lewis Living the Vision Award with the Alaska Tribal Health System.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic reemphasized the ways that health and access to health care are central to our quality of life. And our health care workers and staff in the hospital continue their work dedicated to caring for our people and providing the highest-quality care, even in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. COVID-19 response and safety precautions continue to change the way ANMC cares for our people. But our work advancing Alaska Native health care endures.
Highest-quality, award winning health services
ANMC is home to one of America’s most unique health care environments – a place where traditional and cultural values meet state-of-the art technology and care. We serve people from across Alaska and 60% of ANMC’s patients travel from outside the Anchorage area for care. ANTHC’s goals are to provide patients with exceptional quality and continuously improve their hospital experience.
In 2020, we continued to demonstrate the quality of our services with two national award recognitions:
“Meritorious” distinction for surgical outcomes
ANMC was deemed “Meritorious” for outstanding quality scores in eight surgical care outcome areas. Nationwide, the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) recognized 88 of the 592 eligible hospitals participating in the adult program.
ANMC was the only hospital recognized in Alaska.
Weaver/Penna pharmacy award
The Board of Pharmacy Specialties recognized the ANMC Pharmacy with the 2020 Warren Weaver/Richard Penna Award, which is granted annually by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) in two categories, individual and organization. Recipients are recognized for outstanding voluntary contributions to the advancement of BPS board certification of pharmacists.
ANMC was unanimously selected as the 2020 winner for our work to advance health care by promoting specialized training, knowledge and skills in pharmacy.
Beyond access to specialty clinic appointments and the quality of our care, ANMC also continued improving hospital care and environment through Patient Experience initiatives.
Navigating health care with thoughtfulness and technology
A majority of ANMC’s patients travel to Anchorage from rural Alaska communities for their care. Many patients are not familiar with navigating Anchorage and the sprawling Alaska Native Health Campus.
To help our patients, both from statewide locations and urban centers, ANMC has continued to invest in technology solutions that thoughtfully consider how people are used to getting directions.
This year, ANMC began work to introduce the myCarePath app, a mobile application to navigate the Alaska Native Health Campus’ specialty clinics, primary care clinics and other health services. The first phase of work included turn-by-turn mapping to help patients get from their starting location to the clinic reception desks for their appointments.
This mobile app will be available on iOS and Android platforms and be supplemented by web versions and interactive kiosks installed in central campus locations.
MyCarePath app is planned to have expanded functionality in the future. Its main goals for this first version are to provide a positive, digital wayfinding experience for our patients and visitors. The use of this emerging Bluetooth technology will allow users to navigate our campus, mark the location they parked their vehicle in our garages and exterior lots, see where our shuttles are currently located and assist them finding clinics, providers and points of interest that may be unfamiliar to them.
This technology joins the shuttle tracking website ANTHC launched last year for patients to see, in real time, where the shuttles are and their estimates time of arrival. The shuttle tracking website is displayed on a dedicated screen in Patient Housing and patients with smartphones can access it directly from their device.
Care from your door to ours: Travel management and patient housing
Traveling to Anchorage for care is a part of the health care journey for 60% of patients in ANTHC specialty clinics. ANTHC puts patient care conveniences at the center of the process with travel coordination services from your door to ours and comfortable lodging in Patient Housing at ANMC.
ANTHC established the Travel Management Office in July 2016 to facilitate patient travel coordination, so ANMC patients traveling to Anchorage for care have a good health care experience throughout their journey. The Travel Management Office works to coordinate Medicaid travel for Tribal health partners, which was previously coordinated by State of Alaska agencies.
During the COVID-19 response, the Travel Management Office continued to maintain high-level patient service by monitoring constantly changing travel guidelines and statewide health mandates that would keep both patients and staff healthy and ensure the safety of their home communities and regions. This meant TMO staff were aware of and managed regional travel expectations, quarantine requirements, lodging options in regional hubs, and any special circumstances that may impact travel to and from Anchorage for patients and escorts for their necessary medical appointments.
This health and safety management continued on campus when patients stayed with ANTHC at our 200-bed patient housing facility. Patient Housing at ANMC opened on campus in 2017 to ensure lodging availability is not a barrier to making appointments at ANMC.
While there were fewer patients staying with us due to travel restrictions (occupancy decreased by more than 70% in April 2020), Patient Housing staff provided extra levels of care to ensure patients stayed safe.
The Patient Housing cafeteria closed on March 17 due to the Municipality of Anchorage mandate closing all restaurants to encourage physical distancing and reducing indoor gatherings. ANMC Food Services and Patient Housing had to quickly adapt, but guests had breakfast, lunch and dinner delivered to their rooms.
Patient Housing staff also increased sanitation of rooms and public areas, helped coordinate visits to the ANMC COVID-19 testing site and offered additional services to make things easier for patients under quarantine monitoring.