Welcome to the website of Spooner Health System.  Since our humble beginnings in 1955 we have been dedicated to caring for and improving the health of the citizens of Spooner and surrounding communities in northwest Wisconsin. Here you will find information about the services provided in our 25-Bed Critical Access Hospital, 24-hr. Emergency Room and Home Care Department.

Most of all, Spooner Health System takes pride in all their services from routine to emergency. We strive to provide high quality healthcare with excellent service, close to home.

Mike Schafer of Spooner Health System (SHS) made the list of “50 Rural Hospital CEOs to Know,” published online Jan. 30 by Becker’s Hospital Review.

Schafer has been CEO of SHS for 23 years. “It’s truly an honor to be recognized alongside peers, some whom I know have had great success as well,” says Schafer. He says that a real pivotal point in his leadership and for SHS was when they partnered with Studer Group and embarked on their Commitment to Excellence journey nearly 5 years ago.
Studer Group helps organizations achieve and sustain exceptional clinical, operational and financial outcomes through the implementation of evidence-based tactics. While working with Studer Group, SHS saw their scores measuring employee satisfaction and engagement move from the 12th percentile to the 98th percentile in just four years. “We not only strive to be a great place to work,” says Schafer, “but we are also committed to being a great place for patients to receive care.”
“We wouldn’t be where we’re at today without all of our great employees and the tremendous leadership team we have in place,” adds Schafer. “They’ve stepped up to the challenge of improving our patient experience.”  SHS has been very intentional about implementing tactics that would ensure excellent service to their patients. For example, 2013 results from a national survey show 91.5% of SHS patients responded that nurses “ALWAYS” treated them with courtesy and respect. This equates to the 87th percentile nationally.
Schafer has also been very involved with the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) having served on its Board for 14 years, including a year as its Chairperson, and is currently WHA’s delegate to the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board, a post he will hold through 2014.  Schafer is also active in the Spooner Community, including having served as Chair of the Spooner Area Chamber of Commerce, Board Member of Leadership Washburn County and Board Member and coach of many of his children’s youth sports teams.
“Mike is a great leader,” says Clint Miller, SHS Director of Patient Care Services, “and we are fortunate to have someone at the top of our organization who leads by example. The difference our Commitment to Excellence has made and will continue to make is immeasurable!”

Spooner Health System
Receives Press Ganey 2013 Guardian of Excellence AwardSM
for Achieving 95th Percentile in Employee Engagement
Spooner Health System (SHS) is proud to announce it has been named a 2013 Guardian of Excellence Award winner by Press Ganey Associates, Inc. SHS is being recognized as a top-performing facility for its achievement of over the 95th percentile of performance in Employee Engagement.
SHS began surveying its employees in 2009 and contracts with Press Ganey to complete the annual survey. The survey measures both employee engagement and satisfaction. The results have been outstanding as shown below. Employees will be asked to complete the 2013 survey later this month.

Overall Partnership

The Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award is a health care industry symbol of achievement. Fewer than 5% of all Press Ganey clients reach this threshold. Press Ganey partners with more than 10,000 health care organizations worldwide (including 50 percent of all U.S. hospitals) to create and sustain high-performing organizations, and, ultimately, improve the overall health care experience.
"We are proud to partner with Spooner Health System,” said Patrick T. Ryan, CEO of Press Ganey. “Achieving this level of excellence reflects the organization’s commitment to delivering outstanding service and quality. Their efforts benefit patients in Spooner and will lead to improved patient experiences."
One may wonder how SHS made such progress in the areas of employee satisfaction and engagement in such a short timeframe. In 2009, SHS made the decision to embark on a Commitment to Excellence journey and partnered with Studer Group, a health care consulting firm that helps hospitals achieve and sustain clinical, service and operational excellence. They’ve implemented many of Studer Group’s evidence-based tools to make SHS a better place for employees to work and patients to receive care.
“Our Commitment to Excellence isn’t just another program,” says Mike Schafer, CEO. “It’s a culture change. We are simply not the same organization that we were five years ago.”
Because of SHS’ success, Schafer has been asked several times by Studer Group to serve on a CEO panel for their national pre-conference session. The pre-conference is specifically for rural healthcare organizations. In November, Schafer traveled to New Orleans to give a keynote presentation at the pre-conference. He was asked to share what SHS has done to improve employee satisfaction and engagement, which leads to a better patient experience.
“Though we have had pretty remarkable results in many areas,” adds Schafer, “we are honestly looking at ways we can continue to better ourselves as an employer and to improve our patients experience. Our commitment to excellent service helps us fulfill our mission of providing high quality healthcare for our community.”




Spooner Health System Named

Health Care's Most Wired

July 2013

For the fifth time, Spooner Health System (SHS) has been recognized as one of the nation’s Most Wired facilities according to the results of the 2013 Most Wired Survey released in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. SHS was also recognized as a Most Wired organization in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012.
Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, asked hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their Information Technology (IT) initiatives. Respondents completed 659 surveys, representing 1,713 hospitals, or roughly 30 percent of all U.S. hospitals.
“This year’s Most Wired organizations exemplify progress through innovation” says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “The hospital field can learn from these outstanding organizations ways that IT can help to improve efficiency.”
“We’ve used our electronic medical record to successfully meet the first stage guidelines of meaningful use,” explains Mike DiPasquale, IT Director of SHS. Meaningful use is the latest federal guidelines related to the use of the electronic record in health care. The goal of meaningful use is to improve health care in the United States by using technology in a meaningful manner that will offer more complete and accurate information as well as better access to information.
Many organizations have very good hardware/software technology but the focus of the Most Wired award is how well the facility uses the technology throughout the organization in all of the departments. In other words, it really looks at how well the departments are "wired" together using their technology.
“We are honored to receive the Most Wired Award five times,” says Mike Schafer, CEO of SHS. “We do have a great IT department and they obviously play an integral role. I also personally appreciate each of our employees who are committed to providing the high quality, safe care our patients deserve.”
“As I have said in the past, the IT department was the vehicle,” says DiPasquale, “but it really takes all of the employees at Spooner Health System working together to attain an achievement like this. I’m proud to be part of an organization that values technology and has such a great employee team.”
DiPasquale was invited to be a feature speaker at the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC) Forum this past spring honoring SHS for winning the Most Wired award several times and questioning him on how SHS has achieved their success in using technology throughout the organization.
The Most Wired Survey is conducted annually by H&HN magazine, the journal of the American Hospital Association (AHA), which uses the results to name the top Most Wired hospitals and health systems in the United States. It focuses on how the nation’s hospitals use information technologies to improve patient documentation, advance clinical decision support and evidence-based protocols, reduce the likelihood of medication errors, and rapidly restore access to data in the case of a disaster or outage. The July H&HN cover story detailing results is available at



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