Hospital CEO Chat Part 7: How Hospitals Can Put Patients and Families First, Always

HappyPatientOur transformational CEOs have already discussed how reliably efficient care is also the greatest quality care. So what about the goal of patient-centric care? Hospitals aim to deliver patient-centered care, but even with the best intentions they’re often just not wired to do so. Patient satisfaction initiatives and department-focused performance projects help in fits and starts, but don’t sustain a hospital culture that puts the needs and care of all patients first at all times. But there is a path to get there. Hospitals that have launched efficiency-based transfomation initiatives, with a a hub-and-spoke “production model” for care delivery, have been able to put patients and families first, every day, all the time. We asked four hospital CEOs this question:

How has logistics for care coordination established a relentless focus on the patient all the time? 

Daniel P. Moen, President and CEO, Mercy Medical Center, Springfield, Mass.

Dan Moen: Implementation of the Care Connect system, our Care Logistics system here, was really the right thing to do because it’s really all about patient care. It’s about quality and safety and having the patient and their family members walk away having a good experience with their every interaction at Mercy Medical Center.

When families and patients come in to the hospital, they’re confused, they’re scared, they’re anxious about what’s going to happen to them, about what’s going to happen when they’re discharged from the hospital. And the Care Connect system, our Care Logistics system, really helps that process start from the very beginning. It promotes better communication with patients, with family members…we’re at the point now where we’re going to start having patient itineraries for patients every day. So that kind of certainty and that kind of reliability does a lot to help patients get through this process. The other thing is we are so well prepared for a patient’s discharge now: everything is in place; people understand when that discharge is going to take place.

It’s very interesting when you work in a hospital in a particular department. I’m a radiology technologist by background. I know what it’s like to provide direct patient care, and in many instances you’re operating in a silo. You’re doing everything you can for a patient with that particular service, but you may have no clue what’s going on with that patient in other ways, in other departments, other treatments the patient is receiving, so this [hub-and-spoke approach] is a way to give the caregivers a big picture snapshot of what’s going on with the patient, and allow whoever is taking care of that patient to do a better job, to time their services more effectively, and to be more efficient and really to provide that better experience for the patient.

Steve Scogna, President and CEO, Northwest Community Hospital near Chicago

Steve Scogna, President and CEO, Northwest Community Hospital near Chicago

Steve Scogna: I think that before the Care Logistics process the departments were siloed and they truly weren’t aware of how they impacted one another, let alone that particular patient, and so since this project has occurred there’s sort of been this light bulb that’s gone off for everybody, like, and now lets them understand that there’s more efficient, more effective ways that can not only benefit each of the departments and the way that they provide that care, but make that patient’s stay much, much better.

The part that I love about my job the most is exactly what we’ve done with the Aim for Excellence initiative and Care Logsitics, and that is that we have really transformed an organization around something that is absolutely critical for delivering the best patient care possible. When you’re in a leadership role what you want to do is you want to make sure that you’re doing things that are really for the sole purpose of the organization or what the purpose of this organization is all about. For us that’s taking care this community, that’s taking care of those patients in the best way possible.

Dr. Patrick Taylor, CEO, Holy Cross Hospital in Fr. Lauderdale

Dr. Patrick Taylor, CEO, Holy Cross Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale

Dr. Patrick Taylor: Care Logistics has greatly assisted us in decreasing our length of stay, while at the same time improving our patient satisfaction while remaining high in quality and safety. And we’ve been able to…take about half a day out of the length of stay. That is significant in terms of the patient’s experience. It is the air traffic control system that allows us on a day-to-day, hour by hour, know where our patients are, what’s the next step in their care pathway, and what’s the quickest, most efficient, most quality way to accomplish that next step without a lot of rework, without a lot of redundancy, again, always having a lot of reverence for the patient’s time.

Dr. Ann Errichetti, CEO, St. Peter's Hospital, Albany, N.Y.

Dr. Ann Errichetti, CEO, St. Peter’s Hospital, Albany, N.Y.

Dr. Ann Erichetti: We’ve seen a significant and very gratifying improvement in patient satisfaction. We’d been hovering in the mid-fifties for a good long time. Our patient satisfaction for the last two quarters has been at the 85th percentile or higher, and I’m very proud of our staff and the refocus that they put on the care of the patient.

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