Thursday, April 20, 2017

Our Amazing Nurses Are Recognized..AGAIN!!!

Last week, I talked about our very own Laura Clary, BSN, RN, FNE-A/P, SANE-A, CFN, CPEN, clinical program manager of our Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) program, who cares for victims of sexual assault, child abuse, rape, human trafficking, intimate partner violence, and domestic violence, and who was featured on the show The Doctors. Laura is ONE of FIVE finalists for the show’s and Prevention Magazine’s America’s Most Amazing Nurse.

This week, I am happy to announce that several members of the GBMC HealthCare's nursing staff have been named to Baltimore Magazine’s "Top Nurse" list as part of the magazine's annual Excellence in Nursing issue. I am proud to say that the GBMC family was well represented with SEVEN of our registered nurses being recognized by their peers for outstanding care in SIX of 19 different specialties.  Having such a high number of our nurses represented (14% of the winners!) on this list is evidence of what we already knew – our HealthCare system has the best nurses!


To compile the names for the city’s Top Nurses list, Baltimore Magazine had solicited nominations from peers, supervisors, and patients of registered nurses, who represent the finest in their field and we received an overwhelming response.

There were 19 nursing specialties for which the magazine accepted nominations in a process that took several months. The nominations were then tallied by the publication. The magazine was assisted by the Maryland Nurses Association and major local hospitals to create an impressive panel of R.N. advisors, who divvied up the specialties, reviewed the nominations and selected the winners.

Having such a high percentage of the winners be our nurses is a testament to their expertise and their commitment to our vision. This is truly great recognition for GBMC HealthCare and its exceptional nursing staff.  Please join me in congratulating the following nurses:

Greater Baltimore Medical Center
Educator: Chelsea Woodell
Intensive Care: Amanda Gdula and Brian Bardelman
Oncology: Karen Ulmer
Pediatrics, Neonatal: Hollie Krout
Women’s Health: Evelyn Kim

Gilchrist
Hospice/Home Health/Palliative Care: Ellen Metzger

The third annual “top nurses” issue hits the newsstands on Friday, Apr. 28. Don’t forget to pick up your copy!

Speaking of Baltimore Magazine: Physicians….It's that time again when Baltimore Magazine is collecting votes for its Top Doctors issue. Let’s see if we can make it two years in a row for a GBMC doctor to be the physician cover for this year’s issue. Docs, please vote for the colleagues you most respect! The survey may be found at: http://www.baltimoremagazine.com/about/top-doctors-survey



Way To Go Dr. Whiteford!!!


Kudos to Dr. Sarah Whiteford of GBMC’s Family Care Associates for being named as the “Best Family Physician” in The Baltimore Sun’s Best of Baltimore Readers’ Choice poll. Honestly, I am not surprised as Dr. Whiteford truly epitomizes our mantra of better health and better care for our community and our commitment to the neighborhoods we serve that is echoed through the work our primary care teams do each day. We are truly honored to have Baltimore put their trust in us and we praise Dr. Whiteford on her selection.


Tree of Life at GBMC
On Wednesday, we unveiled a new artwork installation, the ‘Tree of Life', during a special commemorative event to remember and honor the lives of those that have given the ultimate gift of themselves and to celebrate the new lives of those who were the beneficiaries of that priceless gift.

We often hear about organ and tissue donation in terms of statistics and numbers. Currently, there are over 120,000 people nationally who are waiting for a life-saving organ and each day 110 people are added to the national waiting list. One tissue donor has the potential to enhance over 50 lives and one organ donor has the potential to save eight lives.

Organ donation has saved countless lives and improved many others, and those gifts will be forever celebrated at the GBMC HealthCare system. For the 16 individuals who are now memorialized with their own leaves on our tree of life, their impact can never truly be measured by stats or figures.

Current and future donor families will receive a 3D leaf with their loved one’s name on it.
We are grateful to those who have donated their organs and tissues. We are also grateful to their families for their strength and courage in allowing us to share your loved one’s name in the hope that it may inspire others to do the same. Please note that if you are interested in registering to become an organ donor, the ‘Tree of Life’ includes a kiosk where anyone can sign up to be a donor.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Mourning The Passing Of One Of Our Leaders

Over the weekend, I was saddened to learn of the passing of our Chair of the GBMC HealthCare Philanthropy Committee, Mr. Samuel Heffner. 

Sam was a successful commercial developer of properties throughout the region and he was known as a bold and determined leader, with a passion for philanthropy and the Baltimore community. His high standards along with his focus and commitment to charity led him to be named Chair of the GBMC HealthCare Philanthropy Committee.With Sam’s guidance, our GBMC Philanthropy team has had consecutive record-breaking years for fundraising. Sam moved the Committee to a sub-committee model and got many members in action generating gifts. 

On a personal note, Sam was very helpful to me and taught me a lot about the role of the CEO in engaging the community in giving to GBMC. I will miss him.   

GBMC HealthCare is thankful for Sam Heffner’s leadership, steadfast confidence and belief in our vision of providing the care we would want for our own loved ones. We will remain deeply indebted to him for his guidance and support.

Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard 
Please complete our annual Employee Engagement Survey. The survey is open through Monday, May 1 and can easily be accessed through the icon (on the right) on any GBMC desktop computer or click here. It will only take a few minutes to complete and it will provide valuable information on how we can make our company an even better place to work. 

The survey is completely CONFIDENTIAL, and your individual responses to the questions will not be shared! If you do, however, choose to include additional comments, these will be shared with your manager but your name will not be given. The survey is administered by Press Ganey, who compiles the survey data for us. We at GBMC never see individual responses.  All employees will receive feedback on the survey results and action plans will be developed on the basis of your responses. Please be assured that we will respond constructively to employee concerns and suggestions.

If you have any questions about the survey, please call your Human Resource Business Partner.

Please complete the survey. Thanks!

The Doctors
Back in November 2016, it was announced that Prevention Magazine and the TV Show The Doctors were joining efforts in a search across the country to find America’s Most Amazing Nurse. Each entrant or nominee had to have an active RN license or advanced nursing credential and must currently be working in the nursing field. Other qualifications include: exceeds the standards for excellence in nursing care, education, or research, viewed as a role model and/or mentor in their workplace or community and has used their nursing skills to serve their country, volunteer for a non-profit organization, or otherwise provide care to those in need.


Tune in to The Doctors this Thursday, April 13 at 9 a.m. on WMAR-TV (ABC—Balt.) to see GBMC's own Laura Clary, BSN, RN, FNE-A/P, SANE-A, CFN, CPEN, as she talks about her work as the Clinical Program Manager of our Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) program. We think you'll be excited to find out why she's being featured!

Please check your local cable and satellite TV provider for channel designation.

Happy Holidays
Finally, this is a week of religious reflection and celebration.  The GBMC HealthCare family sends its best wishes to our Christian staff members celebrating Easter this Sunday and our Jewish staff members observing the eight-day festival of Passover.

Friday, April 7, 2017

What if this were your daughter?

The GBMC Healthcare System is always working toward our vision of treating everyone, every time the way that we would want our own loved ones treated.

We discuss what this means frequently. It is clear that everyone wants their loved one to get better. This requires us to use the best evidence in our care. GBMC is improving on every measure of health outcome so we are moving closer to this aim.

But the second most important thing we want is the best possible care experience and this is much harder. We want our loved ones to be well informed by people who care; we don’t want long waits and delays; and we want the care in a clean, respectful environment. It is hard to always be kind and to look out for the emotional needs of every one of our patients. We get busy and we are focused on the evidence-based care and sometimes we don’t give the best experience. Well, let me tell you about an episode at GBMC that was marked by kindness and the patient’s mother took to social media to inform the community!

The mother of a three-year-old patient, who had surgery here last week, posted on her Facebook page what a great experience she and her daughter had. She attributed their positive experience to the kindness and caring shown by Francoise “Frannie” St. Juste, one of our Nursing Support Technicians (NST) in pre-op. The mother wrote that Frannie had been “amazing” with her daughter and had gone “way above and beyond” and that she would be “forever grateful.” Just look at the photos that the mom included in her post demonstrating the kindness of Frannie as she distracted the little girl from the fear of having surgery! According to her supervisor, Ginyse Braddy, “she (Frannie) always goes above and beyond with her patients and truly is a valuable team member.”

I want to thank all of the GBMC family for improving the care experience for every one of our patients. It often starts with kindness and Frannie clearly demonstrated this to one little girl and her mother.

Thank you for your hard work and please let me know what you think.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Doctors' Day: Time to say thank you for all that they do for us

Today is National Doctors' Day - the day we reflect on the many contributions made by our physicians. I want to thank all the doctors on the GBMC medical staff who work extremely hard to care for patients as they would want their own loved ones cared for. We have a wonderful medical staff who give of themselves and make a tremendous difference in the lives of patients every day. I am glad that at least one day a year we reach out and thank physicians for what they do all year.

To celebrate Doctors' Day at GBMC, we had a Buffet Breakfast-to-Go earlier this morning, and physicians in attendance were given an air refresher for their car and a FREE car wash as a token of our gratitude. Physicians who were not in attendance can order a gift card for the car wash, until Saturday, Apr. 15, by visiting www.gbmc.org/docsdaycarwash. Later this afternoon, we are holding an ice cream social in the physicians’ lounge as another way to show our appreciation for all that they do.

The superior care provided by our medical staff, is certainly evident in the more than 120 GBMC physicians, in 74 unique specialties, who were recognized in Baltimore magazine’s 2016 Top Doctor’s list. This recognition also demonstrates just how good they are since the award comes from the votes of their peers.

I’ve been so blessed to work with so many outstanding physician colleagues over the years. I have valued their insights on our community’s health needs, their candor and innovation in finding workable solutions, and their commitment to improving the health and well-being of all we serve. So, in tribute to our physicians, I thought it fitting that we share the following video:


While as a nation we are experiencing challenging times in health care, the medical staff at GBMC remains committed to our vision.

So, to all of our physicians, we say thank you! In honor of Doctors' Day and your physician, please share your thoughts and inspiring stories of patient care here…

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Three Year Checkup for the Patient Centered Medical Home at GBMC

I am a pediatrician and all good pediatricians know the importance of checking the child’s development at regular intervals. So, you may remember that I interviewed a few patients on their perception of our advanced primary care patient-centered medical homes three years ago and included the interviews in the blog.

http://ahealthydialogue.blogspot.com/2014/03/what-do-our-patients-really-think-about.html   
Well, I think it’s time for another checkup.

The patient- centered medical home is our design for being accountable along with the patient for his or her health. We began building them when we created our transformational vision in 2011. At that time, we knew that we had to change our design of primary care if we wanted a different outcome. We wanted everyone to get what we wanted for our loved ones: the best health outcome with the best care experience at the lowest cost (with the least waste) and with the most joy for those providing the care.

So now in 2017, what do our patients think about our patient-centered medical homes?

Earlier this week, I interviewed Dale Cernik. For more than a year now, Dale has been a patient of Dr. Peter Burkill and his team’s nurse care manager, Anne R. Conrad, at Family Care Associates, our advanced primary care office in the North Pavilion on the GBMC campus. Dale, 66, came to us with symptoms of increased thirst and urination. He said that “basically I felt like my body was out of sync.” There was no history of diabetes in his family, but Dale did have a history of high blood pressure.

Dr. Burkill diagnosed Dale with diabetes and he prescribed medication and connected Dale with Anne. She began to check in with Dale by phone two times per week to make sure that the symptoms were improving and that Dale understood and was following his diet and exercise plan. Dale made lifestyle changes and followed the plan.Today, Dale’s blood sugar levels are normal, his high blood pressure is under control and he is now exercising six times a week!  Dale now feels that because of the care he has received from Anne and Dr. Burkill he’s been able to get his life back.

We had a nice conversation and Mr. Cernik made it a point of letting me know how happy he was to tell his story and how the “FCA staff is professional, kind and caring and how everybody is sincere in their actions.”

Click the video below to hear what else Dale had to say about his care from the team at Family Care Associates.





I am so proud of Dr. Burkill, Anne and the rest of the FCA team including the care coordinators, medical assistants, and patient service assistants. They are all willing to be held accountable to working with patients, like Dale, to help them improve their health.

I think our patient-centered medical home passed the checkup with flying colors!

I want to also express my gratitude to Mr. Cernik for sharing his experiences and story with me. The GBMC HealthCare System is moving closer to our vision of providing to every patient, every time, the care that we would want for our own loved ones.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Highlighting Our Work When It Comes To Patient Safety

This week is National Patient Safety Awareness Week and for this reason, I want to take the time to recognize the important achievements we as a healthcare system have made when it comes to the safety of our patients. I’ve asked Carolyn L. Candiello, Vice President for Quality and Patient Safety with GBMC HealthCare, to be a guest blogger this week. I hope the readers of this blog will find Carolyn’s observations on our patient safety work as illuminating as I did. 

Carolyn writes….

This Sunday, marked the beginning of National Patient Safety Awareness Week.  This year’s theme is “We are all Patients!” and if you think about it, it’s very much in line with our own vision – that we treat everyone the way we would want to be treated.

As I reflect on this week, I think it is a good time to pause and consider what we all (nurses, techs, providers, support staff, volunteers, and leaders) have accomplished so far and to recommit to following safe practices for patient safety. Earlier this month, The Joint Commission issued their 57th Sentinel Event Alert which discusses the essential role of leadership in patient safety. I am so proud to be part of an organization where safety starts at the highest level. In 2010, our Board of Directors made a commitment to improve patient safety and together we have all been working tirelessly to achieve highly reliable care for our patients! 

The results have been remarkable --in 2011, GBMC had 21 serious safety events. So far, in FY 2017 we have had one.  We have seen other improvements just as remarkable – reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections from one every week to just under one every other month.  Having gone over a year without an event, I consider that we have virtually eliminated serious hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, ventilated associated complications, infections related to hip and knee replacements and are well on our way to achieving reliability in many other areas. This didn’t happen by “wishing and hoping” it happened as a result of several changes we made.

1. We adopted a Just Culture – a firm belief that every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.  When errors happen, our focus is not on the individual, BUT on the system and how we can fix our processes.
2. We adopted a Reporting Culture– we believe that it is important for each of us to speak up when something isn’t right and to report incidents of harm.  One of our goals for a few years was to increase reporting into Quantros!  We went from receiving only a handful of incidents each month to receiving hundreds!  We encourage everyone, regardless of position, to report incidents of harm or potential harm.
3. We have adopted a Learning Culture - We are open and transparent about learning from our experiences. We openly share our data with our community on our website.  When there is learning from our LDM report, we share it in the daily email.  Each week we share deeper learning in the Tuesday Pearl of Wisdom. Three years ago, we started Great Save Wednesdays where not only do we share learning, we highlight safe behaviors by so many of our front line staff.  Each month we share learning in the form of a patient story – the story is told at leadership and board meetings and is available on the Infoweb.  Every manager is asked to share these stories at their staff meetings.

While all of these things help to build a culture of high reliability in order to provide the care to every patient every time as we would our own loved one, we are not there yet! I ask that each of you to join me in recommitting to taking the National Patient Safety pledge.  I pledge to strive to implement and follow practices that increase the safety of my patients and my team!  You can pledge on their website or enter your commitment below!
  
Thank you for all that you do every day to make care safer – to provide the care we would want for ourselves and for our loved ones!


THANK-YOU!!!
Team GBMC again demonstrated its commitment to its mission of health, healing, and hope for the community. I witnessed the teamwork, camaraderie and “can do” attitude of our people first hand.

Our environmental and food service workers were extraordinary in their ability to keep our facility clean along with feeding our patients, staff, and volunteers. Our grounds crew did their usual phenomenal job of snow removal to make our campus safe and passable and our facilities team made sure that everything remained in working order.

Most of the nurses and nursing techs, worked over 24 hours, and many of our physicians came in despite the inclement weather, I truly appreciate your commitment. You all clearly displayed your dedication to treating all of our patients the way we would want our own loved ones to be treated, every time.

I also want to point out that our leadership team also did a fantastic job, led by Stacey McGreevy, our incident commander, who did a remarkable job coordinating everyone’s actions. Cate O’Connor-Devlin helped to coordinate and address nurse staffing for over 200 patients and Michelle Tauson exhibited their expertise in disaster management for the duration of the snow event. I want to thank all the staff members who helped in the hospital’s command center, answering phones, coordinating accommodations for employees who stayed overnight and ensuring that all units had the proper coverage to care for our patients.

Again, my appreciation to all who worked so hard to get the job done for our patients and our community during the snow storm.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Strategic Planning in a Time of Uncertainty

Last Thursday and Friday, I spent most of the day with our senior team, nursing leaders along with our service line physician leaders and administrators. We were together to review the findings of our SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analyses and to begin the creation of our one and three-year goals and next year’s strategic operating plan to get us there.

John Ellis, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Business Development, and Amber Taylor, Director of Planning and Business Development took us through their analysis of changes in the local health care market, the results of their interviews with health insurance leaders and patients, and the results of surveys answered by our leaders and members of the Board. Cathy Hamel, Vice President for Continuing Care and President of Gilchrist, presented the strategy over the next few years for Gilchrist, and Harold Tucker MD, President of GBMA and Ben Beres, Chief Operating Officer of GBMA, presented their thoughts on strategic moves within our physician company.

Our service line leaders (Medicine: Neal Friedlander MD and Jessica Heslop; Surgery: Jack Flowers MD and Michael Finegan; Women’s: Victor Khouzami, MD and Susan Bowen, RN; Geriatrics and Continuing Care: Tony Riley, MD, and Cathy Hamel; Cancer: Paul Celano, MD, and Michael Stein; and Primary Care: Robin Motter, DO and Danielle DaSilva) presented their thoughts as well. The group considered all of the information and began the work of creating one and three-year goals to move us closer to our vision under our four aims.

The next steps will be to choose the final initiatives to work on and then create the annual operating and capital budget. Keith Poisson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, has done an excellent job overseeing this process and he was ably aided by Amber Taylor and Lisa Griffee, Director of Lean Operations, who kept us on schedule and even made the process fun at times.

I am very proud of all of the people who have participated so far and I am grateful for their hard work. Even though we don’t know the fate of all of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and if the country will continue its march towards the triple aim of better health and better care at lower cost, we will persevere in serving our community and each patient as if he or she was our loved one.

THANK YOU TO OUR SOCIAL WORKERS!!!
March is Professional Social Work Month and I would like to thank the dedicated group of social workers who serve GBMC. We are fortunate to have such a talented and hard-working group of social workers on our team. Our social workers and care managers have helped GBMC reach the lowest readmission rate in the state and have designed a system that assures that our patients with chronic and advanced illness receive the support they need. Please take the time to thank our social workers for all that they do to move us closer to our vision.