Monday, October 4, 2010

Saving, Celebrating, and Planning

This past week saw a number of notable events involving our family at GBMC. The first was one that we did not plan. However, it showed our determination and strength in a moment of crisis.

A patient with mental illness started a fire in her room on Unit 36. The staff immediately went into action. They Saved the patient by removing her from harm; they called 3473 to sound the Alarm; they contained the fire and controlled Ventilation by closing the door to the room; and then Nicole Young RN and Helene Hyde NST used the fire extinguisher correctly to Extinguish the fire. The staff quickly and safely removed the patients on the floor to other units since smoke was present and the fire department arrived to make sure that everything was OK.

When I came in and saw the aftermath that evening, I was very grateful that no one was seriously injured. The team on Unit 36 was prepared, brave, and determined to keep the patients and themselves safe. They did a great job and I am proud of them. We will redouble our efforts to assure that episodes like this one do not happen again. Patient safety must be a given.
On Thursday evening we had our annual employee recognition dinner. I was truly amazed with the turnout and by the planning, spirit, entertainment, overall enthusiasm, and the joy of everyone involved. Patricia Larkin from Human Resources and her team oversaw the planning and organization of the event. Melissa Sparrow MD was the Master of Ceremonies extraordinaire and also displayed her wonderful comedic talent! I was rolling in laughter during the skits performed by a cast of characters too long to list here. All the time and effort was put in to recognize the many years of service of our people and to celebrate all 458 of them who had reached a milestone. We had 202 of our team with 5 years of service; 114 celebrating 10 years of dedication; 37 celebrating 15 years; 57 celebrating 20 years; 19 with 25 years of service; 14 with 30 years; 4 with 35 years; and an astounding 11 with 40 years of service many of whom are in the photo below!
Yesterday, we dedicated the sculpture, "Health, Healing, and Hope" that had been commissioned for the healing garden at our Sandra and Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute. The healing garden is a fantastic asset that helps cancer patients get through the ordeal of cancer and its treatment. Members of the Woodbrook-Murray Hill Garden Club invited Francesca Schuler Guerin, owner and director of Baltimore’s Schuler School of Fine Arts to partner with them in finding a sculpture to add to the garden. Francesca Guerin invited students at the Schuler School to participate in a design competition for the project, which resulted in the selection of the bronze wall sculpture that is now installed. The artist is Dana Maranto and the piece was cast and bronzed at New Arts Foundry in Baltimore. We are very fortunate to have such community support for our cancer care. Please visit the garden and view this wonderful piece of artwork when you get a chance.

On Friday and Saturday, members of our Board of Directors, our senior management team, and some of our physicians met off-site for a strategic visioning retreat to help set the course for GBMC Healthcare over the next few years. I will be telling you more as our Strategic Planning Subcommittee of the Board continues its work, but I wanted to share with you our "elevator speech" to let you know where we are going:

"We have decided to evolve our current health system to one that is patient centric. We will actively manage the patient’s health in the most effective and efficient way. Our integrated system of care will involve an alliance with our physicians, both employed and in community practice, to efficiently manage patients’ needs.

We will evolve into an accountable care organization (ACO) where we will coordinate patient care with other partners to build healthy communities."

There is much more planning to do and then the execution of our plan will be the harder part. I look forward to working with all of you on this. It will be the extension of the work we have already begun to be the healthcare system where everyone, every time gets the healthcare that we would want for our own loved ones. (see my blog: "What if it was your daughter?")

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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