Friday, December 3, 2010

We Are All In This Era of Change Together

As we continue to deal with the redesign of healthcare on a national level as well as a local level, we must keep an open dialogue about how the changes we are facing are impacting us, not only as a hospital, but as physicians, employees and members of the community-at-large. A leading facet of healthcare reform centers on the financial health and security of our country, our state, and our own medical center. It’s very important that we look out for the financial health of the hospital, as well as the hard working physicians who care for the many individuals and families who turn to GBMC for their care.
GBMC is a mission driven organization. We are here to serve our community. And, while we are not primarily about finances, we have to be financially strong in order to meet the mission. That is why I am very pleased to report that GBMC recently had its A+ bond rating affirmed by Standard and Poors. We are one of only two hospitals (along with Johns Hopkins) to achieve this high rating in Maryland, demonstrating that we are staying the course when it comes to fiscal responsibility and financial stability.  I want to thank all of our hard working staff members, physicians and nurses for helping us minimize waste so that we can keep this rating.
GBMC’s leadership continues to navigate the ever-changing landscape of healthcare, working hard to secure a successful future for our great organization. The creation of the Greater Baltimore Health Alliance is one vehicle that will help ensure we are able to remain financially secure together by looking into:
  • ways to legally be able to defer costs of launching the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) in private physician offices
  • ways to make both the hospital and our physicians thrive in bundled payment arrangements
  • ways to be ready for capitation, if it comes.
It’s important that we work as a team to reach our vision – where every person gets the best healthcare, every time, at the least cost. Over the past several weeks, I’ve heard from many physicians who are happy with the direction GBMC is heading and who are pleased to hear that we are focusing on the patient without sacrificing our staff.  I have also heard concerns.
I feel strongly that keeping the lines of communication open is the best way to address these concerns. In fact, I was very pleased to attend the first of many dinners with a group of physicians on December 2 to discuss what the vision and future looks like for GBMC. So, give me a call. Let’s set up a meeting. Send me an email. Or, leave a comment on this blog.
We’re all in this era of change together. Let the dialogue begin…and continue.

Looking forward, National Hand Hygiene Awareness Week is December 5 - 11. This is a great opportunity to reflect on the importance of maintaining the highest hand washing compliance rates, as patient safety is a top priority at GBMC.

Wishing all those who celebrate the Festival of Lights a very Happy Hanukkah.

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