Monday, December 31, 2012

Time Flies

It’s hard to believe that another year is ending. As we get ready to make our resolutions for 2013, it’s good to take a moment and reflect on how well we met our commitments in 2012.

In 2011 we committed to a new vision – a new direction for GBMC. We committed to becoming a true system of care through the eyes of the patient. Since we and our family members are all (at one time or another) patients as well, we created the vision phrase To every patient, every time, we will provide the care that we would want for our own loved ones. For our own loved ones we want the best health outcome, with the best care experience, at the lowest cost…so we said that this is what we want for everyone. We created a strategic plan to get to our vision. 2012 was essentially the second year into that strategic plan, so did we continue doing what we said we would do?

A fundamental building block of our system of care is the new primary care team: the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH). In 2012, our Hunt Valley office was the first primary care team to reach Level 3 PCMH status and now most of our employed primary care offices have achieved this. The primary care teams now reflect on how they are doing for groups of patients and actively work to improve the health of individual patients with chronic disease with the help of care managers who work side by side with their doctor and nurse teammates. They have all extended their office hours and now some are open on Saturdays. In 2012, we implemented our patient portal, myGBMC, to make it easier for patients to participate actively in their care, see their own records, and to communicate with their physicians.

Now that we designed the foundation of a better system to help keep people well and to help people with chronic illness to better manage their health, we created a new company, Greater Baltimore Health Alliance (GBHA), that includes not only our employed physicians, but also many of our wonderful private practicing doctors working together on our vision. In 2012, we learned that GBHA had been accepted into the Medicare Shared Savings Program as an accountable care organization. In 2012, GBMC HealthCare became the first company in Maryland to sponsor an accountable care organization that included a hospital.

In 2012, we made our outstanding hospital even more outstanding. We made our care even safer than it had been. We rolled out a mandatory course called Getting in action for patient safety and all of our employees took the course. Teams made outstanding quality improvements in areas such as hand hygiene, central line associated blood stream infections, surgical site infections and catheter associated urinary tract infections. Our outstanding surgeons made patient care even better by participating in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. We are one of a few community hospitals to participate fully in this program. We opened our simulation lab as a place for people to learn and practice as individuals and in teams in a safe environment. We opened our Geckle Diabetes Center building on the strengths of the education center and now focusing also on the actual care of diabetic patients wherever they are in our system.  We empowered our physician leaders in Medicine, Surgery, Oncology, and Women’s Health to run these service lines and continually move us in those areas towards our vision. We added medical directors to all of our inpatient units and now have them working in partnership with our wonderful nurse managers to continually improve the quality of our care. We improved our ability to create standard work and use continuous improvement tools, specifically LEAN and the Model for Improvement and ran a number of value stream mapping and redesign events. An example of this was our weeklong 3P event to design our new inpatient pharmacy. Through the hard work of all, but especially our nurses and housekeepers, we achieved the highest overall inpatient satisfaction score in years and perhaps in our history (see the chart below). We added new flooring in many places in our hospital. We are the first hospital that I know of to scientifically calculate bed need for Medicine patients using queuing theory. This work resulted in our opening 12 more beds. In 2012 we opened our new Domestic Violence Program, becoming one of only seven such programs in Maryland. All of this work and much more combined with the wonderful dedication of our staff led to a very successful Joint Commission survey.

GBMC Monthly Inpatient Satisfaction Score
Gilchrist Hospice Care and Gilchrist Greater Living continued their spectacular work and truly lead the region in compassionate, evidence-based care to seniors and those at the end of life. Their year culminated in an outstanding outpouring of support from the community in the 2012 Holly Ball.

Our Human Resources Team redesigned our employee health benefit that reduced out of pocket costs for most of our employees and kept more of our dollars within our own system.

120 of our outstanding physicians were named to the Baltimore Magazine Top Docs list. Once again, GBMC had the most physicians of any community health system or hospital on this list. We are so fortunate to have outstanding surgeons, internists, pediatricians, family physicians, and other wonderful specialists.

In 2012, GBMC was recognized for the wonderful work of our Green Team. We won the Trailblazer award from the Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment organization for our work in waste reduction and healthier food options. Our fantastic volunteer auxiliary again broke records in fundraising through our Nearly New sales and our Foundation ran a spectacular Legacy Chase steeplechase event that showcased our HealthCare system to the community.

I realize that these things only represent a small fraction of what the GBMC family did to move us closer to our vision. All I can say is thank you! I look forward to all of our accomplishments to come in 2013.

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