Friday, March 8, 2013

Being Open and Honest with the Community We Serve

An organization that has put a stake in the ground and made clear what it is trying to become, like the GBMC HealthCare System, must take the next step and give those that it is serving the information to prove that it is actually getting there. We have stated to all that our vision is to become the system where everyone, every time gets the care that we would want for our own loved ones. We have further defined that care as the best possible health outcomes, with the best possible care experience, with the most joy for those providing the care, at the lowest possible cost. So how are we doing? It’s time to make it easier for our patients and our community to decide.

Historically, healthcare organizations have been reluctant to show the public that they are not perfect for fear of loss of business and/or litigation. But, we now believe that organizations that make their performance transparent improve faster and therefore have a lower risk of these losses.

Up until now, you could find some real data about us at the federal government website, Hospital Compare. But that data is at least 9 months old.

I’m excited to report that during National Patient Safety Awareness Week, we have launched a new patient-friendly interactive tool on our website designed to show our performance in quality and patient safety.

 The “Patient Safety & Quality Measures” page (under “About GBMC”, “Patients & Visitors tab, “Patient Safety & Quality”) includes a visual display of many of our clinical process measures such as hand hygiene,and healthcare acquired infection rates as well as patient satisfaction scores and clinical outcome data. The data will be updated monthly. 

Our “Patient Safety & Quality Measures” page also provides an explanation and brief video of what each metric means along with our latest performance.  Wherever possible, we have included comparison data to other healthcare entities in Maryland.  We hope that over time these organizations will follow our lead and make more of their data accessible to the public.

We believe that display of this data for all to see will help GBMC move faster toward our vision because now the onus will be on us to continually improve.  On Thursday, the first day the page was live for all to see, we had more than 200 visitors to the site and 248 page views.

I am very proud of our quality champions - John Saunders, Jr., M.D., Chief Medical Officer; Carolyn Candiello, Vice President for Quality and Patient Safety; and Bonnie Stein, chairperson of our Board of Directors Quality Committee, who have gotten us to the point where we are displaying our performance on our public website. The Quality Committee has been working on this for a number of months,  making sure that the data were robust and that there was a good system in place for reporting monthly.

I want to especially thank Jane Mace, Darlene Fleischmann and Jerry McCann, our patient / family representatives on the Quality Committee, who were very instrumental in working with our team, which also included Mike Hartnett, Greg Shaffer, Rob Reese and Matt Ellis from our Marketing Department, who made the display of information interpretable by the average healthcare consumer. I’m proud that we took on this challenge and have made it a reality using all internal GBMC resources.

Healthcare today is an extremely complex process and we know that it is imperfect but we continue to work towards perfection. GBMC believes that our patients have a right to know how we are doing and that we have made a commitment to continually make our care safer and more reliable.  Please hold us accountable to this promise.

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