Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016: Another Year of Accomplishments for the GBMC HealthCare System

It’s hard to believe that another year is ending. As we get ready to make our resolutions for 2017, it’s good to take a moment and reflect on how well we moved closer to our vision in 2016.

Here are some of our accomplishments during 2016:

--2016 The Year of The Nurse…In 2016, we formally celebrated our incredible nurses and all that they give to GBMC and our patients. The culminating event was the spectacular Art of Nursing affair.  This was a festive occasion and a great opportunity to thank all of our nurses and to have some fun! A month later, thanks to the 30-minute TV special, “The Art of Nursing, which aired on ABC2 Baltimore, we got a glimpse into the lives of our nurses who make caring, comforting and providing kindness to their patients their life’s work. The special reconfirmed for me that our health system is truly blessed to have phenomenal nurses in our inpatient units, in our operating suites, in our outpatient areas, our physician practices, and in our hospice. Again, I am very proud of all of them and honored to call them my colleagues!

--The GBMC HealthCare System was honored with the inaugural American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM) Patient Safety Award. We were selected from many applicants nationwide for our use of Lean Daily Management to improve health outcomes for patients and reduce preventable harm such as infections, falls with injury and hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. Receiving this recognition from an external authority, like ASHRM, is a substantial confirmation of the work we're doing to move us towards our quadruple aim.

--GBMC Goes Epic…On Oct. 1, we flipped the switch and Epic went live. While things are not perfect, Epic is running smoothly and patients now have only one record at GBMC. No longer do patients have multiple allergy lists with the inherent danger of this. So many people worked so hard to make this happen. It is now easier to have all of the patient’s information present when we are serving them.

We implemented simultaneously more modules than all of the other local hospitals, and there is clearly more work to be done. Stay tuned as we optimize the system over the months and years to come!

--Breaking A World Record… GBMC Healthcare set the Guinness World Record for the longest cancer awareness ribbon measuring 7,593 feet and 1 inch – more than 1.5 miles – during the 16th annual running of the Legacy Chase steeplechase event. The lavender ribbon is a symbol of GBMC’s commitment to continually reduce the scourge of cancer. Beyond breaking the record, this year’s event was a huge success. The annual event benefited GBMC’s oncology support services at the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute. The event would not have been successful without the support of our loyal volunteers. I thank all those who attended and all those who donated time or treasure.

Some of our other achievements in 2016 included:

--TOP DOCS 2016!..Dr. Melissa Sparrow, our first female chief of staff, was the physician on the cover of this year’s Baltimore Magazine Top Docs issue. I would also like to commend Dr. Neal Friedlander, chairman of the Department of Medicine, who was selected to be one of only seven doctors profiled in the issue, chosen from more than 680 doctors who were nominated for the honor. More than 120 Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) physicians, in 74 unique specialties, were also named in the issue. Once again, we had more physicians recognized than any other community health system in the region! We are so fortunate to have outstanding surgeons, internists, pediatricians, family physicians, and other wonderful specialists.  Congratulations to both Dr. Sparrow and Dr. Friedlander for their achievements as well as all others who were named 2016 Top Docs.

--Baltimore Magazine released a second list of exceptional medical providers, recognizing 50 of the region’s top nurses for their extraordinary contributions to healthcare. The 2016 “Excellence in Nursing” issue featured SIX GBMC HealthCare nurses among the 50 awardees! Having our nurses represented on this list is evidence of what we already knew – our HealthCare system has the best nurses!

--GBMC HealthCare added three new Physician Titans of Care: Rudiger Breitenecker, MD; John E. Savage, MD; Claire Weitz, MD.  Their outstanding skills, service, commitment, and instrumental roles have helped expand GBMC HealthCare’s reputation in our community and beyond.

--Our maternity care staff received the Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation, a new designation under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.  Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care, an expansion of the national Blue Distinction Specialty Care program, is awarded to hospitals recognized for delivering quality, cost-effective specialty care safely and effectively, based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community.

--Our SAFE program received its share of accolades in 2016.  Colleen Moore, our Domestic Violence Coordinator, recently won a Governor’s Award for Excellent Victim Services, Laura Clary, RN, FNE-A/P, SANE-A, CFN, CPEN, clinical manager of our SAFE program, was recently awarded the Henry Gleim Memorial Award by the Governor’s Maryland State Board of Victim Services. The award recognizes her outstanding contribution to the field of victim services and for her work in the area of victim advocacy, and our program was also awarded a Citation from the Maryland General Assembly for excellent services provided to the citizens of Baltimore County.

--I was so pleased that in 2016 GBMC hosted our first Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®:  The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence. The one-mile event, in which men (wearing heels) and women (wearing tennis shoes) walked together, was a way to educate the community and support our SAFE and domestic violence programs. I was so grateful for the more than 300 participants who helped us raise over $30,000 and allowed GBMC to continue providing necessary services to women across the community.

--Our Comprehensive Obesity Management Program (COMP) achieved certification for weight loss surgery under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) which sets standards for safe, high-quality bariatric patient care.  To earn the MBSAQIP designation, GBMC’s COMP program met essential criteria for staffing, training and facility infrastructure and protocols for care, ensuring its ability to support patients with severe obesity. Currently, there are more than 700 centers in the country that hold this accreditation. Congrats again to COMP for this great accomplishment!

--In 2016, GBMC was again recognized as a leader in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) healthcare equality by the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). This acknowledgment reinforces GBMC’s strides in HEI’s stringent core four leader criteria: Patient Non-Discrimination; Equal Visitation; Employment Non-Discrimination; Training in LGBT Patient-Centered Care. We are proud to have met the criteria and sub-criteria in all four categories!

--Our care management team in the hospital, at Gilchrist Hospice, and in our patient-centered medical homes won a few awards at Decision Health’s 8th Annual Care Coordination Summit.  The summit showcases new models of care and innovative processes that are transforming the healthcare system leading to improved patient outcomes and appropriate use of healthcare resources.

--In June, the hospital started using the Patient¬-Centered Care Team (PaCT) model of care. This is a collaborative model between physicians, nurses and other clinicians that makes it easier for us to stay focused on the patient. We have made telemetry available on most units to eliminate unnecessary patient transfers; physicians and case managers are now located on a single unit; multidisciplinary rounds include all members of the care team, and medical directors and their partner nurse managers are now accountable for the care on each unit and for achieving our four aims.

--Gilchrist Hospice received their CHAP (Community Healthcare Accreditation Partner) accreditation. Gilchrist is the best hospice anywhere, period. Cathy Hamel and her team are exemplars in healthcare management.

--Dr. Albert Blumberg and his wife, Beth, in a magnanimous gesture of gratitude, established the Beth and Albert Blumberg Radiation Oncology Staff Development Fund. For over 30 years, Dr. Blumberg has cared for patients at GBMC.  This wonderful gift is one way that the Blumbergs have decided to say, “Thank you!” to the Radiation Oncology staff who have made possible the department’s and Dr. Blumberg’s success in delivering life-saving treatment.

--This year, unfortunately, we said goodbye to Darin Lerner, MD, our former Chair of Psychiatry. Darin’s hard work and marvelous devotion to his patients made him such a trusted healer, friend, colleague, and teacher.  We also felt the loss of our good friend Joseph Keelty. Joe gave so much to the GBMC community and was a force in giving of his time, talent and treasure to both Gilchrist Services and our hospital. There is no doubt that we lost someone who was very special and a great friend to GBMC. We will always be thankful for what Joe did for GBMC and we are truly going to miss him.

--Approximately 900 participants spent part of their Father’s Day with GBMC and helped raise approximately $140,000 at the Father’s Day 5K. In 28 years, the 5K has raised close to $2 million for critically ill and premature babies.  More than 100 weight loss patients from our Comprehensive Obesity Management Program completed their first Father's Day 5K.  We had twins and 2007 NICU grads, Cody and Selena Staab, raise money for the NICU by selling their bracelets during the Father’s Day 5K.

--During this year’s Baltimore Running Festival approximately 100 runners joined team #RunGBMC to raise funds in support of Gilchrist Center Baltimore – the Joseph Richey House. The 19-bed inpatient center has been serving patients in Baltimore City for more than 30 years by providing residential, acute and respite care. We raised more than our $50,000 goal. I’m very grateful to all of the employees, volunteers, patients and supporters of GBMC Healthcare who helped us raise money and awareness of the outstanding work at the Joseph Richey House.

--Our Night at “The Yard"..Many of our employees attended our first GBMC Employee Night at Camden Yards.  It was nice to see so many of our people come out and have fun with their colleagues. And yes, the Orioles victory that night added more joy to an already festive event.

--For the first time ever, GBMC celebrated "Random Acts of Kindness Week.” These actions were spearheaded by the BeKind Brigade, comprised of GBMC staff from various departments, who randomly chose a certain hour on a selected date, to walk around the medical center and conduct random acts of goodwill.  In addition, GBMC delivered over 1,200 lbs. of non-perishable food to the Bea Gaddy Family Center for families in need. Thanks again to everyone who helped with this endeavor.

--GBMC Teamed up again with WMAR-TV to collect hundreds of toys for the 18th annual “It’s Kindertime Toy Drive.” Thank-you to all the hundreds of employees and their families along with the many donors who helped contribute to the toy drive.

--Our fantastic volunteer auxiliary again contributed thousands of hours of service and tremendous success in fundraising through our Nearly New sales.

The evidence is clear. GBMC HealthCare made great progress towards our vision in 2016! We have many, many people to thank for this. Our doctors, our nurses, other clinicians, and all of our non-clinical employees have done a fabulous job. And lastly, we must thank our patients – you are the reason we do what we do. We are honored and grateful that you have chosen GBMC for your care.

I realize that these things only represent a small fraction of what the GBMC family did in 2016 to move us closer to our vision. What others do you want to mention? Please share your thoughts below.

Best wishes to you and your loved ones for a Happy & Healthy 2017!

THANK YOU…Today we experienced a critical power failure to our data center in the North Pavilion that then caused our computer systems to shut down for hours.  We will take steps to assure that this cannot happen again. I want to thank all of our people who worked so hard under downtime procedures to care for our patients. I also want to thank Dave Hynson, GBMC’s Chief Information Officer, and his team, for all their hard work in addressing the issues and getting us back to normal operations as quickly as possible. I also want to express my gratitude to all members of our Incident Command Team.

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