Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017: Another Great Year for Our System of Care

As we come to the end of 2017, I would like to highlight some accomplishments of the GBMC HealthCare System this year.

There’s no doubt that we continued to move towards our vision of becoming the community-based health care system where every patient, every time, gets the care we want for our own loved ones. 

I realize that the video below only mentions a small fraction of what the GBMC family did in 2017 to move us closer to our vision. What others do you want to mention? Please share your thoughts.

Best wishes to you and your loved ones for a Happy & Healthy 2018!

2017 End-of-Year Recap

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Meeting a Humble Leader

Last week, I was at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) National Forum and I had the wonderful opportunity to hear General Stanley McChrystal give a plenary address on leadership. General McChrystal graduated from West Point in 1976, became an Army Ranger and rose through the ranks. In 1990, he became an action officer for Army Special Operations, working in Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). In 1991, he saw action in the Desert Shield and Desert Storm tours. His last assignment was as Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A). He previously served as Commander of JSOC from 2003 to 2008, where he was credited with the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

General McChrystal spoke about the need to communicate quickly and up and down throughout the ranks in order to get the job done as leaders. He explained how JSOC was able to defeat Al-Qaeda in Iraq by changing the existing top-down communication system and getting the whole team involved in decision making. I reflected that we do not work under such a continually high pressure, high stakes environment, but to get to our vision, we could learn a lot from General McChrystal’s work.

As many of you know, this year GBMC has teamed up with WMAR-TV ABC2 to collect hundreds of needed items for the Fill the House initiative for the House of Ruth. Recently, we added a different twist. Instead of collecting parking fees, we handed out flyers asking visitors to "pay it forward" by donating much-needed items to the House of Ruth. Many visitors opted to “open their wallets” and gave money on the spot to help the cause. I am happy to announce that we collected over $4,000.00 for the House of Ruth. I want to thank all members of The GBMC leadership team who worked the parking booths along with the many people who helped with the campaign.

I know that you who attended this year’s annual Employee Holiday Meal enjoyed the good food and festivities. This is a system tradition that draws many GBMC HealthCare employees. Music filled the air at the meals as members of the GBMC Holiday Choir put on a wonderful lunch-time concert. Thanks to all who did their part to make sure this year’s event was a success and I wish you all Happy Holidays!

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

Friday, December 8, 2017

“Brand” vs. “Evidence”

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about a big dilemma in the U.S. healthcare system. Patients are generally unaware of facts and rely instead on reputation when they choose a hospital or healthcare provider. They often don’t know if they’ve chosen a hospital of lesser value because they’ve assumed quality based on common wisdom or “brand.” Unfortunately, this can lead to patients receiving subpar treatment because they were unaware of facts when they were choosing their provider.

At their meeting this week, The GBMC HealthCare Board Quality Committee was reviewing the phenomenal performance of our orthopedics and spine surgical teams. Under the leadership of Joy Reynolds, RN, the Unit 58 nurse manager, Lee Schmidt, MD, the chief of orthopedics, and Bimal Rami, MD, the chief of neurosurgery, they’ve improved everything from evidence-based pre-op care in the physician offices, to outstanding performances in the operating rooms and phenomenal immediate post-op rehabilitation with GBMC’s sensational physical therapists. 

This improvement work has led to outstanding outcomes as evidenced by near-zero wound infection and readmission rates and the patient engagement scores for Unit 58 (where patients go from the operating room). These are among the highest in Maryland (with the best care experience). GBMC’s prices for the procedures are significantly lower than many, if not most, other hospitals in our region (with the least waste).

Our teams serve many patients but we would like to grow our programs. I would love to hear your ideas about how to get consumers to choose value over a brand.

In The Spirit of the Holidays, Please Donate ...
This year, we are a proud sponsor of the Fill the House for House of Ruth initiative to collect everyday necessities for this partner in care. This is the first year of the campaign and the items collected will help thousands of women and children to recover from abuse and to rebuild their lives. The work that the House of Ruth performs is closely aligned with our SAFE program.

Please don’t forget to donate items at various drop-off locations on the GBMC campus, including Family Care Associates and at each of our 10 off-site primary care locations. Some of the House of Ruth's greatest needs include diapers, women's and children's undergarments, pillows, twin-sized sheets, comforters, and blankets. The drive will run through Friday, December 15. All items must be new and unopened. An additional way to donate is through our Amazon Wishlist. All items purchased through this link will be shipped directly to GBMC Marketing so you don’t have to worry about dropping anything off.