Thursday, July 30, 2020

What is Quality in Health Care?

Every day, the GBMC HealthCare System uses its core competency, redesigning care, to improve our services. Patients come to us because they want to stay well or get well. So, is quality healthcare defined as care that uses the best evidence to maximize the health of the patient? Well, it is clear that care without this is not high-quality care, but maximizing health outcomes alone is not enough. Quality encompasses the care experience as well as the physical health outcome. Providers often find that patients place higher value on the care experience than on the actual care decisions and its provision. We shouldn’t be surprised by this because the lay person may not understand the science, but they can clearly see differences in efficiency, cleanliness, and compassion.

We also need to consider waste, especially waste of the patient’s money, as an indicator of low quality. And finally, although some may consider it a stretch, the provider of the care must have a say on whether the care he or she provided was of high quality, independent of these other factors. I believe that when the provider has an opportunity to reflect, he or she must experience the joy of serving others.

My GBMC colleagues will realize that I have just described our four aims as the definition of quality in healthcare – the best health outcome and the best care experience with the least waste and the most joy for those providing the care. If any of the four aims has been missed in the care, we still have work to do on quality!

Virtual Town Halls
On Tuesday, July 28, we began our annual summer Town Hall Meetings. These discussions are a way for leadership to share information about our healthcare system, to hear concerns and ideas from our people, and to discuss how we can continue to improve. I truly want to hear from our colleagues in all three of our work systems: the hospital, GBMC Health Partners, and Gilchrist. My hope is that our people will bring their questions and ideas, and I encourage all GBMC staff to join one of the 15 scheduled meetings that run through September 25.

Due to COVID-19, the Town Halls are being conducted via Webex. The schedule is available on the InfoWeb. Please mark your calendars!

I want to thank Anna-Maria Palmer, our Vice President of Human Resources/Organizational Development and Chief Human Resources Officer, for her assistance in coordinating these virtual get-togethers.

I want to congratulate Dr. Robin Motter-Mast for being elected by our medical staff as Chief of Staff of GBMC. Over the years, Dr. Motter-Mast has held several key positions within the GBMC HealthCare System and I look forward to working with her in her new role.

I also want to offer my kudos to Dr. J. Christopher Greenawalt, Director of our Hospitalist Program, and Dr. Kelly Ellis, from our Emergency Department, for being elected as Vice Chief of Staff and Secretary/Treasurer respectively.

The Passing of a Dedicated Physician

I was truly saddened to hear about the passing of Joseph Costa, MD, an ICU physician and chief of the critical care division at Mercy Medical Center. Dr. Costa worked tirelessly on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. What can you say other than that Dr. Costa literally gave his life in working to save others? Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and colleagues.

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