How Good Are We?
Dana Kellis, MD, SVP, CMO, Hospital Division
How good are we?
This question seems to be at the basis of many discussions about our hospitals. When we market ourselves to the “outside” world, we want that answer to be as positive as possible – “very good” or even “the best.”
On the other hand, when we’re trying to drum up support for quality improvement initiatives, or to get physicians and others to be more diligent in following rules and meeting expectations, the message often changes to "not nearly good enough" or "poor."
This contradictory approach can be confusing or even appear disingenuous. What is the real story?
There is plenty of evidence that BayCare is, in fact, an excellent place to receive health care. A number of our hospitals have received the CMS 5-Star designation – the highest level possible that is bestowed upon the top 15 percent of hospitals nationwide. Several more have received the CMS 4-Star designation, which also connotes a level of overall quality well above the national average.
Our composite score on the Truven/Watson Top 100 scorecard, which the BayCare Board of Directors has designated as our “official” quality report card, is well within the range of scores achieved by the top 20 percent of health care systems.
Of course, any BayCare team member can tell you that the system has a laser focus on quality. Every meeting begins with a quality moment. Tommy Inzina, our CEO, has made clear to team members and board members that Clinical Excellence is our True North. For all of these reasons, I join many of my friends and colleagues in choosing BayCare for my own and my family’s health care needs.
Continuous improvement is part of our Quality Model, and we should always identify areas in which we can improve the care of our patients and the safety of our hospitals. No matter how well our infection and complication rates compare to other hospitals, patients’ lives and well-being are disrupted when they experience one of these events.
As I read patients’ comments about the care they receive at our hospitals, I’m gratified by the many positive statements, but chagrined by the occasional unflattering remarks from patients who experience negative interactions with physicians or team members.
The point is that yes, BayCare is a good – even a great – health care system and can be deservedly proud of many accomplishments and improvements. But we shouldn’t stop there. Our hope is that no matter where we are on the spectrum of good to great we will never stop striving to improve, to be better, to have one fewer patient who experiences a complication or negative interaction.
Let’s keep our gaze resolutely forward and upward, always focused on how to be better than we are, and always proud to be better than we were.