2019 - Last Year of the Second Decade in the 21st Century
Dana Kellis, MD, SVP, CMO, Hospital Division
Many of us remember sitting in hospital board rooms at midnight, December 31, 1999, trying to prepare for the predicted catastrophe that would accompany the turn of the century with Y2K.
Fortunately, those predictions turned out to be overblown and there were very few serious events.
Here we are now, 20 years later, and it seems a good time to envision where we want to be at the end of this year.
In the 40 years since I entered health care, I don’t think there’s been a single year that we haven’t heard the warning that our industry is on an unsustainable course. There’s been talk of rapidly rising costs, overuse of drugs and technologies, too few doctors and too many specialists.
Despite all the warnings, we seem to have done pretty well as a profession and as an industry. For instance, people are surviving longer with nearly every serious disease you can name, from HIV/AIDS to many types of cancer to coronary artery disease, thanks to the incredible efforts of scientists, physicians, hospitals and nurses.
What does all of this mean? Certainly, we should celebrate our successes. On the other hand we need to work together to make our hospitals safer, of even higher quality and with patients at the center of all we do.
How do we do this? As a team we’ll work to standardize care for our patients using evidence-based guidelines that have been shown to improve outcomes. We’ll follow protocols and use checklists that have been shown to prevent infections and other complications. We’ll be working with our physician leaders to make sure our discharge processes give patients the best chance possible of staying out of the hospital.
In short, we appreciate the tremendous efforts our physicians and clinicians have made in improving the level of care at our hospitals, and look forward to making that care even better – the best it can be.
Here’s to a fantastic 2019!