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Measuring Mission

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 13, 2012
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This article appears in the January 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Most healthcare leaders say their organization's dedication to mission is strong or very strong, with only about one in 10 describing that quality as weak or neutral. How can a leader ensure real commitment to mission, and how do you know if your organization is meeting its mission? What are the metrics? What do you look for?

Donald A. Pocock, MD, CMO
Morton Plant Mease Health Care, Clearwater, FL

If you really want to focus on one metric that is important, you have to look at the mortality rate that occurs in your facilities—in particular, the mortality rate that is related to procedural work you do. That is an easy thing to look at. It is also an easy thing to hide because you can discharge people pretty quickly when you know they are going south, which is not a real good way to deal with that.

The bottom line to me as a clinician is, Why do people want to come here? Do they trust us? Do they look for good care to be delivered? What is my turnover in my medical staff? If we don't provide a good place for doctors to take care of patients, you see attrition. If I am meeting the needs of the proceduralists and the primary care guys who want to bring their patients here for care, that means we are doing something right. That means our nursing ratios are good. It means our care delivery is good. And if it is a quality place to work, our nursing retention is among the highest in the state of Florida. That reflects the fact that it is a place where the young are here because we do a good job. They are here to take care of patients.

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