The medical leadership and high-ranking hospital administration schedule meetings twice a month for 1.5 hours each to focus on “problem solving, goal creating, and strategizing,” says Wheelan. The meetings “get longer with the complexities of certain issues and the government always continues to throw us curve balls of new processes and paperwork to deal with” he says.
“It’s a very open environment to address issues of quality, service, finance,” he says. “Data is a very critical element to our process and we believe the data needs to be transparent. Without metrics, comparisons, and benchmarks, it is very difficult to achieve a higher level of excellence.”
Indeed, “it’s all about metrics, when we achieve both national goals or state goals, then we start benchmarking against ourselves,” says Nancy Vish, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, president and CNO of the Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital. As an example, the hospital is able to successfully contact 85% to 95% of patients postdischarge for follow-up and review of meds. This type of contact has had a direct impact on the hospital’s 99% satisfaction ranking with Press Ganey.
Despite its high-percentile ranking, the hospital continues to strive toward exceeding patient and family expectations, “getting the entire team onboard and aligning those processes,” Vish says. Staff morale is an important part of the process. Staff engage in hospitalwide celebrations to mark achievements related to improvements that reflect improved patient outcomes, she adds.
Paul Convery, MD, MMM, chief medical officer for the Baylor Health Care System, says improving coordination of physicians and administration within the integrated system is a constantly evolving process.
Convery says mentoring doctors helps the system develop physician leadership “in the quality and safety space across the organization.”
Overall, “a lot of physicians will bring ideas or problems from a clinical perspective, and we need to help them address them in an operational way,” Convery says.