Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Three Steps Forward...Two Steps Back

Many (or shall I say most) days, running a hospital is a balance of positive advances mixed with setbacks. Of course, the goal at the end of the day is to make sure we are a stronger organization than when we started.

Monday started out with some very good updates from our executive team. Following our Monday "stand up" meeting, Susan, our Regulatory Readiness Specialist, let me know that we had made some great improvements in our Regulatory focus areas. She indicated that we had several key performance improvement initiatives underway with time lines and accountable leads. This all refers to that "positive advancement" I referenced above.

Then I was informed by our Chief Medical Officer and Regional Director of Surgery that the first two cases of one of our surgeons was delayed--and it certainly could have been avoided. Needless to say this was a setback. No one, and I mean no one, seems to feel great when we "look into things" though it certainly is acceptable with prompt action and follow up. I was pleased to see that by day's end our Director had some of these issues addressed with a well-thought-out plan on how we would see through process changes in the next 30 days. Thank you Alan.

The evening was filled with evening rounding led by Cynde, our Chief Nursing Officer. I had a chance to round with Cynde, Jane, our Executive Director of Cardiac, Neuroscience and Vascular Services and Larry, our VP of Facilities Management. The evening group of associates was pulling together with some challenging patient cases and a busy ER. These folks are always very welcoming to us and asked to see us even more (some even mean it!).

By evening's end, it felt like we were truly making St. Joseph Medical Center a better organization than when we started, even though we experienced some setbacks.

We must all understand our role in the patient experience. In the next several months I will continue to discuss our strategies, direction, top priorities and focus for each department and with each employee, volunteer and physician.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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