"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Does a Shift in Care Delivery Change One’s Mission, Vision & Values?

As you may know, I contribute to a blog called Hospital Impact.  My latest submission was about the effect of value-based care on our mission, vision and core values at WMHS.  Here is what I submitted and was published on May 19.   

It is interesting to see how our mission, vision and core values at Western Maryland Health System have been applied over the last few years as we transitioned to our value-based care delivery model.  As we transitioned from volume to value, we felt that it was essential to re-examine our mission statement, our vision statement and our values. 
As we embraced the triple aim of health care reform, our Board decided to bring our mission statement more in line with our new commitment to value-based care delivery.  It was changed from “superior care for all we serve” to “we are dedicated to providing patient-centered care and improving the health and well-being of people in the communities we serve.”  The board felt that our previous mission statement focused more on care delivery within the hospital while the new mission statement introduced a much needed community health perspective. 
Our vision statement was also adjusted to reflect the change in care delivery that depends on establishing partnerships in advancing the health and well-being of those we serve now and into the future.  Many of our previous competitors are now our partners in this care delivery shift and we are continually seeking new partners to best deliver care in the most appropriate setting.  
After considerable input from a variety of stakeholders, the board felt that it wasn’t necessary to change our core values.  It was determined that they could be applied quite easily to our new care delivery model.  Our core values at WMHS are Innovation, Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence.  Innovation has been the mainstay of our core values as it relates to value-based care.  We have introduced many new and innovative initiatives into our care delivery model that are designed to keep patients out of the hospital and cared for in the most appropriate location.  Most importantly, they work!  There has been change in how our core values of integrity, compassion and accountability have been applied at WMHS over the last few years.   We have become much more transparent with the sharing of our quality and performance data; we always show compassion to all whom we serve and our accountability has been extended to ensuring that we provide the most appropriate care in the most appropriate location.  We will always respect the dignity and worth of each person whom we serve by delivering care in such a way that they can live their lives to the fullest going forward.  Lastly, excellence through superior performance has resulted and is supported by our recognition in improved systemwide metrics specifically in quality and patient safety. 
Our values haven’t changed, but the manner in which they have been applied has been expanded to encompass the new dimensions of care delivery.
On a personal note, I have been significantly impacted by the transition to valued-based care delivery.  To see firsthand the very positive impact that we continue to have on those patients who are considered to be the sickest of the sick is just short of amazing.  We are seeing significant reductions in admissions, readmissions, ED visits and ancillary utilization because these patients are benefiting from the many initiatives that have been put in place and they are being case managed like never before.  In many instances, we are also reaching their adult children who could be pre-disposed to similar co-morbidities in the future.  We are truly making a difference in the lives of these patients and our staff is also seeing the impact firsthand.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Nursing - It's Hard to Think of a More Wonderfully Deserving Profession

Last Friday began another Nurses Week, and I can't think of a more deserving group of people for such recognition.  For 14 consecutive years, nurses are our nation's most trusted profession with the highest ethical standards.  Wow!  Rounding out the top five according to Gallup were medical doctors behind nurses, pharmacists in third place followed by police officers and then members of the clergy.  That is quite a group of honorable professions.  

As soon as Gallup added nurses to the list in 1999, they have held the top spot except for 2001 when they were knocked off the top spot by firefighters, another very honorable profession.  According to clinical psychologists, people tend to trust those who are directly caring for them.  In the care of the patient, the nurse is the captain of the ship, if you will; they provide the continuity of care at the bedside.  Being in this business for over 40 years, I have had the pleasure of meeting, working with and being cared for by thousands of nurses.  They are truly amazing people in the care that they deliver, the compassion that they express and the advocacy that they demonstrate.   

At WMHS, we are now highlighting our nurses in a promotional campaign.  The spots are reflective of our amazing nurses.  The idea came from Texas Health Resources after their Ebola situation a few years ago.  There was a great deal of misinformation about their hospital and their care of our nation's first Ebola patient.  Their nurses said let us be interviewed by 60 Minutes and we'll set everyone straight--and they did.  These nurses were masterful and certainly made their profession proud.  Just as our nurses have done in their reflections on being a nurse.  

Nurses at WMHS and across the nation have truly earned their recognition as the most trusted, highly respected and ethical in their profession and in the care of their patients.  Happy Nurses Week!