Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A season of giving

During this holiday season, I would like to extend a heartfelt 'thank you' to our Hospital Family for improving healthcare in the Hudson Valley. Your efforts have touched the lives of thousands of patients and their families who turn to Orange Regional Medical Center for healthcare services. I would also like to offer my sincere appreciation to our employees for your generosity to the employee Capital Campaign, The Possible Dream and our annual giving program the Century Club Campaign. To date, employee contributions have totaled $753,159. Likewise, employee support has contributed to the success of the 2008-2009 Century Club Campaign totaling over $114,000.

In addition, many employees have demonstrated Orange Regional’s commitment to our community by extending generosity beyond the walls of this organization. Through your donations of time and money to Orange Regional’s United Way Campaign, we raised nearly $36,000 to aid a variety of programs and community initiatives for Orange County residents. Additionally, throughout the year, our hospital family has supported an array of fundraising efforts from charity walks to blood donations to bake sales. In addition to our goal of becoming the best regional hospital in New York State, the magnitude of our combined generosity demonstrates the significant role Orange Regional plays in our community. Thank you for your ongoing support.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Becoming a Lean Hospital

In Orange Regional’s continuous effort to improve the patient experience and increase patient satisfaction, we need to commit to being the best we can be. What does that really mean? It means being the provider of choice for our community, the employer of choice for our staff and the workplace of choice for our doctors. It means treating our patients with quality care and compassion; being kind, courteous and supportive to each other; and providing a work environment that makes the best use of everyone’s time.

To assist us in achieving these goals, I am pleased to announce that Orange Regional Medical Center has joined high performing hospitals across the United States in embracing a continuous improvement initiative called the Lean Hospital. This initiative is supported and endorsed by The Joint Commission.

What does it mean to be a Lean Hospital? It means continuously improving how we work to enable our employees to more effectively do the job they were hired to do. It means working with employee teams to study how we deliver and support patient care; and making changes that streamline processes and improve the patient experience while enhancing job satisfaction. It may be as simple as eliminating a redundant form in the Admitting Packet or as complex as modifying the discharge process. But whatever the result, the Lean initiative has been found to improve communication, build teamwork and increase job satisfaction.

To help implement these new principles, we have engaged The Leonardo Group, a Lean training company with offices in the United States and Europe. The Leonardo Group has been helping companies implement Lean since the early 1990’s, and has worked with some of the most successful companies in the world including John Deere, Boeing and General Electric, to name a few. The idea at Orange Regional is to learn how to “Do Lean” with our own staff so that it becomes an ongoing process embedded in our culture. When applied rigorously and throughout the entire organization, Lean principles have a dramatic impact on quality, productivity, cost and timely delivery of services.

This is an exciting and timely initiative for ORMC that will touch on many of areas of the hospital. Some results will be immediate; others will require more time. But, we will keep you updated on progress and look forward to employee participation and support.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This is an exciting time to be a member of the Orange Regional Medical Center Family, especially when considering the construction of our new hospital and how it will assist us in better serving our community’s healthcare needs. There are many important activities that we are undertaking as an organization to help us prepare for work in our new facility. Hospital leadership has developed 16 teams to oversee and coordinate all aspects of the new hospital project. Specifically, the Move Management team is planning for the physical relocation of our two campuses.

Moving a hospital, or in our case two hospitals, is a very complex process. We have engaged AOS Inc., a company that specializes in large, complex healthcare moves, to guide us through the process. AOS has successfully moved over 30 hospitals in the past 10 years, and will work with us until our physical transition into the new hospital is completed.

AOS leverages their experience and will apply sophisticated project management tools and techniques to ensure the execution of our move is smooth. Project leaders at AOS have prior careers in military logistics management, moving people and equipment around the globe. Over the coming months, employees and physicians may be asked to work with AOS and Orange Regional leadership on this relocation effort. Your support, cooperation and input will be very important to this process.

I appreciate your support and participation in these important planning efforts. Hospital employees are asked to please reach out to your supervisor if you have questions, comments, concerns or ideas for our transition strategy.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Expectation: Excellence - Priority: Quality

While we work to bring new healthcare services and technology to our community, construct the first new hospital in New York State in twenty years and prepare to consolidate two campuses into one, many organization-wide initiatives are underway. One of the most important initiatives is organizational development to enhance the effectiveness of leaders, employees and teams which will improve hospital performance. A significant element to this plan involves cultural change. It is imperative that we all work together to foster an environment that promotes staff unity, quality, consistency in patient care and positive behavior.

I’d like to thank the employees who were invited to participate in one of several focus groups that took place on July 24. The purpose of those groups was to gain employee insight and determine priority issues and concerns regarding the staff integration process into the new hospital. Now that key issues have been identified by staff, we’ll form addition groups comprised of Arden Hill and Horton campus employees from similar departments to go through a series of team-building sessions. Later, these teams will evaluate similarities and differences between each campus regarding various processes and patient care practices so we may develop best practices for the new hospital. Additionally, we have hired a Director of Organizational Development, Betsy Kennally who will be instrumental in the staff integration and team building process.

A major component in promoting a positive environment is holding staff accountable for their contribution toward positive change. All staff is, and will continue to be, evaluated on service excellence and our Standards of Behavior. Beginning this fall, our performance evaluations will be heavily weighted in the service excellence area and more emphasis will be placed on behavior. The evaluation form will outline more specifically what positive behavior should look like. The service excellence component will account for at least 50% of an individual’s overall performance rating. Leadership will be sharing the evaluation form with staff by the end of September.

It is our goal to see an increase inpatient satisfaction as a result of this new emphasis on service excellence and behavior. We will also seek to correlate the employee performance ratings with the patient satisfaction scores in each of the patient care areas.

Our patients’ experience begins and ends with each of us. Patient satisfaction and quality care begins with your commitment to be part of a team that focuses on positive development so that we may become the best regional hospital in New York State.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Welcome to the newest communication tool for the Orange Regional Medical Center family. I hope you will find this blog informative and serve as a way to keep you updated on all of the exciting things happening at your hospital.