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.

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