New Year’s Resolutions

For 2014 I have two New Year’s resolutions.

The first is to be completely transparent with our care givers and patients about the quality of care we are delivering, our caregiver and patient satisfaction, and our financial performance, so today’s blog will be dedicated to doing just that, providing you with all the data I have related to these items. The only problem with transparency is that some of the reports we generate can be confusing so feel free to send me questions which I will try and answer in future blog posts.

The best overall view of quality and service that we have available to us is our key performance indicator (KPI) report for each of our hospitals.

To view the KPI reports click these links: UMass Memorial Medical Center; Clinton Hospital; HealthAlliance Hospital; Marlborough Hospital; Wing Memorial Hospital

My overall summary is that we continue to do a tremendous job taking care of the sickest patients, but that we are mediocre when it comes to the not so well. We have pockets of excellence when it comes to service at the medical center and areas that require significant improvement.

Click here for a summary of inpatient patient satisfaction scores at the medical center and here for a list of outpatient patient satisfaction scores.

South County Pediatrics (L to R): Anthony Talieri, MD, Eileen Aubuchon, MD, Eric Dickson, MD, Mariana Azer, MD, Angela Beeler, MD, Trish Stuart, RN

South County Pediatrics (L to R): Anthony Talieri, MD, Eileen Aubuchon, MD, Eric Dickson, MD, Mariana Azer, MD, Angela Beeler, MD, Trish Stuart, RN

We measure quality of care in the primary care environment using our master patient registry and a “gate score”.  I had the opportunity to visit two of our primary care practices the week before Christmas (Auburn Primary Care and South County Pediatrics).

Those practices have been doing a great job using the master patient registry to improve the quality of care they deliver to their patients. Their current gate score, which is an overall measure of quality delivered in the primary care environment, is 2.9 for Auburn and 2.6 for South County. For a list of gate scores by practice click here.

Auburn Internal Medicine (R to L): Hesham Hammouda, MD, Tammy Gentile, office supervisor, Gerald Chase, MD, William McLaughlin, MD, Eric Dickson, MD

Auburn Internal Medicine (R to L): Hesham Hammouda, MD, Tammy Gentile, office supervisor, Gerald Chase, MD, William McLaughlin, MD, Eric Dickson, MD

As you know, our fiscal year starts in October, and for the first two months of fiscal year 2014 (October and November), financially we have incurred an operating loss (income from delivering healthcare services) of $18 million dollars.  Thankfully, the stock market continued to perform well in October and November and this operating loss was offset by non-operating income (income from investments and things other than delivering healthcare services) of $17 million for a total margin loss of  $1.5 million.

My other New Year’s resolution for UMMHC is to absolutely require – without exception – excellence in everything that we do. Right now we are part of a health system that has pockets of excellence, but pockets of excellence isn’t good enough for our patients.  We need to consistently deliver excellence throughout the organization.

One of the pillars of our new strategic plan is invest in the best – divest or partner on the rest and that is exactly what we will be doing in 2014. If we can’t deliver excellence in an area then we will either partner with somebody else to deliver the service or divest ourselves completely of it.

Excellence for us is defined by access, flow, quality and service to our patients and our caregivers. Our patients deserve same or next day access to our services (Access), our patients should not be sitting in the corridors of the emergency department or the waiting rooms of our clinics (Flow) we should be delivering the same gold standard of care throughout the organization (Quality) and we should treat our patients and one another with compassion (Service).

In 2014 will be focusing intensely on these four things, and when we do them well we will be delivering on our promise to be the best place to give care and the best place to get care.

Thanks for everything you do to take great care of our patients and one another and happy new year,

Eric

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