In the 25+ years we’ve worked with hospitals and labor and delivery units across the country, we’ve seen that no two team cultures are the same. This determines the difference between a good hospital and a phenomenal hospital, and we believe culture correlates with revenue performance and patient satisfaction. A desire to improve the quality and safety of patient care does not guarantee the success of achieving this goal. The processes, people, and service-focused attitude are the key ingredients.
We’ve been consulting with the Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana. Their goal to improve maternal care in the area is a drive felt throughout the hospital. The detailed attention and commitment from all stakeholders consisting of physicians, nurses, administrative staff, management, facilities, IT, and the executive team, is a reminder of the importance of key elements: standardization, alignment in goals, and leadership.
Standards in quality
Initially working with the team, we were very impressed with how well they operated. Standardization with policies and protocols within a hospital’s OB department isn’t necessarily commonplace. Their level of standardization is no wonder why they have been recognized as an excellent facility, one of the top labor and delivery in the state, earning awards for their commitment to quality and patient-focused care. From how they manage high blood pressure to how they manage postpartum hemorrhages, medical staff follow best practice standards for common situations. Beyond protocols, from the hospitalists to the community doctors, the medical and administrative staff, stand united to work towards a common goal of providing the best care for their patients.
What’s most inspiring is their dedication to work towards the highest safety and quality standards. Although they are already working at a high level of quality maternal care, they see opportunities for further improvement and are open to collaborating with expert resources.
A cohesive team, contributing in their respective roles, and working towards a unified goal results in progress. Across the Hospital, all staff, C-level, physicians, directors, administrators and medical staff, are motivated by providing the best and safest care.
Lou Molina, CEO of the Hospital supports initiatives that will improve the care and safety of patients. It means not only high levels of patient satisfaction and improved outcomes for patients, but also benefits for the hospital as an organization. Good outcomes can lower costs, such as litigation expenses. Bad outcomes can impact soft costs, like a hospital’s reputation or referral potential.
Physicians such as Dr. Uppuluri and Dr. Gentille recognize the value of improved patient care through a hospitalist program where both they and their patients are supported. The model creates a better work environment, promoting peace of mind, work-life balance, and patient-focused care.
Leadership Creates Strides to Success
When the vision is part of the team culture there is a sense of ownership and responsibility by its members. Everyone is part of the driving force towards an aligned goal. Complemented with effective leadership, a hospital can make huge strides.
Once the project was underway, our point person was Carla Meyer, MS, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, Director of Patient Services. Carla was a key person in leading the project. Having a pulse on the hospital, knowing the operations and teams inside and out, made it easy to coordinate meetings and calls with various resources across the hospital. Her organization and effective communication kept progress moving forward, and we were only welcomed with cooperation and quick responses from her colleagues. Her enthusiastic and positive leadership supported an enjoyable, exciting and cohesive work environment amongst hospital employees and us.
The Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana is a reminder of how maternal care can improve in our Nation. Even the most recognized labor and delivery unit strives to improve. This is a primary reason why programs are successful, they are always working to improve. If every hospital had the same vision and drive, more mothers would receive safer and higher quality of care. Each hospital is unique and the work that needs to be done varies. Whether you need consultation on building a stronger team, you’re struggling to start a hospitalist program, or see the benefit of improving patient care standards, but unsure where to begin, please contact us. We want to hear your ideas, and happy to answer any questions you may have.
– Dr. Rob Olson