Message from the President
Improving What Matters
If you were to ask someone what quality means to them, you would likely get a different answer each time. If you were to ask me, I would tell you that quality means doing the right things right.
In health care those “right” things are defined as focusing on hospital-acquired infections, mortality rates, patient satisfaction, and readmissions, among others. We need to know how we’re doing in measures that matter. This data provides us with feedback on the outcomes of patients in our care and helps guide our focus for the following year.
To put this more simply, when thinking about Lakeland’s quality journey, it’s important to think about what we would want for our own family. When my loved ones are at the hospital, I don’t want them to die or get an infection. I want them to be happy and feel well cared for. And, I want them to get a good value for the care they are receiving. When they leave the hospital, I don’t want them to have to come back.
I’m proud to say, over the last year we have improved in almost every quality measure that matters. We are managing care for a number of critical diseases very well, in fact quite better than many of our neighboring health systems. Lakeland is in the top five to 10 percent of all hospitals in America in regards to readmissions for a number of key diagnoses including heart attack and heart failure, hip and knee replacement surgery, stroke, pneumonia, and COPD. As a result, our health system will pay no government penalties in 2018.
We also receive feedback directly from our patients in the form of patient satisfaction surveys. I am pleased to share that ratings on communication with nurses and how soon a patient’s call light is answered are the highest we have ever had. This is a direct result of a new patient rounding initiative put into place by our nursing leadership team this past year.
In addition, all three of our hospitals recently achieved straight A’s in The Leapfrog Group’s Fall 2018 Hospital Safety Grade, ranking the organization among the safest hospitals in the United States.
Looking ahead, we are excited to continue this great work, together with our friends at Spectrum Health. Through our recent integration, there are many ways we can learn from each other to help achieve these goals. Spectrum Health’s top tier performance, geographic proximity, and cultural similarity will make this a great partnership. You can read more about these exciting changes for health care in West Michigan on page 8.