"Quality improvement and accountability are familiar buzzwords within the healthcare
industry, but understandably, many consumers and patients have only a vague understanding of what those terms mean," said Michael J. Dowling, president and CEO of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. "For us to succeed as a healthcare organization and strengthen public trust, we recognized long ago that quality must be a top priority for every employee, regardless of whether they're cleaning patients' rooms or performing surgery in the operating room."
At North Shore-LIJ, the health system leadership sets the priorities and goals for quality improvement with input from physicians and staff, but gives its facilities the freedom to personalize implementation to meet local needs. The health system takes a multi-pronged approach that includes quality measurement, best practices, public reporting, internal communication of results, physician and employee empowerment, and continuous staff education and development.
For example, each week Dowling spends the first two hours of his day meeting with new employees during their orientation. He goes over the health system's strategic goals and initiatives, which include a major focus on the organization's quality measures, performance targets and results. His role is to send a loud and clear message: every employee—from administrative leaders to the environmental staff—is a quality ambassador who has an obligation and responsibility to provide the best care possible to every patient.
|SOURCE National Quality Forum|
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