Behind the scenes at MemorialCare

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | October 18, 2021
From the October 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

HCB News: In regard to safety, when was MemorialCare’s pledge to join the Patient Safety Movement Foundation made?
HM: We actually started our efforts in 2005 — we made an internal pledge to get to zero incidents at MemorialCare then. Because of that commitment and our work there, I got invited to be on a panel at one of the Patient Safety Movement Foundation’s annual meetings. At the time, Joe Kiani, CEO of Masimo was leading the movement and I got to meet him. I was impressed by the meeting and the conversations and the panelists, so later that year in December 2019, when they were taking in the commitments, our team filled out the lengthy and comprehensive application. We were very happy to get to the five-star level not only in terms of our commitment, but our outcomes. Joe came to our meeting we had with our executives to present us with the award in February right before March and the major start to the pandemic. Of course life changed after that with added focus on safety in regard to the pandemic.

HCB News: It sounds like with the work you did previously, you were really well-positioned to meet the requirements of that pledge?
HM: We were. When I first started, really working with another organization I also like — called the Institute for Healthcare Improvement or IHI – it was about reducing preventable harm, reducing preventable mortality and improving the patient experience. Those three focus areas have really driven our internal goals for quality of care for our hospitals and ambulatory settings. Again, we’ve had 16 years’ experience really doing that and that is partly how we’ve gotten to our 85% reduction in harm. But it’s a series of goals that dovetail very nicely with the Patient Safety Movement Foundation’s. They’re things like reducing patient infections, reducing pressure injuries, reducing falls with injuries, reducing maternal complications … we’ve had those goals for a while. What I’ve found with the Patient Safety Movement Foundation’s approach to that is really the rich research they have done into the area and the production of tool kits so me, as a provider and a lifelong learner, would be able look at the toolkits and say, “we’ve done that, we’ve done that. Oh, here’s another good idea!” It’s allowing us to mine for those other best practices and then bring them back to our teams. We have a series of teams. We have what we call “best practice teams” with clinicians, physicians, pharmacists, nurses, dieticians, socials workers — the folks that work at the bedside or the visit side that come together to create what will work at MemorialCare. We’re always looking at externally facing toolkits to see what else we can learn to augment the work we’ve already been doing to sustain our improvements as well as to make further improvements.

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