Lary Davis, CEO of Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital, was happily surprised when he recently received recognition by Consumer Reports that his facility topped the list as the safest hospital in the Chicago suburbs.
However, having joined the hospital in July 2012 as a culmination of a search conducted by FaithSearch Partners, Davis wasn’t completely surprised by this award. Last year the Joint Commission recognized his hospital as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®.
Davis credits his entire team for improving patient safety outcomes. “There’s been a patient safety focus here for a number of years,” said Davis. “Our promise to our community is that when patients walk through our doors they will have a safe environment and receive excellent care.”
Keys to Success
Davis, with 23 years of CEO experience, notes that it all starts with establishing a culture of safety within the organization. Employees need an open environment where they can speak up if they observe what they perceive to be a potentially unsafe situation. “If you can talk about safety issues openly, change will happen,” said Davis. To reinforce this culture, patient safety is a standing agenda item at every management meeting.
Another key to success is having a system in place to address patient safety concerns. Quantifiable metrics for safety must be established, monitored and tie back to clear accountability including compensation. “You have to mean it and follow through,” said Davis.
To involve the Medical Staff, a personalized report card is periodically issued to every physician that details patient safety metrics such as complication and mortality rates. Each doctor can see how his or her performance stacks up against other aggregated results from Medical Staff members as well as physicians across the country. This tool results in meaningful discussion and a change in behavior. “If a doctor sees that he is an outlier,” said Davis, “he will change his behavior because his naturally competitive nature pushes him to improve.”
Be focused. Get it on the agenda. Follow through. Be diligent. Change will happen.