A McLeod team of three people were invited to Pittsburgh, PA, last week for two days of education on quality and safety. Marie Segars, Donna Isgett and Rob Colones attended the session which encouraged hospitals “to achieve habitual excellence via one unifying focus, one value-based structure, and one performance system.” We had the opportunity to meet with Paul O’Neill, Sr., former Treasury Secretary, Alcoa CEO and Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative Founder. Mr. O’Neill led Alcoa to become the safest workplace in the world. Alcoa operates in more than 40 countries at a lost workday injury rate that is more than 20 times lower than the average rate for American hospitals.
It was a great opportunity to learn directly from Paul O’Neill and his leadership at Alcoa from 1987 to 1999. To hear of his one essential focus on safety – no equivocation, inspired our team. To envision what it would be like for everyone in the organization, every day – in a quest for perfect care and perfect safety, for patients and staff alike. To seek the highest quality and safety, lowest cost, and shortest customer response time, without tradeoffs – the same approach used by the world leaders.
We also had the opportunity to learn from Dr. Richard Shannon, Chairman of the Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Health System. Dr. Shannon’s pioneering work in patient safety has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and ABC’s “20/20″, and was recently the centerpiece for the PBS feature entitled “Remaking American Medicine.” During the two days, Dr. Shannon provided examples of focused work in quality and safety in health care organizations…reducing central line associated blood stream infections and a system level aim at why some patients experience readmissions.
The meeting was organized for member hospitals of the Healthcare Value Leaders Network. Helen Zak, President and COO of the Thedacare Center for Healthcare Value, also presented at the meeting. Helen shared her views on lean leadership. Formerly, COO of Lean Enterprise Institute, she worked with Jim Womack to spread lean principles throughout the world to a wide range of industries including automotive, capital equipment, healthcare, and high tech. Ms. Zak spoke on transforming health care by focusing on value for the patient. This includes continuous work in (1) care delivery redesign with a focus on the patient, (2) payment models that reward value, and (3) transparency of cost and quality data.
The other hospitals present at the meeting included: Northeast Georgia Health System, New York City Health & Hospitals, Parkview Regional Medical Center (Indiana), St. Mary’s General Hospital (Ontario), HealthEast Care System (Minnesota), and Trinity (Iowa).
We are learning from others as we seek to ‘Capture the Value’ for patients and families.