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Straight Talk
A weekly update from management on the issues that matter most.

Apr 13, 2017
Metrics and measures help quantify value. And in healthcare we have scores of numbers which help us self-evaluate while creating transparency for all. Recently we received important rankings for Collier County’s health, NCH’s safety, and NCH’s finances. We are in a good position on an excellent pathway but still and always will have room to improve. These thoughts remind me of my formal medical career with ongoing feedback and learning opportunities, resulting in helping others with newly acquired education and skills. Similarly, we now are using metrics to improve health on a larger scale.

2017 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows Collier County proudly ranks as the 2nd healthiest county in Florida.  We have been 1st, 1st, 4th, 3rd, and now 2nd to St. Johns (located south of Jacksonville) for the past four consecutive years.  www.FLHealthCHARTS.com 

These rankings are a snapshot of the health of counties across the country and emphasize that health is not a singular effort but a combined work in progress across all community partners.  In collaboration with local governments, nonprofit organizations, healthcare facilities, business groups, schools, faith-based organizations and many other stakeholders, we are improving the health for all people in Collier County.  These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health behaviors, and clinical care.  The rankings can be viewed at www.CountyHealthRankings.org.

Life expectancy in Collier County continues to improve and is now the best in the America, whereas our nation’s life expectancy is declining.  We also are the healthiest and happiest metropolitan statistical area according to the Gallop Healthways Well-Being Index.  All of these facts reflect a community where everyone is encouraged to live a longer, happier, and healthier life.  http://www.well-beingindex.com/2016-community-rankings

The Leapfrog Group measures patient safety and quality, assigning grades every six months to hospitals and healthcare systems.  The Baker Hospital and North Naples Hospital received a “B,” which is the same grade as six months ago.  Previously we received “A” scores, and obviously we aspire and plan to get back to the top.  We are actively improving on our Patient Satisfaction scores that have been holding us back.  The objective metrics for quality outcomes and processes are excellent and at the “A” level, but our hospitality metric has opportunity for improvement.  Importantly, we pledge to honor the trust of our patients by being transparent about our progress and working toward the highest possible standard of patient satisfaction and safety.

Moody’s Investor Service affirms our A2 Rating with a stable outlook summarized as follows:  The A2 reflects NCH’s leading and growing market position as a full service tertiary provider in a demographically favorable primary service area of Naples, FL and a long standing history of successful fundraising.  The rating also reflects favorable operating performance, translating into good debt service coverage, and growing liquidity metrics over the last three years.  This is tempered by a high Medicare exposure (59% in FY 2016), seasonal volume trends, and rising costs related to a nursing shortage. 

These three important metrics show strength with opportunity.  We will always be on a virtuous pathway of improvement, measurement, feedback, process change, and more improvement.  Sharing our report card with those we serve will help everyone live a longer, happier, and healthier life.

AUTHOR

Allen Weiss, MD

President and CEO

You may contact Dr. Allen Weiss and The NCH Healthcare System by clicking here.