Straight Talk - This week, many of our 25 community Board members heard the following highlights

March 17, 2011

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

From time-to-time, I've provided you with a “fly-on-the-wall” glimpse into discussions at our NCH Board of Trustees meetings. This week, many of our 25 community Board members heard the following highlights from some of our most important Board committees. We will share summaries for the full Board at their next meeting in two weeks.

· Quality Committee. Drs. Kenny Bookman and Doug Harrington, along with Director of Respiratory Care Scott Wiley and ICU Microsystem Director Jon Kling, presented plans to reduce the time a patient is on the ICU ventilator. This is important because less time on the ventilator decreases the chances of a patient contracting pneumonia and also costs the patient and the hospital less. Our team attending the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, a consortium of 50 hospitals, has profited from knowledge of best practices in this area and others.  

· Strategic Planning Committee. Strategic planning continues to be an evolving process at NCH. In that context, our partnership with the NCH Healthcare Group has grown to 67 physicians and 20 mid-level providers. The Board discussed the complex questions that such partnerships generate. What should we select as primary quality metrics? How can all 17 of our offices become Joint Commission accredited? How should we grow? What is our goal for patient satisfaction, as measured by the independent Press Ganey surveys? And how can we implement a seamless electronic medical record for everyone in the community? All these questions require answers, executable solutions, and specific timelines. And these are only some of the questions the Strategic Planning Committee and the larger Board are tackling. Additionally, Drs. David Axline, Ron Levine and COO Phil Dutcher shared an overview of the progress and plans of the Naples Heart Institute which is a division of the NCH Healthcare Group.  

· Human Resources Committee. The highlight here was RN Jen Ringle sharing her team's outstanding progress in shared governance. We now have eight functioning teams making significant contributions to patient safety and quality, while improving the working experience for everyone. Shared governance has made a huge difference in the quality care we deliver to the community. Also, Karen Judd presented on best practices in competency assessment.

· Marketing Committee. Committee Chair Sue Dalton reviewed our “This is My Hospital” campaign and then expanded the discussion to how best to share our message that excellent pediatric care is available close to home. In particular, we are committed to spreading the word about our new Peds ER, a wonderful addition for young families.

· Patient Satisfaction Committee. Committee Chair Mariann MacDonald reviewed the results of follow-up calls to patients discharged over the past few months, with an eye toward identifying trends and ways to continue to improve the patient experience. We are also developing a Patient Advisory Council, made up of recent patients willing to share their experiences with caregivers. What better way to understand patients' experience than through their own eyes?

Finally, I had the great pleasure this week of visiting a regular Wellness Center member who had a total hip replacement, administered successfully by Dr. Mort Bertram. Not so unusual you might say, since NCH is the second busiest total joint replacement hospital in the country for Medicare patients. True.

However, patient Mae Wood is 101-years-old! And I expect she will be back working out at Wellness—as soon as she is done working out on the 5S Rehab floor.


Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO

Please feel free to share Straight Talk or contact me here:

To view past issues of Straight Talk click:
Join us on Facebook at: