Straight Talk - “What a difference six years makes!"

December 8, 2011

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

What a difference six years makes!

Six years ago, a handful of us from NCH ventured to Orlando for the annual meeting of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), overwhelmed by the more than 6,000 healthcare professionals attending from around the world. This year, 40 colleagues, including eight Board members, 18 staff nurses, seven directors, six physicians and three senior administrators, just returned from IHI’s 23rd Annual National Forum, where we presented 18 posters sharing what we know best—healthcare quality.

IHI’s five strategic pillars this year are: Innovation, Raising joy while caring, Motivating, Execution, and Sustaining for the long haul. We contributed to these important goals with our colleagues’ projects:

• Hypo-glycemic control in cardiac surgical patients—Christine Carranza
• Prevention of heel ulcers in lower extremity fractures—Nicole D’Amico-Schaal and Erin Raney
• Reporting with a purpose: improving communications—Jessica D’Agostino and Helen Heers
• Fall into safety: safety facilitator and power plans—Kristin Miller
• Preventing falls using evidence—Laraine McNeese
• Handoffs take team collaboration—Deborah Bouchard
• Patient safety: bar code medication administration—Kim Andrews-Dapper and Gina Teegarden
• Raising patient satisfaction: focusing on courtesy—Helen Einer
• Oncology nurses conquering central line infections—James O’Neil
• Speed saves lives: improving door to EKG time—Jon Baldia
• Line-care bundle to prevent bloodstream infection—Jonathan Kling
• Improving patient satisfaction—Dr. Mario Trance
• Prevention of incontinence-associated dermatitis—Sandy Wheeler
• Ventilator reduction days—Karin Gutierrez
• Increasing home care knowledge of central lines—Sheryl Voivedich
• Saving minutes: reducing door to balloon times—Steve Cooke
• Prevent respiratory distress in surgical patients—Marcia Swasey
• Holistic relaxation: pain management in orthopedics—Maria Feola

That’s quite an impressive list of presenters and topics. Next year, we’ll need a bigger bus!

NCH’s remarkable evolution at the prestigious IHI gathering, from being a spectator six years ago to taking a leadership role today, is further proof of how far we’ve come as an institution and as quality professionals. But the last thing we should do now is rest on our laurels. Now is the time for all of us to redouble our efforts in realizing IHI’s five yardsticks to sustain our community’s continued progress in quality healthcare.

We should all be proud and thankful for the 4,000 dedicated NCH colleagues who are making a difference in our community’s and our nation’s healthcare, every single day.


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

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