Straight Talk - "Three pieces of good news"

July 12, 2012

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Three pieces of “good news” have arrived for NCH this week—one for information technology, one for fiscal soundness, one for quality. All, of course, are related and necessary to attain our three core goals of patient value (quality divided by cost), population health (prevention rather than repair), and patient satisfaction.
  • In the area of technology, NCH is the first hospital system in southwest Florida and only one of five in all of Florida to earn recognition as being among Hospitals & Health Networks magazine’s Most Wired award winners.

The Most Wired hospitals are named in the July edition of Hospitals & Health Networks (, chosen for their use of the most advanced technology to provide patients with the highest standards of safety and quality of care. There are almost 5,000 hospitals in the country, and 1,570 of them applied for this recognition by submitting information about outcomes in patient safety, risk-adjusted mortality rates and other metrics. NCH was chosen out of these 1,570 hospitals for this distinguished award. Key to our technological success has been our 20-year partnership with Cerner, leveraging each other’s core competencies to obtain exponentially better results than either of us could have achieved alone. Great credit goes to Cerner Senior Director David Vigil, who has worked with Interim CIO and system COO Phil Dutcher and retired CIO Susan Wolff, who spearheaded laying the foundation for our success. Our new CIO Helen Thompson will continue the journey with the development of a Health Information Exchange and further integration within our healthcare system and all of southwest Florida.
  • In the area of fiscal soundness, Moody’s has reaffirmed our bond rating, as “A2 with a stable outlook.”

NCH achieved this high-quality bond rating last year, for the first time since 1955. Moody’s reaffirmation this year ( is further validation that we are progressing soundly and with appropriate resources. As CFO Vicki Orr told our Board and leadership team, “This is very good news for NCH and it gives us another year to focus on (as Dennis Farrell of Morgan Stanley [our advisor] put it) ‘utilizing NCH’s positive attributes and translating them into good margins’. Thanks to each of you for your contribution to this successful rating and a special THANK YOU to Noble Arrington for all his diligence in helping us with this achievement.”

“NCH North Naples (Fla.) Hospital. NCH's North Naples Hospital, part of Naples-based NCH Healthcare System, has 261 acute-care beds. The hospital caters to its patient population with the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging, an acute-care unit for the elderly that incorporates care specialized for high-risk populations. The hospital has also recently added a patient tower offering patients a ‘spa-like’ environment. In 2012, NCH North Naples was recognized for excellence in cardiac care and coronary intervention, placing it among the nation's best hospitals in these areas, according to HealthGrades.”

The key to all these accolades: almost 4,000 colleagues, over 600 physicians, and about 1,200 volunteers working together to serve our patients and southwest Florida. Thank you all.


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

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and The NCH Healthcare System
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