Organizational and Cultural Change

Hospital-acquired infections: How do we reach zero?

Posted by  | Organizational and Cultural Change, Preventing Patient Harm

This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued two reports that are simultaneously scary and encouraging. First, the scary news: A national survey conducted in 2011 found that one in every 25 U.S. hospital patients experienced a healthcare-associated infection. That’s 648,000 patients with a combined 722,000 infections. About 75,000 of those patients(...)

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A blueprint for high reliability

Posted by  | Measurement of Safety and Quality, Organizational and Cultural Change, Preventing Patient Harm

Across health care, organizations constantly struggle with the challenge of achieving patient safety and quality successes on a large scale—across a hospital or network of hospitals. Too often, they are doomed at the start, because staff don’t even know what the goals are. In other cases, staff have limited capacity to carry out improvement work(...)

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Leadership qualities for a patient-safety turnaround

Posted by  | Organizational and Cultural Change, Preventing Patient Harm

In recent years, Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas has faced intense media scrutiny and government investigations into patient safety lapses. As the hospital searches for a new CEO, the Dallas Morning News asked me and other experts to answer the question: "What kind of leader does Parkland need to emerge as a stronger public(...)

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Putting a little Ritz in health care

Posted by  | Organizational and Cultural Change, Patient-Centered Care

Recently, I had an enlightening encounter with Horst Schulze, who led Ritz-Carlton Hotels to national awards and has since opened his own hotel chain, Capella. Hortz gave an informal presentation to members of a program that I’m taking part in, the Baldrige Executive Fellowship, and we continued to talk afterwards. Capella has five ultraluxury hotels(...)

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What health care can learn from corn milling

Posted by  | Organizational and Cultural Change, Preventing Patient Harm

Some of the best ideas for improving health care come from outside our field. For example, we’ve adapted cockpit-style checklists from aviation to improve teamwork and communication on our clinical teams. We’ve turned to performance improvement methods from manufacturing to reduce waste and defects in care delivery. A recent experience reminded of the value of seeking(...)

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Health care needs greater accountability, not excuses

Posted by  | Measurement of Safety and Quality, Organizational and Cultural Change

I recently spoke to an executive in the energy industry who had a joint replacement at a hospital in New York. His wound developed an infection, which required four additional hospital admissions and several operations. He asked me about hand hygiene in hospitals. Proudly, I told him that, at Johns Hopkins Hospital, we are at 80(...)

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