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 and few resources available to help them. Subpar performance is allowed to continue without any accountability, assuming that they know how well they are performing in the first place.
At Johns Hopkins Medicine, we are proud of an effort that has not only improved patient care, but has also provided a blueprint for how we can tackle any number of challenges in improving patient care—such as eliminating infections or enhancing the patient experience—across complex health care organizations.
Last week three hospitals within Johns Hopkins Medicine were recognized by the Joint Commission as “Top Performers” in patient safety and quality, for consistently following evidence-based practices at a very high level. Those hospitals—The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. and All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla.—benefitted from an organization-wide approach that enlisted local teams in problem solving, directed core resources to support those teams, and made units, departments and hospitals accountable for their performance.