EMHS

EMHS Receives National Recognition for Quality, Safety, and Transparency


Quality, Safety, Transparency Lead to National Award
 
An organizational pledge to deliver to patients the same kind of care we’d want our own families to receive triggered a never-ending journey in safety and quality that is capturing national attention. Erik Steele, DO, EMHS chief medical officer says setting a goal of zero defects (preventable adverse events), started with “staff always doing the things we should be doing and never doing the things we shouldn’t be doing.”

The strides EMHS has made in delivering safer care system-wide recently caught the attention of the VHA Foundation, a national group that encourages leadership and innovation solutions that address health and health care issues. Today in Washington, DC, EMHS president and CEO Michelle Hood, FACHE and Dr. Steele will accept the National Health System Patient Safety Leadership Award from the National Business Group on Health and the VHA Foundation.
The National Business Group on Health is the nation’s only non-profit, membership organization of more than 300 mostly large employers devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to their most important healthcare and related benefits issues.

“We are honored to receive this prestigious National Health System Patient Safety Leadership Award and are inspired to keep advancing the cause of safety in our system, across the state of Maine, and the entire country,” says Hood.

The VHA was especially intrigued by EMHS’ vision to become the best rural healthcare system in America by 2012, says Hood. “They were also interested in the system’s tying together of executive compensation with quality and safety outcomes, ongoing board education, building safety into our computer systems, and that we are a founding partner of a statewide coalition working to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections,” Hood adds.
 
Dr. Steele says EMHS set the goal of zero defects because it is the right thing to do, “We wouldn’t accept anything less for ourselves or our loved ones so this goal is sort of a partnership with patients and their families. We want people to ask if we’ve washed our hands before we touch, question the medications they’re given and why that medication is necessary, and in return we are linking quality and safety.” Dr. Steele adds that people need to be involved with and aware of their own health needs, “We are creating a delivery system that listens to what patients and families are saying.”
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