CMO Message: December 2023

December 12, 2023

I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for welcoming me aboard a short 10 months ago … WOW … and for your partnership and collaboration in a number of areas.

I’d like to reflect on the progress that has been made to date. Progress doesn’t always look the way we expect it to, and change is hard and yet inevitable. 

I think this cartoon perfectly sums up the way many of us have felt about the last few months, if not the last few years. On any given day (and on multiple occasions) you and your team could be at any point on the “reality” path. But as comfortable as it seems where we are … we cannot remain stagnant, and accepting this fact has allowed us to make some significant progress in a few areas, while significant work remains in others.

Some areas where we have made progress this year include: 

 1. Decreased ED boarding hours – Good news, but continuing work to get to zero boarders and ensure all patients who we determine need a bed, get a bed in the tower within 2 hours of the admission order. Even as I write this, the number of boarders is up in our Emergency Center. We are working to hard-wire processes to keep the EC decompressed and patients flowing. Boarding remains my top priority in the new year.

 2. Decreased GMLOS O:E – St. Peter’s hit a GMLOS of 1.40 in November (which is our goal!) while Centralia popped up to 1.41 after being consistently in the 1.1-1.2 range for the prior 6 months. This shows promise that we know how to continue to head in the right direction for 2024.

3. Decreased LOS – St. Peter’s LOS has continued a gradual decline over this year, from 7.29 days in January 2023 to 6.4 projected for November 2023 (data still coming in). Centralia is projected to pop back up to 5.2 for November after trending down steadily January through May and hitting 4.0 days in August.

These are just a few areas that aren’t where we want them, but where we have made progress even in the 10 months that I have shared with you. We have also transitioned to a new patient safety reporting platform (the High Reliability Platform or HRP), had successful Joint Commission and Department of Health surveys (PSPH Accreditation and Stroke Center surveys; PCH DOH State Survey), and many others.

While the numbers are how we track and demonstrate progress, the why continues to be our patients. I think if we continue to do the right things, the numbers will follow.

Thank you for the exceptional care that you continue to provide our patients, for your candid feedback on where and how we can improve, and for your partnership and collaboration to ensure we continue to provide the highest quality care for our patients.

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