Straight Talk - “Southwest Florida’s new, major economic engine”

September 13, 2012

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

From time to time, I’ve provided a peek into our Board of Trustees’ deliberations. This week, two of our most important committees, Quality/Patient Satisfaction and Strategic Planning/Marketing, met to assess NCH’s current position and plan for our future. Here’s what they reviewed.
  • Quality/Patient Satisfaction is chaired by Dr. John Lewis, a Board officer and Vice Chairman of the Emergency Department.
The Quality/Patient Satisfaction Committee reported that our top level metrics of mortality and length-of-stay are improving compared to our peers and to the top 10% of hospitals in the nation, while 30-day readmissions remain unchanged. We are the only local hospital system that has not been penalized by Medicare for excess 30-day readmissions. Our mortality is not only generally better than our peers, but is approaching the best in the nation. Length-of-stay is similar to our peers, and we are becoming more and more efficient in order to rank among the best.

Reducing adverse events continues to be a strength for NCH, with the number of inpatient adverse drug events much better than benchmark. We experienced only one central line infection this past year in all of our ICUs—amazing!—and ventilator-associated pneumonia has been zero since February.

Core measures including heart failure, pneumonia, heart attack, surgical care improvement, global immunization, and Emergency Department (ED) throughout are all tracking well. Outpatient metrics—including an aspirin on arrival at the ED for heart attack victims, antibiotic timing for surgery patients, pain management, and rapid stroke intervention—are also moving in the right direction. Total hospital falls per 1,000 patient days are around the median of peer hospitals. Our pressure sore rate is superb but not perfect, and our use of physical restraints lower than expected, which is also positive. You can review some of these metrics at
  • Strategic Planning/Marketing is chaired by Mariann MacDonald, Chair of the NCH Board.
Earlier this week the briefing started with a Mayo affiliate update, which demonstrated the power of our new relationship. Specifically, we saw how an “eMayo Consult” kept a patient close to home, while providing access to a Mayo world expert on a rare multigenerational disease. The committee heard that we will continue our Mayo learning and sharing process, focused initially on cardiology and patient satisfaction, with plans to broaden the pipeline as we gain experience. We will also be sharing our knowledge of “Smart Rooms” as Mayo Jacksonville adds two new patient floors with the same technology. NCH, working with our Cerner partner, is the alpha site for Smart Rooms, and we are more than happy to share our expertise.

Meanwhile, “This is My Hospital” continues to be a resounding promotional success with deep penetration and recognition in southwest Florida. Becoming a Mayo affiliate adds greatly to how well we can serve our patients, and also to our credibility. Other positives: Repeating as a U.S. News & World Report top hospital, and being named as having “Best Doctors” by the National Research Corporation.

Our other four Board focuses are finance/operational efficiency, workforce recruitment/retention, growth of share/size of market, and philanthropy/fundraising. We’re making progress in each area, as we review how to better serve our community and help grow southwest Florida’s new, major economic engine—healthcare.


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

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