Straight Talk - "myNCH, myIDEA"

October 4, 2012

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The greatest resource that NCH possesses is its competent and creative staff. And last week, at a series of Town Hall meetings at all inpatient and outpatient campuses, our new Chief Human Resources Officer John McGirl introduced “myNCH, myIDEA,” a new initiative to put that creativity to work.

IDEA stands for Identify, Define, Engage and Act. Identify and Define relate to the NCH process, practice or policy that needs to change; Engage, telling us why this change will make a difference; and Act, sharing how the IDEA can be implemented.

I know very well from doing my “rounds” the many great ideas we all have, and the passion we clearly demonstrate for making NCH the best system we can be. myNCH, myIDEA invites you to share those suggestions for evaluation. If your IDEA is adopted, you also have the opportunity to share in its success through recognition programs—and for employed colleagues, cash awards.

As everyone knows, healthcare in our country is facing a monumental cost challenge, and NCH will face significant cuts in reimbursement in the next few years. myNCH, myIDEA is one great way to respond to those cost pressures, become involved and make a difference. Everyone working here sees the real opportunities to remove waste and redundancy. We know which processes, practices and policies could and should be more efficient and effective. We know the winning programs to expand. That’s why we are encouraging you to share your ideas on how we should continue to grow and become more efficient. The more everyone participates, the better we help those we serve and, in turn, ourselves.

During the Town Hall meetings, we also shared many of our recent successes, which in many respects have made this the best year ever in NCH’s 57-year history. Our Mayo affiliation, second time recognition by U.S. News & World Report for best in the region, top 10% in cardiac surgery according to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, winning the Most Wired Award, reaffirmation of our bond ratings, and for the sixth year in a row having Consumers’ Choice’s statistically valid survey confirm our community’s view that we have the best hospital, physicians, nurses, and quality—all these are sources of pride for NCH.

We also reviewed plans for graduate medical education to begin in 2014, expansion of our Centers of Excellence in Stroke, Orthopedics, and Cardiac Care, and summarized changes to our Employee Benefits plans for the year ahead. While the cost of health benefits continues to escalate, we are doing everything possible to maintain the very competitive share of premium cost that our colleagues enjoy today. Our employee share of premium in 2013 will range from 7% to 16% depending on the type of coverage selected, which is as much as 50% less than the industry average for healthcare workers.

Finally, we shared our impressive improvement on Press Ganey’s employee opinion survey, including a faster rate of improvement than 80% of the systems they analyze. Said Press Ganey in summary: “NCH has had a significant improvement in the partnership level of its employees led by its gains on the relationship with senior leaders. Pride in NCH is a key strength as is sense of mission.”

Thanks to you, the numbers are mostly coming up “positive.” Together we make a difference every day. And with everyone’s continued enthusiasm and ideas, we will continue to be the healthcare provider of choice.


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

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