Today’s blog is written by Craig Luzinski, Poudre Valley Hospital chief nursing officer, who is in London with Medical Center of the Rockies CEO George Hayes and Priscilla Nuwash, president of the PVHS Center for Performance Excellence.
Sometimes we think that the challenges in health care only exist in the United States. We think that if the U.S. was like Canada, France or the United Kingdom, life would be easier and the challenges would be less.
As we are finding out life is not always greener on the other side of the fence, or, in this case, the ocean.
Meeting with representatives from the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH), in London, England, Priscilla Nuwash, George Hayes, and I found that the challenges are more similar than different.
A little bit about GOSH: Since its formation in 1852, the hospital has been dedicated to children’s health care and to finding new and better ways to treat childhood illnesses. Its mission is to provide world-class clinical care and training, pioneering new research and treatments in partnership with others for the benefit of children in the UK and worldwide.
GOSH, a 250–300 bed facility is recognized as an international referral center for outpatient and inpatient pediatric services. Much like Poudre Valley Hospital, they are land-locked in the center of London. Talk about a parking problem. GOSH basically has no parking; it’s serviced primarily by bus, the Underground subway system, and walking.
The National Health Service (NHS), which is similar to a combined Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security Administration in the U.S., is under heavy scrutiny and likely to go through significant budget reductions in the near future. We were told yesterday that the three largest workforces in the world are the Chinese army, the British Railway, followed by the NHS.
Although significant changes are needed due to the financial burden of the NHS on the economy of the UK, the NHS is seen as a “crown jewel” of pride in the UK. It has been difficult for any of the political parties in the UK to make changes to the NHS due to its complexity and status of pride. Sounds a bit like the health system in the U.S.
In addition to the financial pressures for change, there is increasing pressure for improvement in quality and service outcomes. GOSH has been working on a program simply titled “The Transformation” for the past couple of years. Their aim is to transform the quality of care provided by 2010 in three ways:
- No unnecessary waits
- No waste
- Zero preventable harm
In addition, GOSH has identified the following objectives:
- Financial sustainability and health
- Service portfolio and growth
- Working better together
Sounds a lot like PVHS, without the British accents. We have developed another partnership with an organization with similar a similar vision. Sharing best practices will be valuable as we attempt to maintain and in some cases improve our quality and service outcomes, while being challenged by likely reduction in reimbursement.
Both of our organizations agree that successful transformation of any kind is about people feeling that the change is making an impact on the outcome of their work, versus just going through the process itself.