I spent Monday on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where I was invited to speak at the annual conference of Quality Texas. The title of the program was Achieving Excellence in Healthcare.
Thanks to my friend Britt Berrett, Ph.D., FACHE, president of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, for the invitation and his work in putting the meeting together. The event sold out with 300 attendees. Great work, Britt.
Mike Murphy, president and CEO of Sharp Healthcare
It was an honor to share the podium with Sister Mary Jean Ryan, president and CEO of SSM Healthcare, and Mike Murphy, president and CEO of Sharp Healthcare. SSM was the first ever healthcare recipient of the Baldrige National Quality Award, and Sharp Healthcare a 2007 recipient.
In listening to Sister Mary Jean and Mike talk at the meeting, I left believing that all three organizations had much in common, but particularly had learned these three lessons:
1. Employee culture: All three organizations had commitment to employees as the foundation to creating long-term improvement. It was evident that engaging employees in an understanding of the vision, mission and values of the organization was a key to continued improvement. At PVHS we have been tracking our employee turnover for some time. A graph of our turnover follows:
Employee turnover at PVHS
2. Continued commitment: All three organizations were intent on the long-term, not short-term gains. All three had run into times in their journey when they were convinced that the journey was too hard, but stuck with it. The stories told by Mike and Sister Mary Jean were completely different than our stories, yet nearly identical. Sister Mary Jean said that their goal was to become “breathtakingly better” in the services they provided. Great description.
3. Compare against the best: Interestingly, all three organizations came to a point where they realized that average was not good enough, and comparing to any national average was perpetuating mediocrity. So, at some point in the journey, all three organizations made a conscious decision to compare themselves against the best in the country (or the “universe,” as Sharp decided). That was a key event in the progression of all three – to make a difference by comparing against the best organizations in the country. All in all, a very good conference with strong support from Texas hospitals and healthcare executives.
PS – Thanks, Britt, for the longhorns and “Don’t Mess With Texas” bumper sticker! Just what I always wanted!
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