Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

I’d like to announce important news about Poudre Valley Health System.

The health system was named this week as one of the nation’s 57 best-performing health system based on clinical quality, efficiency, patient satisfaction, and other measurements.

PVHS was the only health system in northern Colorado and one of only two in the state to be named on this prestigious list.

The Top 57 honor was announced by Modern Healthcare, the industry’s leading publication. The weekly magazine reported on a study by Thomson Reuters, an independent firm that tracks the quality of health care.

Thomson Reuters evaluated 285 health systems, which included a total of 1,944 hospitals. PVHS owns Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins and Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland.

The study identified the top 10 best performers and included an additional 47 health systems also considered best performers. PVHS was among the 47 health systems.

Recognition such as this demonstrates the way others in the healthcare industry view the high quality of services we provide.

In the last five years, PVHS has been recognized with more than 60 national awards and honors for our quality of care and performance. Top among the recognition was the 2008 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s most significant honor for best-performing organizations. PVHS was one of three organizations and the only healthcare system to receive the award that year.

I’d like to thank our 5,000 employees and the physicians on our medical staff for all of their work, expertise and caring. They are among the best in the world!

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I tell each new employee at PVHS that this needs to be the single best job they have ever had.  The reason, of course, is because we expect that they will give the best service our customers have ever had, so it only seems fair that I do may part first by making this their best job ever.

To make sure that happens, our innovative Human Resources Department (thanks Jennifer and Shawn) has developed a monthly publication called “Engaging Employees: Strategies and Stories from the Frontline.”  This is one of a number of great things several people do to help us provide a good workplace, and I wanted to share the March 2011 edition.  So…here it is.  In a few posts I’ll share with you our employee turnover rate and let you determine if we are making good on my promise to employees.  Here is March edition (thanks to Karen Martin at Medical Center of the Rockies for her great leadership here):

Best Practices from MCR Perioperative Services

While there is no secret formula to engage and motivate employees, the approach being used by Karen Martin, MCR Perioperative Services, is working in their corner of the world. She uses a quasi-servant leadership method – which she refers to as a collaborative leadership style. This approach includes knowing the people you work with as the foundation to building a top-notch team.

There are four major areas in this collaborative approach to engaging employees highlighted below:

1. Approach problem-solving in a collaborative manner:

  • Leaders in the MCR Perioperative area work with employees to find solutions to problems, asking for their input, understanding perspectives shared;
  • Keeping them updated on the solution or the status;
  • The goal is to understand what is working well for staff and what could be working better – armed with this information, these leaders can make employees’ jobs as easy and satisfying as possible;
  • Demonstrate humility in the process, including owning and learning from mistakes;
  • Continuously learning and growing—status quo is never okay.

2. Communicate often and openly:

  • Communication with staff is the top priority for this leadership group, with a focus on listening and responding;
  • They are as transparent as possible, sharing yearly department goals (which were developed with staff input), financial updates, Avatar scores, and key strategic information;
  • An email jam-packed with miscellaneous updates goes out to all staff 1-2 times a month;
  • Purposeful and frequent rounding is the routine.

3. Show appreciation regularly:

  • Say thank you to employees regularly;
  • Use the R&R program;
  • Recognize accomplishments in team meetings;
  • Say thank you, again!

4. Lead through change effectively:

  • Changes present many challenges; strong, collaborative leadership helps others navigate change with minimal issues;
  • It is important for leaders to by physically present during change to gain input, build trust, and facilitate understanding.

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 I was privileged to speak on Thursday to the Greeley Centennial Rotary Club which met at the Greeley Country Club.  Thanks to Chris Woodruff and his club for hosting me and their nice recognition of the recent PVHS support of youth sports in Weld County. ( I do have to say that I was impressed so many people came after the UNC Basketball Team amazing championship on Wednesday night…wow!)

Rotary Club President Chris Woodruff and Rulon

 I was pleased to talk to the Rotarians about the PVHS decade old vision of providing world-class healthcare.  As I mentioned to those in the Rotary Club today, the employees, physicians and volunteers of PVHS have been focused for years on never being average in anything.  Just one of the examples I used was the PVHS severity adjusted mortality rate.

PVHS Severity Adjusted Mortality Rates

As you can see, had PVHS been satisfied with just being “average” over the past decade…lives would have been lost.  I’m proud of being a part of an organization with such laser focus on providing this level of care.  Since I was in Greeley, I was also proud to point out that the physicians of the Greeley Medical Clinic felt so comfortable about our track record of providing quality healthcare that they were willing to affiliate with The Poudre Valley Medical Group last year.  Now, together, I’m confident that we’ll be able to continue to be able to improve our services to the people of Weld County and the entire region. 

Thanks Greeley Centennial Rotary Club!


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It is hard to believe that it has been four years since we opened Medical Center of the Rockies. Happy birthday to all of the employees, volunteers, physicians, community members and others who worked so hard to make this happen.

About seven years ago, when we were just in the planning stages of MCR, it seemed like it would never happen. During that time I happened to be driving with Chad McWhinney, CEO of McWhinney Enterprises, and we were talking about how difficult it was to make things like this happen. We agreed during that car ride that when MCR opened he and I would stand at the top of MCR and toast the event with a glass of sparkling cider (he was so kind to indulge the fact that I don’t drink :)  So, several years later, at the grand opening of MCR, we were fortunate enough to keep our pledge to each other.

Chad McWhinney and Rulon Stacey at MCR Grand Opening

During the four years of operation of MCR the team at MCR and the rest of PVHS has been successful in meeting every clinical and financial expectation. Let me summarize just a few:

Clinical: Just a few months ago MCR received Magnet designation from the American Nurse Credentialing Center. In receiving that designation they joined Poudre Valley Hospital (which is one of just a handful of hospitals in the United States to receive Magnet designation three separate times), the intermountain West’s first Magnet designated hospital. To their credit, MCR applied for Magnet designation the moment they were eligible, which makes MCR, as far as I know, the first hospital ever to receive this designation as soon as they were eligible.

Clinical 2: And…it gets even better!  Just a few weeks ago the ANCC announced that MCR and PVH were two of only five hospitals in the country to receive the NDNQI award for outstanding nursing quality. Again…remember that MCR has only been in existence FOUR years!  What an amazing accomplishment!  (see my blog post from a few weeks ago outlining this outstanding accomplishment)

Financial:  In the early days of MCR I was amused by the number of people who were trying to find ways to discredit the amazing accomplishments of the people involved there.  My favorite was “a million dollars a month.”  Several in the area were suggesting that MCR was losing “a million dollars a month” and that it would not be in business long, or that in order to stay in business we would have to compromise our mission by contracting with Kaiser, etc.  This, of course, after they said we would never get financing to build the hospital in the first place.  So….four years later, the facts are that MCR is well ahead of every projection we put in place, and both Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s have given PVHS bond rating upgrades in each of the last several years.  Doesn’t hardly seem likely that bond rating agencies would be so positive in light of “a million dollars a month!”:)

So…congratulations to the entire MCR staff for Four great years!  You have distinguished yourself like no other new hospital I have ever worked with!


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We’re in health care to take care of people and our community. It’s pretty simple.

So when the American Nurses Association, which keeps the healthcare industry’s only database that helps other hospitals and healthcare providers nationwide make improvements in nursing and patient safety, says your two hospitals are among five nationally that consistently deliver outstanding nursing quality that improves patient care and safety, that’s a big win for our patients and our community.

That’s exactly what happened in Miami this morning, when the ANA announced that Medical Center of the Rockies and Poudre Valley Hospital were among five U.S. hospitals receiving the NDNQI Award for Outstanding Nursing Quality. MCR earned the award for community hospitals, while PVH earned the award for teaching hospitals.

The award recognizes the top five of more than 1,700 hospitals nationwide that report results to the database. The database allows nursing units to compare their performance to similar units at other hospitals at the local, state, regional, and national levels. Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, patient falls with injury, infections acquired as a result of hospitalization and nurse turnover are among indicators tracked.

“The common traits of the award-winning hospitals are strong leadership, teamwork, commitment to ongoing improvement in patient care quality, continuous staff education and efficient use of resources,” said ANA President Karen A. Daley.

PVH, maybe not coincidentally, was the first hospital to receive the award after it was created in 2008. This was PVH’s fourth consecutive year receiving the award.

Medical Center of the Rockies, which isn’t even four years old yet, earned the NDNQI award for the first time. The PVHS Facebook page has a picture of the happy first-time recipients.

Congratulations to PVH and MCR, to the nurses and staff that make them the incredible hospitals they are, and most importantly to our patients and community, who are the reason we come to work each day.


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On Thursday night this week I had the great pleasure of giving the keynote address at the Lincoln Foundation for Performance Excellence at their annual awards dinner in Naperville, Illinois. What a fabulous group they have there under the leadership of Paul Kuchuris, the longtime CEO. The group was of course lead by Illinois’ own Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downer’s Grove, one of this year’s Baldrige National Quality Award winners.  What an impressive organization with impressive leadership. Congratulations! I was sad to learn that Paul will be retiring in a few months.  He will leave a great void as he has distinguished the Illinois State Quality Program in the entire country.

I left those in attendence with basically three thoughts for success:

1) Engage your employees, and be able to prove with data that you have an engaged workforce.

2)  Hardwire your strategy process so that it can be duplicated and improved every year, even if the CEO leaves.  The process simply can’t be dependent on any one person (Thanks to Quint Studer for teaching this better than anyone else!).

3) Don’t rest without results. In the end, it is all about getting better, so measure, measure and measure some more until you can demonstrate that your results are world-class.

Thanks to the good people at The Lincoln Foundation for having me.  It was a very engaging night.


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Poudre Valley Hospital got some great news this month that also has a big impact on stroke patients in northern Colorado.

The Joint Commission, which measures the quality of health programs nationwide, announced that Poudre Valley Hospital earned the Gold Seal of Approval Award for certification as a primary stroke center. PVH is now the only advanced stroke center north of Denver and one of 10 in Colorado.

The certification means PVH delivers the type of care for stroke patients that can significantly improve outcomes for those patients, according to The Joint Commission. It’s also a testament to the incredible skill and dedication by care providers at PVH.

As Dr. Gerald McIntosh, medical director of PVH’s stroke program and a neurologist with Neurology Associates of Northern Colorado, points out, “With a stroke, time lost is brain lost.”

That’s why incoming patients with stroke symptoms are evaluated immediately in the emergency room and treated by a team of neurologists, ER physicians and nurses, and specialists from such areas as radiology, pharmacy and laboratory. The patient undergoes diagnosis through computer tomography scanning within 20 minutes of arriving in the ER.

Great job, PVH.


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