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Quality, service, finances measured
Grant/Riverside Methodist Hospitals in Columbus, OH, looks at its status each month with a "score card" distributed throughout the organization, says Edsel Cotter, CHAM, vice president of general services.
In addition to the organizational score card, individual departments fill in score cards geared to their specific concerns, adds Cotter, who also is senior operation officer for Grant Medical Center.
The card is made up of four quadrants, formed by drawing a cross, and with the quadrants headed, from top left, "quality," "service," "financial," and "quality of work life," Cotter explains. Each quadrant is filled with whatever information the organization, or the department, believes is the most appropriate measure of its status in that area.
In its quality quadrant, the organization tracks 13 different clinical items, including the number of patients who are in the emergency department (ED) longer than six hours, the number who leave the ED before completion of treatment, the neonatal mortality rate, and the cesarean rate.
In the service quadrant, the hospital includes data from the latest report by South Bend, IN-based patient satisfaction measurement firm Press, Ganey Associates, he says, including scores from the inpatient, outpatient, and ED surveys. "We show a baseline for each of those scores, and where we are now."
Individual departments measure, for example, feedback on the laundry service or the food service, plugging in new numbers every month, Cotter adds.
The financial quadrant shows where the organization is in relation to its budget, with data on revenue and expenses. "We want to keep our monthly operating margin at 3%," he says. "If we’re not meeting that, we want everybody to know."
There is a quadrant for "quality of work life," he notes, because of the importance of employee satisfaction in today’s health care environment. Staff now are less interested in money than in going home on time, having weekends off, whether they like the boss, and other "quality of life" concerns, he points out.
Grant/Riverside surveys employees quarterly on such issues as whether they believe management is doing a good job and whether they are happy with their own job benefits, Cotter says. Numeric data from that survey are included in the score card, as is the employee turnover rate, he adds.
"If the quality of work life is good, the turnover should slow up. We also track the employee suggestion program — how many suggestions we’re getting, and how many of those are approved and enacted," Cotter says.
Score cards are handed out at management meetings, posted, and distributed to employees, he says. As a result, "employees say they know what’s going on. The more employees know, the better off we are. There are no rumor mills."