Unity Hospital President’s Message: CareConnect Go-Live, Patient Experience, and More

April 28, 2017

Congratulations and thank you for helping to ensure a successful CareConnect go-live. Although we encountered some issues early on, and for sure will continue to implement fixes and improvements over the next several weeks and months, these are not uncommon in an electronic health record conversion as large as ours. Your patience, flexibility and willingness to embrace this change has been vital to the success that we’ve seen over these first few weeks and will continue to be vital as we stabilize and optimize the system. I am especially grateful that the Unity team, with strong support from our colleagues throughout the health system, has kept clinical quality, safety and patient experience as the highest priorities throughout this transition. Plans are in the works for an early June celebration of your remarkable achievement. Stay tuned for more information.

The patient experience at Unity has long been a differentiator in our community. This is apparent when you look at trends in our HCAHPS scores over the last several years, but even more so when you listen to feedback from patients and their care partners. We often hear that “it just feels different here” and “every single person I encountered was just so friendly and helpful – and truly seemed to care.” I couldn’t be more proud of this type of feedback – especially since it affirms what I strive for most at Unity Hospital: a culture rooted in engaged employees who are connected with the purpose and meaning of their work.

Over the last few quarters, we have seen a downward trend in our patients’ willingness to recommend Unity Hospital, as measured by the HCAHPS survey. While we should not overreact to a few months’ worth of data, this trend becomes concerning; other hospitals in the area and throughout the country are making steady improvements and getting closer to our historically strong performance.

While wind and snow storms, current staff vacancy rates, and the transition to a new electronic health record have undoubtedly added stress to our work life, the teamwork that is so evident each and every day has always helped Unity shine even through challenges and change. I fully expect us to remain a leader in this community for delivering the best possible patient experience. Now, as much as ever, we need your focus and commitment on keeping the patient and their care partners at the center of everything we do.

We are currently creating action plans to try new and innovative ways to improve the patient experience throughout the hospital. We will be launching several pilots to see what will make a difference. Now is a great time to share what you think will continue to set us apart. If you would like to be involved in brainstorms or initiatives, or if you have an idea to share, please contact me directly.

Thank you for everything you do.

Douglas Stewart

President, Unity Hospital

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