This communication is intended to introduce a new improvement structure for Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (CCRMC).
What is the challenge?
With an expected increase in demand for our service, we continue to strive for ways to use our vital resources in the most efficient manner while providing quality care. Our challenge is to obtain the requisite resources to meet the needs of our community. We must reliably provide evidenced-based care to promote health in our population, and we must do so in the most cost effective manner. To achieve this, we must build capacity to continuously improve our system for the better.
It is important to recognize that more is not necessarily better. This long held philosophy of our leadership is evidenced by the formation of our System Redesign Team in 2005, whose goal was to “reduce unexplained variation” in our system. We have engaged in many improvement efforts resulting in evidence-based standardization of numerous procedures. While we face many challenges, we stand on a solid history of innovation. It is with this in mind that I share with you the upcoming planned changes at CCRMC.
What is the plan?
I believe we have most of the resources that we need to transform our system. We have a caring, skilled, and talented workforce. We have a clear mission to care for the underserved. We have the support of our governing body, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. What we need is to work together as a team and rethink our delivery systems.
I am delighted to announce that Lance Mageno will be assuming the role of Chief Quality Officer (CQO) for CCRMC as of March 15, 2010. As our system of health care changes to address current and future challenges, I am confident that Lance brings to this position critical skills, vision, and leadership. Lance possesses a thorough and complete knowledge of the current principles and practices of Lean Management, Continuous Quality Improvement and extensive experience in leading innovation. Lance is well respected by his peers and by all of the members of our health care team. He is well prepared to help lead our organization into the future. I expect that Lance will work vigorously with our executive team, and with the entire health system team, in order to refine and implement our strategic plan for the future.
Why a new improvement structure?
There are many remarkable examples of excellence (far too many to list) in our organization. I am proud to be associated with each of you. The magnitude of the need for services in our community is rapidly outstripping our capacity to provide excellent and safe care. Emergency Department and Crisis Stabilization visits are up. Admissions to the hospital are up. Births are up. Patients are sicker.
We are all working faster, harder, and longer, but that is not the solution. In order to deal with the multiple pressures facing our health system, we must continue to redesign our systems of care. We need to streamline our systems so that we do not have to struggle with unexplained variation, redundancy and bureaucracy in order to care for those we serve. We need to make certain that the services we offer are the services that our patients need and want. It is time to get the impediments out of the way! That is the essence of redesign and the essence of innovation.
As part of our planned changes, we will recommit to innovation and system redesign. I have asked Dr. Mitch Applegate and Marianne Bunce-Houston to concentrate their efforts on transformation and innovation at CCRMC. Working with the Safety and Performance Improvement Department, they will lead our efforts building an Innovation Council that will help adopt, adapt, implement and spread evidence-based improvements throughout our system. Both Mitch and Marianne have significant experience leading change in our system.
We are fortunate that Dr. Stuart Forman will assume the role of the Director of Critical Care Services. Stuart has worked in critical care for 17 years and has been involved in various leadership positions in the hospital. He brings a breadth of critical care skills, as well as a strong history of leading improvement efforts including the design and implementation of the Rapid Response Team and leadership of our medication safety efforts. Stuart is well prepared to assume this new role.
These are exciting and challenging times for CCRMC and for all of health care. We can and will meet our challenges now and into the future. Please join me in welcoming these changes as we prepare for the days ahead.
Anna M. Roth
Chief Executive Officer,
Contra Costa Regional Medical Center