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Michael Ripchinski, M.D., Chief Quality and Medical Information Officer, urges physicians to lead a system-wide effort to improve quality and safety.

From Michael Ripchinski, M.D., Chief Quality and Medical Information Officer

Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine is creating a culture of continuous improvement, driven by safe, quality care through improving our work and engaging our patients, families and colleagues. In this way, we can ensure the best value to our patients and communities.
Everyone on the team will be engaged to identify problems, brainstorm ideas, measure the changes from rapid-cycle improvements and use reliable data with unbiased analysis. As a result, we can adopt approaches to reduce work that does not benefit patients or the care team (i.e. wastes time and effort), while also preventing harm; improving coordination, communication and patient transitions of care; and delivering the best outcomes.
You will see evidence of this cultural change over the next year. Our leaders will be rounding in the hospitals, outpatient sites and physician practices. Dedicated times without meetings have already allowed nurse managers to increase their time on the floors during the mornings. The units and the practices will post huddle boards to show their goals and ideas to achieve those goals.
You will hear much more about continuous improvement in the coming months. In the meantime, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Physician leadership will be critical to support this cultural change.

  • Consider attending staff huddles to learn more. These short meetings will occur while standing on the hospital units and within the practices.

  • We appreciate your ideas to help us to identify problems and possible solutions.

  • Trust your teams. Collaborate with them to improve safety, quality and clinical outcomes.

We can’t do this without you. Physician leadership is essential to break down silos, foster teamwork and drive toward high reliability and continuous improvement.
Thank you for your commitment, and I look forward to sharing more in the months ahead. Please feel free to contact me with your suggestions.

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