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Boards Commit Two Hospitals to Ambitious Quality Safety and Patient Satisfaction Goals

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham (BID-Needham) are taking unprecedented steps to commit each hospital to attain specific patient safety and satisfaction goals that would establish a new standard of care at each facility.

BOSTON - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham (BID-Needham) are taking unprecedented steps to commit each hospital to attain specific patient safety and satisfaction goals that would establish a new standard of care at each facility.

The boards of both institutions have approved goals that call for the elimination of all preventable harm to patients and a "consistently excellent patient experience" by Jan. 1, 2012.

In keeping with BIDMC's commitment to transparency, progress toward those goals will be reported publicly each quarter on "The Facts at BIDMC" (http://www.bidmc.harvard.edu/thefacts), the medical center's web site that currently charts how BIDMC measures up with hospital-wide programs, such as reducing infections and patient satisfaction, as well as in specific areas of clinical care.

"Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center already does a very good job on quality measurements and in making patient safety the overriding focus of everything we do. But very good is not good enough," said Lois E. Silverman, Chair of the BIDMC Board of Directors.

"With this initiative, we are aspiring to set a new standard of care at our hospitals and also set a new national standard for the process of quality improvement and transparency."

"We must acknowledge that getting there will be a three to four year journey that will require further strengthening of our culture of safety and transparency," added Seth Medalie, Chair of the BID-Needham Board of Trustees. "While we begin from a very strong platform, these goals represent a climb in performance for both institutions."

The boards voted to eliminate all preventable harm. Harm is defined as any action that causes hospitalization or a longer hospital stay; permanent injury or disease progression; or patient death. The boards also said the hospitals would "continually monitor all preventable and non-preventable occurrences of harm, and continuously improve our systems."

"We feel that focusing on these categories will give us the greatest opportunity to achieve a meaningful and sustainable reduction of harm," said Kenneth Sands, MD, senior vice president of health care quality.

At the same time, both hospitals have set a goal of giving patients a "consistently excellent patient experience," measured by being in the top two percent of hospitals for patient satisfaction in the country, based on national survey responses to their "willingness to recommend" the hospital to their friends and family. BIDMC currently performs in the top 10-15 percent range based on all hospitals nationally in the widely used Press Ganey survey while BID-Needham is in the top 30 percent of national peer group hospitals.

The boards of the two hospitals, led by the boards' Patient Care Services and Patient Care Assessment and Quality committees, will set specific annual expectations for organizational performance for these two goals.

Management of the hospitals will devise programs for achieving the goals and determine the metrics against which performance will be measured. Beginning in the spring of 2008, the agendas of the board meetings will change to include systematic reviews of progress toward the goals on a quarterly basis, and the metrics will be posted on the hospitals' public website.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and consistently ranks among the top four in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.harvard.edu.

Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, a community hospital providing acute care to the western suburbs of Boston, joined Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 2002. BIDMC physicians provide the Needham hospital with all critical hospital-based services, including cardiology, emergency medicine and general surgery.