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Award highlights patient care and innovation at Salem Health

24 Jan 2016

By: Michael Gay, internal communications coordinator


Not all hospital awards are created equal. The 2015 Press Ganey Success Story Award, however, is a Press Ganey Success Story awardgood example of the unique successes happening at Salem Health.

The award, which Salem Health recently received, recognizes outstanding health care organizations with compelling stories of innovation and leadership that have measurably improved patient experience, clinical quality or caregiver engagement. Salem Health was one of only 15 organizations to receive this award.

Salem Health’s story focuses on the connected checking initiative, and how connected checking improved patient satisfaction and decreased patient falls.

The strategy was to implement rounding at every level of the organization, and to set a new culture at Salem Health that involved leader presence at the place of work. The principles of Lean were used to build processes, solve problems and check and adjust.

The hard work that went into connected checking began with the Executive Leadership Committee and extended through directors, managers and ultimately clinical staff rounding hourly on patients. This is a shining example of a cultural change and team effort to serve patients better.

Executives increased rounding from 56 percent to 98 percent. Directors and managers began rounding with a 90 percent success rate. Overall patient satisfaction scores increased from 86 to 86.8. In one unit, harmful falls decreased by 40 percent thanks to purposeful hourly rounding by clinical staff!

In other words, across the organization of Salem Health, leaders and front-line staff worked together in a coordinated way, solved problems, and increased patient satisfaction and safety. Culture change is a challenging goal, especially for big organizations, but connected checking shows that it can be done.

It is also a good reminder that the approach for creating positive change at Salem Health is working. Progress doesn’t happen overnight, but the team effort to build a better experience for patients is producing results thanks to the philosophy of Lean and the hard work of leadership, providers and staff.