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Providers leading strategy work at Salem Health

24 Dec 2017

By: Andy Furman, MD, vice president of medical affairs

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Salem Health’s providers are crucial partners in shaping the organization’s strategic direction. Your voice and leadership are essential to guiding the future at Salem Health - informing decisions and directing where resources will be invested. There are a number of ways to get involved in strategic work: committee work and Physician Leadership Institute. 

Many of you are already engaged in strategic work. The Quality Operations Committee provides oversight and direction for much of the strategy and quality improvement work happening at Salem Health. The Strategic Advisory Committee is another physician group that helps shape strategic decisions with early input into the strategy process. Recently they provided a physician view on the five-year strategic vision of Salem Health.

The Physician Leadership Institute has become another powerful and gratifying way for providers to effectively lead change where it is needed most. For example, as part of a PLI project, Eric Shields, MD, is leading work addressing normothermia as part of the Surgical Site Infection baby A3. He has worked with Kelly Blanco, the prep and recovery nurse manager, to identify opportunities to improve and standardize practices.

Because of Dr. Shields’ work, we are now pursuing active warming (which is an evidence-based practice) using warming blankets as our standard practice. The team has recently received approval for warming gowns and hopes to start this test of change in January. Dr. Shields has also been leading work to standardize the thermometers used to measure patient temperatures with goal of reducing variability in the tools and methods.

If you aren’t currently involved in strategy work, I encourage you to engage with one of the mechanisms mentioned above, or contact me and we’ll find ways to make your voice heard. As health care continues to change around us, your participation is critical as we adapt and improve. 

You can reach me at