Go Back

What a long, strange trip it has been

21 Aug 2016

View as a webpage  

Our mission is to provide patients with an exceptional experience every time, but Salem Health hasn’t always lived up to those expectations.  The picture below shows the dramatic journey Salem Health has taken over the past 10 years.

Ten years ago the organization’s most successful area, the emergency department, was in the bottom 30 percent when ranked against other emergency departments in patient experience. The remaining areas were in the low double or even single digits.

The turnaround has been striking. Today no area is below 50 percent, many are nearing 80 percent, and all continue to climb steadily. This is remarkable, given the many everyday barriers to creating positive patient experiences.

So what has made the difference?

The transformation started with focused leadership. Front-line staff and leaders were given the tools to create a unique culture which nurtures patients, such as developing standards for clear patient communication and implementing nurse and leader rounding practices. Cutting wait times has been critical. All of these tactics were supported by data, empowering the organization to see and understand opportunities for growth and to test changes.

Satisfied patients aren’t just good for our reputation and our bottom line, they actually result in better patient outcomes. Patients who have had good experiences are more likely to trust their providers and follow the instructions they have been given.

We spend a lot of time looking at where we need to go, and rightly so. Getting better every day is an important part of our culture. But it’s also important to take a moment and appreciate how far we have come. Salem Health is on the right track.

Keep up the good work!