As I was thinking about today's VC Notes, it occurred to me how often what we think of as our problems or challenges are really opportunities in disguise. Our health-care system offers many examples.
On Monday we were honored to have Dr. Mark Chassin present a grand rounds on clinical quality. The president and CEO of The Joint Commission, the nation's leading accreditor of hospitals, Dr. Chassin is one of the world's foremost authorities on quality improvement and an evangelist on the subject.
In his talk, he spoke of the cycle of “Trust, Report, Improve” that should be the mantra of everyone in a high-reliability organization, regardless of the industry. Our teams must maintain trusting relationships among themselves and also with other members of the organization. They must be “sensitive to the smallest deviation from established process” and report those variances. And when those variations are spotted, they must improve the process far “upstream” before they affect the patient.
As an organization, we are moving in the right direction on our journey to becoming a high reliability organization, or HRO. For some of us, this may look like a steep mountain to climb. But we should also think of it as an opportunity. Why? Because achieving HRO status opens the door to many other things we want to achieve and helps us manage other challenges we are facing.
- Becoming an HRO makes us more efficient. It means we spend less time and money doing things that don't help us achieve quality outcomes or enhance the patient experience. It also means we avoid spending resources fixing our mistakes, what's called the cost of poor quality.