Thursday, June 30, 2011

Seeing things clearly in the Netherlands

In the post below, I summarize a conference held today at Jeroen Bosch Hospital in 's-Hertogenbosch (den Bosch), in the Netherlands, entitled "Quality and Transparency in Care and Training." In addition to the conference, today was a significant day in that a new website was launched by the hospital to present quality and safety data to the public and to the hospital's staff.

As explained by Dr. Marjo Jager, patient quality specialist, Jeroen Bosch has a strong commitment to transparency as a key element of process improvement in the hospital. The leadership of the hospital views transparency as the most powerful way to reduce preventable injuries, but also as essential to successful and ethical responses to patients and to safeguard employees.

Marjo noted that preconditions for successful implementation of transparency are a culture of learning rather than blaming and judging; ownership by those who deliver care; significant participation by physicians in designing new care regimes and setting an example; and strong support from the board.

Above you see an action shot of the moment of truth, as staffers Miriam Casarotto and Bart Deijkers prepare to push the "activate" button on the new website.

Beyond the website, the hospital is also posting clinical data on patient care floors for all to see. They are experimenting with locations and topics, and this is all bound to change with experience, but the commitment to openness is evident, even when the numbers indicate a need for improvement.

Here, for example, is the current scoresheet with regard to pain management on one of the floors. The hospital clearly indicates a result less favorable than they would like, accompanied visually with a cartoon face that is not smiling.

In contrast, note this one with regard to avoiding decubitis ulcers (bedsores), which indicates performance at the hoped-for standard of care.

Congratulations to the administrative and clinical leadership of the hospital, and for the support provided by its board, for these significant steps in improving the quality and safety of patient care.

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