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2011 Year in Review

HHC Board of Directors

As of the end of 2011, more than 4,000 employees have participated in at least one RIE, and more than 11,000 employees have received some level of Breakthrough training.

Some Breakthrough teams have achieved truly impressive results. A handful of examples follow:

  • Jacobi Breakthrough teams dramatically improved the on-time start of surgical procedures, and significantly reduced patient waiting time. In less than a year, on-time starts of first of the day cases improved by 48%.

  • At Bellevue, Breakthrough teams' efforts helped to decrease the average delay between surgical procedures by 68%, allowing an increase in the number of procedures completed, therefore generating significant additional revenue.

  • At Queens Hospital, the time patients spent waiting in the Emergency Department between triage and seeing a provider dropped from 146 minutes to 47 minutes.

Beyond the obvious benefits of empowering our own employees to make more efficient the work processes that they know so well, the spread of Breakthrough training and thinking throughout HHC is increasing our system's capacity for fairly rapid adaptive change. As the pace of change in our healthcare environments continues to quicken, this heightened adaptive capacity, fueled by the ingenuity and experience of our own employees, will prove invaluable.

Building on Patient Safety and Quality Gains While Addressing Unmet
Community Needs

Even as we have focused on making our operations more efficient, we have worked hard this past year to sustain and build upon the significant gains of recent years in the quality of our care and access to our services. I will not catalogue all of the impressive clinical improvements over the last year, but I do want to provide a few illustrative examples.

We have made significant improvement at many of our sites in reducing urinary tract infection associated with urinary catheter use. In addition, further reductions in central line-associated blood stream infection at several of our sites have been achieved. Over the past two years, 2009 to 2011, seven HHC facilities have demonstrated a reduction in patient falls. Over the past year, five of our hospitals have reduced their rate of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. Finally, the patient satisfaction scores of several HHC hospitals have improved significantly. HHC hospitals now have the highest patient satisfaction scores among all hospitals in each of the boroughs of Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens, and an HHC hospital has the third highest score in Manhattan.

Staff at HHC facilities continue to innovate around patient safety goals, and one good example is Metropolitan Hospital's Quiet Zones, which is aimed at eliminating medication errors by removing distractions to dispensing nurses. When nurses give medication to patients they don yellow belts, similar to crossing guard belts, alerting other staff and patients that they cannot be interrupted. This relatively inexpensive low-tech initiative is already showing significant impact at Metropolitan Hospital and is being replicated at other HHC facilities.