The BMC Brief
June 20, 2012 Volume 1, Issue 27
Don Berwick, MD, former administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), spoke to a crowd of more than 100 people, including BMC trustees, Philanthropic Trust members, donors and staff, on June 12 about the future of health care.
Berwick was appointed administrator of CMS by President Obama in 2010, a role in which he served for 17 months. He is founding President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and a pediatrician who trained at Boston City Hospital.
Berwick opened by speaking of his belief that health care is a human right, saying he was proud to be a member of the first state in the nation that, by implementing the Massachusetts health care reform law, has made health care a human right.
The national system, he said, needs to change.
“We have a health care system that celebrates sick people in beds,” he said. “This has to change and payment reform will help. Everyone is looking for the answer, but nobody has it yet. This is not a book to be read; it is one that has to be written.”
BMC, he said, is the place that can do it.
“BMC is ground zero. Your strategic plan is focused on high-quality care at a low cost. It is going to take a lot of change to move to a national health care system that emphasizes team-based, coordinated, patient-centered care, but BMC can birth it.”
Berwick went on to say that health care redesign needs to have primary care as a focal point and that America has to wean itself off thinking a doctor has to provide all care. Teamwork, he said, will be key.
“We need a workforce in health care that wants to be together; a team that is looking for new answers and is all about cooperation,” he said.
The center of the team is the patient, and for a new model of health care to succeed, relationships with patients need to be built and strengthened, he added.
“We, as health care providers, are guests in patients’ lives. We need to sit down and ask them, ‘What matters to you?,’ and ‘What can we do to fix you?’” he said.
Berwick then took questions from a panel, moderated by President and CEO Kate Walsh, that included BMC Chief Medical Officer Ravin Davidoff, MD; Raj Krishnamurthy, MD, Vice Chair, Outpatient Medicine; and Sandra Coterell, CEO, Codman Square Health Center, and a member of the BMC Board of Trustees.
Stanley Hochberg, MD, joined BMC Oct. 1 to oversee the hospital’s health care quality and safety programs. As Senior Vice President of Quality, Safety and Technology/Chief Quality Officer, Hochberg manages the quality improvement, performance improvement, risk management, quality measurement and infection control functions. In January, his role expanded to include oversight of Information Technology Services (ITS). He previously served as Chief Medical Officer at BMC HealthNet Plan and has extensive experience managing quality and information technology in varied environments.
BMC Brief staff recently spoke with Hochberg about work going on in his areas.
How is BMC doing on the quality and safety front?
We are also really pleased with the recent “A” Hospital Safety Score that BMC received from the Leapfrog Group. This grade recognizes the wonderful progress we continue to make to ensure that BMC is a safe and caring place for all patients. BMC also has consistently performed well on the QUEST mortality index goal, measuring better than target. This is a testament to the excellent, continuous efforts of all staff.
What are some of the projects underway?
To enhance the patient experience, we have created four workgroups that are focused on improving certain areas of the hospital. The groups are working to better how the campus looks and feels, create patient and family centered cultural attributes and behaviors, align patient resources and improve employee engagement and wellness. This work is really exciting and we expect to see measurable improvements in patient satisfaction as a result.
You recently assumed leadership of ITS. What is the department working on?
We are also in the middle of a project to implement new ITS support procedures that will increase the responsiveness to staff across the organization and improve the way ITS staff work together. I am very pleased with the commitment of all ITS staff to help us improve.
Additionally, we are conducting a national search for a new Chief Information Officer and expect to conduct second round interviews next week.
Does ITS plan to roll out any new systems?
What are benefits of an EMR system?
Name: Mary “Molly” Collier, NP
What brought you to BMC?
What do you do here?
What is your favorite thing about being a dermatology provider?
What do you like about working at BMC?
You recently went on a medical mission. Can you tell us about that?
Amazing! What was the best part about your trip?
Do you know a staff member who should be profiled? Send your suggestions to email@example.com.
Patients share their BMC experience
As a physician, I know very well that patients and their families are often more prone to complain when unhappy than to praise when happy. Both should be encouraged. I am writing this letter to praise and commend in the highest possible terms the medical and surgical care that has been provided to my mother by three physicians on staff at Boston Medical Center: the neurologist Dr. Marie Saint-Hilaire, the endocrinologist Dr. Stephanie Lee, and the endocrine surgeon Dr. Gerard Doherty. In addition to providing excellent care to my mother, all three have been very open to communicating with me by phone and email whenever necessary, and have been generous with the amount of time they have spent with me, my mother, and my sister.
Dr. Saint-Hilaire has been following my mother for Parkinson’s disease since she made that diagnosis three and a half years ago. She has always been careful and deliberate in making changes to my mother's medications, which can be tricky when dealing with Parkinson’s disease.
I visited my mother at the end of December, and was unpleasantly surprised by various new and diverse symptoms. Writing to her (then-) family physician, I suggested some tests be run. These disclosed hypercalcemia, which her family physician chose to ignore (but which always demands investigation). When I received this result, my mother was enroute to an appointment with Dr. Saint-Hilaire. I called Dr. St. Hilaire, and she immediately agreed to order the appropriate blood tests. These revealed primary hyperparathyroidism. My mother then was referred to an endocrinologist elsewhere, who claimed that her modest deficiency in Vitamin D was the cause of both her hypercalcemia and her hyperparathroidism! We asked for Dr. Saint-Hilaire’s help again – again in an area unrelated to neurology – and she referred my mother to the endocrinologist Dr. Stephanie Lee. Dr. Lee saw my mother within a week, and Dr. Saint-Hilaire may have been instrumental in expediting the referral. Dr. Lee immediately understood that my mother was suffering from primary hyperparathyroidism, and at the time of their first meeting, performed an ultrasound of the neck, which revealed one or possibly two parathyroid adenomas.
In the meantime, I had made inquiries about surgery to remove the adenomas, and was thinking seriously of referring my mother to surgeons at the Tampa General Hospital, who pioneered a minimally-invasive technique for removing such benign tumors. With her Parkinson’s disease and numerous other medical problems, I did not want her to be subjected to a multi-hour surgery under general anesthesia, and this seemed to be all that was offered in the Boston area.
However, by a stroke of good luck for us, Boston Medical Center had just recruited Dr. Gerard Doherty to be the Surgeon-in-Chief at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Lee communicated with Dr. Doherty, who agreed to a conference telephone call with my mother and me on a long weekend! We learned from that call that Dr. Doherty had also perfected a technique of minimally-invasive parathyroid surgery, and booked her surgery with him. He performed the surgery which was made more complicated by the fact that my mother did indeed have two adenomas, and not one, both of which Dr. Doherty had to resect. The surgery went smoothly. Both Dr. Lee and Dr. Doherty visited my mother and my sister (in the surgical waiting room) a few times both pre- and post-op. Within three days, my mother was feeling terrific, and many of the new symptoms related to hyperparathyroidism had already resolved!
In conclusion, despite difficulties we faced with initial misdiagnoses and sub-standard care elsewhere, my mother received absolutely the best medical and surgical care imaginable at Boston Medical Center. We are very grateful to Drs. Saint-Hilaire, Lee, and Doherty, and felt that we should make our opinions known.
BMC elects new members to Board of Trustees
Ament is a managing partner at Parthenon Capital. He came to Parthenon in 2003 as a principal with significant experience in the private equity industry. Ament has served as a board member of the BMC Exceptional Care without Exception Philanthropic Trust. He is a graduate of Harvard College.
Blue is CEO of the Bostonian Group, which specializes in the areas of employee benefits, retirement services, executive compensation and property and casualty. Blue also serves on the boards of educational and social service organizations including the Col. Daniel Marr Boys and Girls Club, RFK Children Action Corp, and Catholic Memorial High School. A graduate of Boston College, Blue also has earned his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) designations.
Cotterell is CEO of the Codman Square Community Health Center, after having served as Chief Operation Officer since 1994. She began her career in health care as a nurse, earning a BS from Simmons College with RN certification. Cotterell has served in nursing roles at Massachusetts General Hospital and New England Medical Center. In addition, she has held supervisory roles at Bay State Health Care, where she later served as vice president of clinical services. In addition to her role as CEO of Codman Square Health Center, she is also co-CEO of Dotwell, a partnership organization that was formed between the Dorchester House Multi-Service Center and Codman Square Health Center. Dotwell provides non-clinical services to patients of both health centers.
Cradock is CEO of East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC), a leading facility for innovation in community based services. He has served in a leadership role at EBNHC since 1978. A graduate of Boston College, Cradock is active in the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, the National Association of Community Health Centers, the Kellogg Foundation Community Partners Program, the Boston Mayor’s Health Care Commission, and the Boston Public Health Commission.
Perlman leads initiatives within the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation, which actively supports disaster relief efforts, the performing arts, special needs children, educational institutions and health organizations, with a special emphasis on food banks and hospitals throughout the Northeast. In addition, she serves on numerous boards and committees at the local level in her home state of Rhode Island. A former coronary/intensive care nurse who practiced in New York City, she received her nursing degree from Rhode Island School of Nursing.
Retiring Board members include Joel Abrams, Jim Taylor, MD, and Alyce Lee.
Dunham named Director of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at GSDM
CRIT holds annual retreat
“Chief residents who complete CRIT emerge with new knowledge and skills in the care of older adults, an increased ability to teach about geriatrics, and improved leadership techniques that are required in their new roles,” says Cecilia Akuffo, Education Program Manager. CRIT is an eight-year old program that has been replicated at 19 institutions nationwide.
Employees march in Mother’s Day Walk for Peace
BMC has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes BMC’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients. BMC received the award for having achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures, such as the aggressive use of medications, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at improving the lives of stroke patients.
BMC has been named a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” in the 2012 Healthcare Equality Index report, an annual survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) organization. BMC earned top marks for its commitment to inclusive care for LGBT patients and their families, meeting several key indicators for equitable care, including nondiscrimination policies for LGBT patients and employees, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and LGBT health education for key staff. BMC is one of only 234 health care facilities nationwide to be named a leader. It is the first time BMC has participated in the survey. View the Healthcare Equality Index 2012 report at www.hrc.org/hei.
Jim Feldman, MD, MPH, FACEP, Emergency Medicine, received the Pinnacle award at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians (MACEP). The Pinnacle is a prestigious career achievement award given by MACEP to a small number of individuals who have made significant local, regional and national contributions to MACEP and Emergency Medicine.
Laura Eliseo, MD, Emergency Medicine, was honored by the Emergency Medicine Residents' Association with a Certificate of Appreciation for fostering medical students’ interest in the field of emergency medicine. Eliseo's nomination was initiated by Boston University medical students.
The BMC Emergency Medicine Residency Program took home a trophy from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine’s recent annual meeting in Chicago. The team won the inaugural Sonogames, a national competition of ultrasound skills. Demonstrating their skills and knowledge of point-of-care ultrasound and all aspects of U.S. competence in clinical practice were Joe Pare, MD; Derek Wayman, MD; and Neil Hadfield, MD. Forty residency programs competed in the event.
Kristin Carmody, MD, RDMS, RDCS, Emergency Medicine, has been elected Chair of the Academy of Emergency Ultrasound (AEUS). Carmody is a current board member of AEUS, an organization that brings together bedside clinician sonologists with the common goal of advancing patient care and safety by use of bedside ultrasound.