Paul Levy is the former CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He is author of the blog Not Running a Hospital.
He recently spoke at a Quality and Safety retreat sponsored by MedStar Health (a healthcare organization in the Baltimore-Washington DC area). His topic was transparency.
Here is the video:
He explains how transparency can be a way for an organization to “hold itself accountable to the standard of care it says it believes in.”
Dr. Levy tells several stories about how his hospital moved toward embracing a culture of patient safety.
In about 2005, the Chief of Medicine decided the hospital had too many central line infections. They assigned people to research best practices for inserting central lines, trained everyone, and started keeping track of infection. The number of infections decreased. And then Dr. Levy decided to post the number of central line infections on his blog. What he learned is that by revealing the number of infections publicly, the staff (who was already proud of their accomplishments in reducing infections) pushed themselves to do even better.
After success with central line infections, the idea of using transparency to drive patient safety was expanded. The board of directors set a goal of eliminating preventable harm in their hospital within four years, and they voted unanimously to post every case of preventable harm on their website.
Wow. That is leadership from someone who really is serious about creating an environment of patient safety.