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In This Issue:
BWH President Gary Gottlieb, MD, MBA, sat down with BWH Bulletin this month to discuss what’s in store for the hospital in 2008. He detailed the goals, challenges and exciting opportunities ahead this year.
Bulletin: As you reflected on 2007, what did you think about?
Dr. Gottlieb: The Brigham had an exceptional year last year. We continue to receive national recognition in quality and safety and make strides in improving care. Our tremendous accomplishments are thanks to the 13,000 women and men who dedicate their unique talents to make this the wonderful place that it is. I thank all of you for that.
Bulletin: What are your top-of-mind goals for the hospital for 2008?
Dr. Gottlieb: Our goals are not specific to just this year. First and foremost, we have broader goals that focus on quality and safety of care for our patients. We should all take immense pride in our national leadership in quality and safety, and we need to advance that leadership and continue with our work in reaching 100 percent compliance in hand hygiene, reducing medication errors and improving patient flow.
And this year we are as committed as ever to efforts to reducing racial and ethnic disparities in health care by making sure we increase access to quality care throughout our community.
There are many underpinnings where these goals come together with our mission of excellent patient care, research and education, not the least of which is making BWH the best place to work for our employees. We recruit and retain highly-skilled employees and continue to build a diverse workforce by reaching out to our community and ensuring that our people have training and development programs for an upward career path with room to grow at BWH.
Bulletin: We’re opening the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center this spring. How will that change the hospital?
Dr. Gottlieb: Successfully expanding our campus is also a major goal this year, and the opening of the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center is the largest single improvement and change to this campus, perhaps since the Tower opened in 1980—although clearly not as monumental as the merger of the hospitals that formed the Brigham.
The Shapiro Center will help us renew the Tower and other elements of the campus, as well, and it will enable us to promote and enhance patient-centered care within our Centers of Excellence by juxtaposing clinicians of different disciplines who provide services around those key areas.
Whether it’s in Cancer with the 13 different disease centers that we share with the Dana-Farber in our Cancer Center or with bringing together Orthopedics, Rheumatology, Radiology and other elements of Musculoskeletal Care or Women’s Health, as we’ve done successfully in the Fish Center, the notion of bringing together Cardiac Surgery, Cardiology, Vascular Medicine, Vascular Imaging and Vascular Surgery as well as with the components of Pathology in the same place is remarkable.
Bulletin: Does the opening of the Shapiro Center change cardiovascular care in the region?
Dr. Gottlieb: I think that the quality of our cardiologists, our cardiac surgeons, our vascular medicine and vascular surgery teams, the quality of our nurses, the technologies we have and the tremendous research findings that we have translated into care already have changed it. This building just enables it even further in having resources that are dedicated to a set of disciplines essentially joined.
Bulletin: What’s in store for the Tower?
Dr. Gottlieb: We will be moving towards having a much higher proportion of private rooms, and the stacking plan brings us more consistency in terms of geography of inpatient units and beds as we stack the Tower.
Bulletin: What other ways is the Brigham expanding this year?
Dr. Gottlieb: Last week, actually, we opened a new cancer center that’s a joint venture among the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Brigham and Milford Regional Medical Center. (Read story in Bulletin.)
We’re also building an ambulatory care center, which we expect to open in November, with Mass. General Hospital at Patriot Place, next to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. This makes it convenient for our patients to receive care and allows us to have better throughput than we could in a place with many other services. (Read story in MSN.)
Bulletin: We hear there will be some new communications vehicles this year to better connect the Brigham’s 13,000-plus employees. Tell us about them.
Dr. Gottlieb: In 2006 and into 2007, we completed a comprehensive internal communications audit and, based on the feedback we received, we are, in fact, rolling out new communications vehicles. As everyone knows, our intranet, PikeNotes, is one way that people can receive news and important information. This year, we’ll see a redesigned and more accessible PikeNotes. And we’ve decided to install television screens throughout the hospital and the distributed campus to communicate announcements and messages. We’ll have them in buildings all over the campus to keep people connected.
Beyond PikeNotes and TV screens, we are working hard to make sure messages flow to and from hospital leadership, managers and staff, and that most of the time, information is shared verbally. We need to nurture and support one another with information.
We need to continue to have as much verbal communication among managers and staff, such as group meetings, to make sure that everyone is connected. We are going to work to ensure that everybody gets direct messages from their managers, and that managers are enthusiastic about answering questions and keeping people informed. In a place that’s this big and this busy with this much going on, we need to share messages.
Bulletin: When folks from outside BWH ask you about the Brigham, what do you tell them?
Dr. Gottlieb: After I’m done talking about extraordinary, hospital-wide commitment to delivering the safest and best care, I tell people about the exceptional young people who work here. Some of the smartest, most extraordinary young people have committed themselves to being in this place. It manifests itself in the science somebody does that regenerates heart tissue and the hordes of young people who want to work in our neediest local neighborhoods or go to Rwanda or Lesotho or Malawi in our global health programs. They come through our residency programs, newly-licensed nurse programs, or others, inspired by brilliant, experienced and dedicated clinician teachers ready to use their exceptional talents to improve the lives of so many.