The highly esteemed philosopher, Yogi Berra, made the shrewd observation that “the future ain’t what it used to be.” As we continue to face the challenges imposed by the ever-evolving dynamics of our current healthcare system, each of us can relate in some measure to these words of wisdom.
Yet, the marking of the New Year and the New Millennium provide us appropriate pause to reflect upon our collective accomplishments of the past and the promise of the future. As we closed 1999, Brigham and Women’s Hospital was once again honored as a top performing hospital by HCIA in its Top 100 Hospitals – Benchmarks of Success survey. BWH remains the only hospital to make this list in each of the survey’s seven years. As we continue to build upon our storied tradition, we look to the future with a focused dedication to enhancing the quality of care we provide.
The end of the year also marked a significantly busy period of time for this hospital. Volume was dramatic during the first half of December, and it stressed our entire system. The Operating Rooms were at capacity; the PACU served as an ICU for a significant number of patients; the ED handled a dramatic increase in workload; and the inpatient units responded admirably to the demands for efficient care delivery. I would like to thank and recognize the professional efforts of all of our caregivers during these most challenging circumstances.
I am delighted to share with you the names of the first Thomson Compassionate Care Scholars in this issue of PSU. These peer-nominated individuals represent the very best in compassionate care. Likewise, we recognize our nurses and other caregivers for their efforts through the Starfish program. These professionals continue to remind us of our calling as they lead us through the fates of change and enable us to respond to the recent stresses with empathy.
Though we must respond to unprecedented fiscal constraints, this is an exciting time in the history of this great institution. We can only begin to understand what the next century of medical advancement will bring, how it will shape our profession, and more importantly, how it will benefit our patients. Many of those advances will be made right here as we continue to prove our well-founded reputation for excellence. There is no greater moment in time to be associated with the practice of medicine. Thanks to each of you, we enter this New Millennium buoyed by the spirit and optimism characteristic of innovation yet balanced by our dedication to the patient.