Open forums provide direct communication for employees
Richard D'Aquila (left) answered employees' questions after a recent open forum on the Saint Raphael Campus. Here he discusses an issue with Gary Fraser, evening supervisor, Sterile Processing.
Both campuses of Yale-New Haven Hospital have a tradition of open forums to which all employees are invited. The latest series of these meetings — which ran from November through January — drew hundreds of employees who were updated first-hand on hospital progress and challenges.
At each meeting, employees were able to ask questions of Richard D'Aquila, YNHH president and COO, and Paul Patton, vice president, Administration, who presented at the meetings and discussed both the success of the previous fiscal year, which ended on September 30, and the challenges ahead. "What was so special about 2012 was that we set many records," D'Aquila told employees at each meeting. "In terms of growth in the state of Connecticut, we grew when others in the state did not. Our integration with the Hospital of Saint Raphael is also one of the year's significant achievements, and I expect our progress will continue."
D'Aquila discussed four major areas with employees at each meeting: Patient safety and quality The hospital has launched a morning safety report on both campuses that is already paying dividends in terms of improved communication and collaboration. The teleconferenced meetings are based on a national patient safety quality and improvement model. Patient satisfaction "Not so long ago, we scored in the 40s for cleanliness, quiet, the environment and cohesiveness of the medical team," D'Aquila said.
"Today, some of our units score in the high 90s and the hospital is starting the year at the 82nd percentile. Our Patient Experience efforts this year on both campuses will help employees and physicians better focus our efforts on patients which will help our scores."
Clinical program growth In 2012, the hospital served a record number of inpatients and outpatients. Y-Access, the hospital's successful referral program, has contributed to this growth with 300 transfers to YNHH per month. This growth allows YNHH to invest in clinical programs and recruit physicians that support the hospital's reputation as a provider of choice throughout the Northeast and beyond.
Financial performance In FY12, YNHH experienced a nearly 8 percent growth in inpatient cases — a record — while the state of Connecticut contracted by 2 percent; net operating margin for the year was a healthy 6.1 percent.
Looking ahead, D'Aquila cautioned employees. "While we had an excellent year, there is a dramatic push to reduce what hospitals — especially teaching hospitals — are paid," he said. "We must lower our costs but we have to be thoughtful about the process. Opening up rooms on the Saint Raphael Campus will help with capacity and Epic will help us cut down on duplicative tests and streamline our processes. Doing all of this in 2013 is going to be challenging for us."
D'Aquila also reminded employees that 2013 will be the year of state and federal surveys. Accreditation by The Joint Commission and licensing by the state Department of Health are required for the hospital to treat patients.