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Speaker Panel Answers My Accreditation Questions

By Claire Thayer, July 15, 2019

In June, Iris J. Lundy of Sentara Healthcare, Lorie Gillette and Dr. Robert C. Pendleton of the University of Utah Health, Lori Flies of Houston Methodist, and Patrick Horine, Chief Executive Officer at DNV GL Healthcare participated in a Healthcare Web Summit webinar discussion on how accreditation can be a catalyst for improvement in care quality, patient outcomes and overall operational efficiency. If you missed this lively presentation, you'll want to be sure to watch the Webinar Video. After the webinar, we interviewed our speakers on four key takeaways: 

1. Can you describe some of the quality improvement benefits within your system that have been implemented since contracting with DNV GL Healthcare? 

Lori Flies: At Houston Methodist, a few of the many quality improvement benefits included:

Implementation of ISO 9001 internal survey/internal audit using a process-based approach has improved identification of variations in quality and safety so that we can take corrective actions and evaluate improvement. Another benefit that we implemented was structured management review to quality and safety variations has resulted in leader decisions that drive improvements, such as ED throughput. Lastly, since contracting with DNV GL Healthcare, we’ve experienced stronger integration of clinical and non-clinical aspects of patient care; for example, last year working with both clinical and facility aspects of assessing ligature risk. 

2. You've talked about process owners within each of your hospitals, can you tell us more here? 

Iris Lundy: Each NIAHO standard or an identified process has an owner within the hospital (process owner) and a system lead who serves as the subject matter expert.  These individuals assist with developing educational material and other tools to assist their hospital with successfully implementing.  The system person assists to ensure we are standardizing as much as appropriate across our system.  There is also a VP sponsor for each of these groups to assist with removing barriers when they are identified. 

3. As an academic health system, you've mentioned historic silos within organization structure and clinical specialties. How did implementing management to support ISO 9001 force you to break down these silos? 

Bob Pendleton and Lorie Gillette: At the University of Utah Health, when we implemented a management system as per the ISO 9001 standards, silos were broken down due to the new reporting structure for management review which included adding key directors as well as executive leaders. The goal was to spread system information requiring process improvement and in turn, agree upon shared system goals collaboratively. Providing training and aligning goals on a system level provided the impetus to break down silos.  

4. Can you tell us how DNV GL approaches accreditation and give us a few examples of how you work more collaboratively with hospitals and why this approach is advantageous for the hospital? 

Patrick Horine: We think of our hospitals as partners. This process should be meaningful to the hospital leadership and staff. It is not just about noting a finding, but you want to understand how an organization applies a standard and their process. Doing so enables us to share insight, share ideas on how other organizations meet the requirements, and what they may consider for making improvements. We learn from the hospitals as well that we can improve our process and use to help others. We still hold the hospitals accountable for compliance, we just take a different approach in doing so. This is advantageous because the hospital staff get more from the survey experience. They see the practical application and understanding of the requirements and appreciate this being more than just passing the survey for the certification and about improving for their patients.   

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