Problem Solvers: Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital

How does a hospital become an award-winning model? Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital provides an example.

The challenge: Going from Good to Great.

For the last six years, Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital’s supply chain department – led by Peter Bury, vice president of finance, and Kathy Fermo, manager of materials management – has prioritized service and health outcomes. “We looked at what we needed to do to survive in the industry, move market share, and improve and enhance the patient, physician and associate experience.” From that evolved the hospital’s G2G program: From Good to Great.

The results: “Our first focus was service and health outcomes,” Bury explains. “We then became interested in the Malcolm Baldrige process. The hospital applied for the award in 2007 and received a valuable feedback report. For Bury and Fermo, this was but a springboard. “We used this feedback as an opportunity to identify our core competency, which was to build loyal relationships with our patients, physicians, associates, volunteers and the community at large. This has been a huge driver for our organization.”

The effort has facilitated stronger relationships between supply chain and its physicians, associates and volunteers, leading to financial growth and better patient outcomes. Last year, the hospital was one of seven organizations – and the only healthcare institution – to receive a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, an award sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In addition, the hospital focused on six key performance areas:

• Health outcomes.

• Associate engagement.

• Patient satisfaction.

• Physician engagement.

• Growth.

• Funding the organization’s future.

“We set annual goals [for improvement] within each of the six performance areas,” says Bury. The goals, which are deployed systematically from the executive team to the management level, are specific, measurable and objective, he points out. “They [look at much more than] ‘Are you doing your job?’ You can’t improve that which you don’t measure. Our chief executive officer at Advocate has said that first and foremost, we are a clinical enterprise. If we do the clinical piece right, and build loyal relationships, this will lead to more engaged physicians and more loyal associates and patients.”

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