Memorial Healthcare System
A Public System Focusing on Patient-and Family-Centered Care
Memorial Healthcare System (MHS) has provided public hospital care in South Broward County, Florida, for 56 years. MHS hospitals scored very well on process-of-care measures, not only compared with other publicly owned hospitals but compared with all hospitals. MHS leaders have developed a multifaceted quality and safety strategy that relies on storytelling to convey to staff and patients the type of care they wish to provide. Monitoring and reporting of performance data, combined with careful design of care processes, help the hospital achieve its goals. Staff also receive training and coaching on ways to enhance the quality of care. In addition, hospital leaders’ desire to appeal to privately insured patients, and to keep people healthy before and after hospitalizations, appears to drive improvement. For further information about the public hospital selection process and cross-cutting lessons about their improvement efforts, please see our introduction to the public hospital case study series.
Performance Improvement Strategies
- MHS created patient/family medication records, which list all of the medications a patient is taking while hospitalized, to encourage patients to be informed partners in their care.
- MHS is in the process of rolling out change-of-shift reporting at patients’ bedside, rather than the nurses’ station. This change helps promote the flow of information between nurses, patients, and their family members.
- Following a preventable death at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in 2001, many hospitals have created “hotlines” so that patients or family members can call for immediate help. MHS has implemented a “Help Alert” system that any patient or family member can activate by dialing 88 on an internal phone.
For further information about the public hospital selection process and cross-cutting lessons about their improvement efforts, please see our introduction to the public hospital case study series.