Carolinas Medical Center
Demonstrating High Quality in the Public Sector
Carolinas Medical Center was established by the Charlotte-Mecklenberg County Public Authority in 1939 to meet the health care needs of Mecklenberg County residents, and opened its first hospital in 1940. Keeping pace with population growth, multiple facilities now continue the original mission to "care for all who come." High scores on process-of-care, or "core," measures distinguish the Carolinas Medical Center network hospitals as a group, and Carolinas Medical Center–University as the top performer among them. The network relies on multidisciplinary teams who are accountable to leadership for meeting goals; reviews and publicizes performance indicators across hospitals in its network; and redesigns care processes so that standards can be achieved as a matter of routine.
Performance Improvement Strategies
- The health system established annual Quality Assemblies to set priorities and align the quality and safety agendas of the hospitals. The goal of the meetings is to gather input from all levels of staff across the many care settings, ensuring that people directly involved in patient care help frame the agenda.
- System-wide Quality and Safety Operations Councils comprised of quality leaders in each hospital meet via conference call once a month to discuss quality initiatives.
- Nurses receive training on the core measure care processes and use reminder systems, such as brightly colored sheets in medical charts that prompt them to complete and document each indicator.
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.