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  • A Message from Timothy J. Babineau, MD, President and CEO

  • Timothy Babineau, MD

    I hope that you enjoyed the holidays and were able to spend some time with family and friends and get a little bit of rest.  For those of you who sacrificed time off to make sure our patients were well cared for, I would like to express my particular appreciation.  Unlike other businesses, we do not have the luxury of “closing for the holidays” so I am grateful for the many people throughout the Lifespan system who kept our doors open, helped heal patients who were ill or injured, and in so doing made the holidays brighter for many families in our region.

    It is hard to believe we are starting a new year--2016!  And as we begin this new year, I thought I would use this column to review our health care system’s strategic priorities and goals for the upcoming year.  As in past years, we frame our goals and priorities around the “4 Ps” inherent in our mission:  our patients, our providers, our people and our purpose. Setting and achieving goals in each of these areas furthers our top priority of delivering safe, effective and high quality care.

    As always, our patients come first and for this year we have set two patient-specific goals:  to further improve our patients’ overall perception of the care they receive and to increase their willingness to recommend a Lifespan partner to others.  Both of these goals are tracked based on patients’ responses to the Press Ganey and HCAHPS surveys.  As we know from the accolades we receive from patients and their families, every single person who comes to work helps contribute (in a meaningful way) to the experience our patients have when they come to one of our facilities.  We hear how courteous a member of the admissions staff was, how someone in transport took the time to escort a lost patient to his destination, how compassionately a physician treated an elderly patient, the magic a nurse worked on an apprehensive child.  We see people at their most vulnerable; never underestimate the impact you have, even with a word of encouragement or a thoughtful gesture.  I know how busy you are, and I thank you for your efforts to ensure that every patient has the best experience possible. 

    Our priorities for the second P, our providers, are also based on improving patient care.  As you know, hospitals nationwide are working to shorten the time patients stay in the hospital because outcomes improve when patients are discharged as soon as they are medically ready.  We have this as one of our goals as well — expressed as reducing “length of stay”.  Coupled with this goal is ensuring that care is coordinated at the time of discharge so that patients are not unnecessarily readmitted to the hospital during the 30 days following discharge.  We will continue to use the tools of OpX to improve on both of these priorities.  Achieving these goals requires all of us to work as a team to ensure that care is coordinated throughout a patient’s stay and that the transition to home or other facility is smooth and seamless.  

    The goal for our third P, our people, is to increase use of our new privacy-protected, patient (electronic health record) portal, MyLifespan —both for our patients and for our employees who receive care in the Lifespan system.  Studies have shown that patients who are engaged in their health care have better outcomes, and the MyLifespan patient portal offers a new way for people to become more active participants in their overall health care.  Anyone who has contact with our patients can encourage them to activate their MyLifespan account, which enables them to access their medical information, send messages or questions to their providers, and see upcoming appointments. And if you work—and receive care—within the Lifespan system, we encourage you to learn more about this important tool as well.

    Our goal for the last P, our purpose, is to remain financially strong so that we can continue to invest in new diagnostic and treatment technology for patients; to hire and retain the best and brightest physicians, nurses, technicians and other staff who make up a top-notch health care system; to provide all employees with the resources they need to be successful; and to invest in research and teaching programs that promise to better the lives of our patients.  In order to fulfill our mission of Delivering Health with Care, we must continue to operate upon a strong financial foundation.  Ensuring that we prudently manage our scarce resources and look for opportunities to be more efficient allows us to create a more promising and secure future for the system, our employees and the patients we serve.  

    As I have said many times, medicine is a team sport.  Achieving these ambitious goals will only be possible if we continue to work as a team.  I am absolutely confident that we can attain the goals we have set for the upcoming year — and in so doing, continue to advance Lifespan as the best place for care and the best place to work.  No doubt there will be challenges — some known and some, as yet,  unknown — but after almost four years as chief executive officer of Lifespan, I know how fortunate I am to lead the best healthcare system in the state and a workforce that is talented, committed and caring.

    Best wishes for a healthy and productive 2016.  

    In the steadfast pursuit of excellence, I remain,

    Sincerely yours,

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    Timothy J. Babineau, MD

    President, CEO of Lifespan