How We Define Quality at Munson Medical Center

Quality health care means different things to different people. For you, it might mean getting in to see your doctor right away, being treated courteously, or having a positive outcome and a return to health. For insurance providers, quality often means a positive outcome for the patient achieved at a reasonable cost. At Munson Healthcare, quality means doing what is best for each patient each step of the way – providing the right care, in the right place, at the right time to achieve the best possible result.  

In the simplest of terms, quality means treating you the way we would want to be treated. It means kind and attentive caregivers, honest answers, good food, comfortable surroundings, and effective clinical care.  

As a health care system serving 30 counties across northern Michigan, quality also means:

  • Coordinating patient care before, during, and after a hospital stay.
  • Reducing hospital acquired conditions (infections, injuries from falls, surgical complications, etc.).
  • Reducing readmissions by putting a care plan in place for every patient discharged from the hospital.
  • Ensuring a safe environment for our health care team.
  • Encouraging a collaborative environment so clinicians and employees feel safe to speak up and share any quality or safety concerns.
  • Supporting timely reporting of any quality or safety concerns and responding quickly with the right support and resources.
  • Improving patient outcomes and experiences.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) defines health care quality as the extent to which health services improve health outcomes. Care should be based on the strongest clinical evidence, provided in a technically and culturally competent manner with good communication and shared decision-making with the patient.

The IOM outlines six aims for quality health care:

  • Safety: Patients should not be harmed by care that is intended to help them.
  • Effective: Care should be evidence-based (proven to work) and provided to all who could benefit (neither over nor underused).
  • Patient-Centered: Care should be based on individual patient needs, preferences, and values.
  • Timely: Waits and delays in care should be reduced.
  • Efficient: Reduce waste (time, supplies, resources) to minimize the cost.  
  • Equitable: Care should be equal for all people.

Tracking Quality

We have systems and processes in place to review our quality and safety data in real time on a daily basis. In addition, senior leaders and department leaders makes rounds to review quality and safety practices across the organization.

Organizational metrics called True North are reviewed every month. This includes a close look at safety and quality data across the organization by our physician and nursing leaders. We pay a lot of attention to the details that ensure your safety and satisfaction.

Whenever we identify a quality or safety issue, we have a team that evaluates what we need to change in our processes or procedures to eliminate that problem in the future. This information is shared across our organization so we can all learn how to reduce and prevent patient safety and quality events.

What Our Leaders Do to Ensure Quality

Hospital administrators and senior leaders at each Munson Healthcare hospital work to ensure quality by:

  • Maintaining a safe environment for patients and staff alike
  • Ensuring we are fully staffed with a highly skilled workforce
  • Sustaining corporate compliance and meeting all government regulations
  • Effectively managing supplies and facility operations
  • Closely monitoring finances

Putting Community Health at the Forefront

Quality health care begins in our homes and communities.  Our focus on community health includes education programs, health screenings for early detection of disease, as well as chronic disease management programs. We partner with many schools, businesses, and community organizations to promote health and wellness throughout northern Michigan.

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