Cincinnati Children's embraces culture of change

Culture change is never easy, but a challenge that staff at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center embraced as they sought to "be the best at getting better," according to a post on the NEJM Catalyst blog.

Uma Kotagal, senior vice president for Safety, Quality and Transformation at Cincinnati Children's, said in the article that the organization strives for perfection and staff aim to deliver broad-based change at pace and scale instead of focusing on one update at a time. 

The impetus to change the culture began when the organization reviewed nationwide data and found it wasn't in the top third of the country for cystic fibrosis care as previously thought. The institution was actually in the middle to lower third. And it really hit home when staff saw patient videos that described their experiences at the organization, which clashed with employee perceptions of care delivery.

Hospital leaders then consulted with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and met with about 100 patients to determine key focus areas for improvement, according to the blog post. The organization, Kotagal said, set out to improve both patient-physician partnerships and physician-nurse partnerships. By putting nurses and physicians on equal footing within improvement teams, there was a new a sense of enthusiasm and teamwork within the organization, she said. The teams also included representatives from inpatient, outpatient, perioperative, home health and emergency departments.

"This idea of being transformational, aspirational for children and their families, was part of the beginning," Kotagal said in the piece. "I would say our culture is collaborative, it is optimistic, it is transparent, it is aspirational, it is patient-centered and it is scientific." 

To learn more:
- read the NEJM Catalyst post