Memorial Medical Center's 3-pronged approach to quality care


Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Illinois is paving a path toward high-quality, efficient patient care, by taking steps to reduce stroke deaths, cut costs and promote a patient-centered model.

The hospital was able to lead the charge to quality care by emphasizing three culture changes, according to an article from AHA News:

  • A culture of performance improvement. In 2010, Memorial implemented the Lean Sigma Six methodology, according to the article, and the tactic has quickly paid off. Charles Callahan, the system’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, told AHA News that the hospital had saved $2.8 million in costs in 2014, and $30 million overall, thanks to the new performance improvement initiatives. “We’ve reconfigured our whole quality structure from the board down to frontline personnel,” Callahan said. In addition to the cost savings, the hospital has also seen improvements in several clinical areas since focusing on improving staff performance. Between 2013 and 2015 the hospital saw a 23 percent decrease in stroke deaths, a 62 percent drop in stroke-related complications and a reduction of 92 percent in hip fracture readmissions, according to the article.
  • A culture of healthcare innovation. The center partnered with the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, forming the Midwest Healthcare Quality Alliance, according to the article. The alliance, which earlier this year added the Springfield Clinic to its membership, launched a patient safety organization. Callahan said the PSO brings ambulance drivers and other first responder personnel into the fold for decisions. Memorial Medical Center sees more than 70,000 emergency department visits a year, so improving the care patients receive on the way to the ER improves care across the spectrum, Callahan said. Memorial also offers a multispeciality simulated training facility, that allows clinicians to hone skills used everywhere from the nurses’ station to the operating room to a patient’s home, according to the article. Callahan said in the announcement that the center has promoted staff retention.
  • A culture that focuses on patient-centered care. The hospital also offers patients the chance to voice concerns directly, according to the announcement, through programs like its Joint Works Patient and Family Advisory Panel, which focuses on the patient experience though joint replacement surgery. In the case of this particular panel, for instance, Memorial gains valuable insight into how to best shape service before, during and after surgery. “We believe the voice of the customer is the perception of your quality, and that is something we want ingrained into our culture,” Callahan told AHA News.

- read the article