Health care, as a field, is unique on many levels. As the largest employers in many of the communities we serve, hospitals not only are the places people turn to for care and healing, but also are major economic drivers. Our hospitals are relied upon to provide jobs, purchase goods and services, and to serve as safe havens for the sick and injured.
These are big shoes to fill, and we take our responsibilities to Arkansas communities seriously. We are constantly looking for ways to improve the culture of health care to better serve Arkansans.
This issue of Arkansas Hospitals explains how health care borrows and learns from the successful innovations of other industries in order to improve patient care and community service. Many of us in the “people care” business have long borrowed from the aviation industry, employing process checklists and counter-checks to assure a culture that delivers the best in patient safety.
We borrow ideas from the banking industry. Just as you can access your bank account from multiple ATMs across the nation, so now physicians and hospitals can access your personal health records through the use of electronic health records. Having your health history follow you wherever you go can save your life – or just make life easier.
As we make the move toward more team-based care, we’re seeing an improvement in communication among the many health care groups that care for patients in the hospital setting. Good communication has always been the foundation for success in every industry. So it is with health care.
But did you ever stop to consider what health care borrows from manufacturing? From engineering? From interior design? Building a culture of safety and caring depends upon both quality measures and the small, often unnoticed details that a comfortable and safe environment contribute to the healing process.
Sometimes, these “other industries” come inside our very doors. When you examine a list of the Arkansas Hospital Association’s Affiliated and Allied Groups, you get a glimpse into the intricate weaving of industries directly into the hospital culture.
AHA Affiliated/Allied Groups include networks of hospital engineers, quality teams, social workers, marketing and PR teams and financial managers. They include hospital volunteers and materials managers, among others. Each of these “other industries” has found a permanent home in health care, and the culture of every hospital is partly formed from the sharing of expertise these professionals bring to the table.
It takes a multi-faceted, engaged team functioning within a good culture to deliver great health care. We learn from many so we can care for all.
President and CEO
Arkansas Hospital Association
The above article is from the Spring 2018 edition of Arkansas Hospitals, a quarterly magazine published by the Arkansas Hospital Association. Vowell, Inc. produces Arkansas Hospitals on behalf of the Arkansas Hospital Association. This article is reprinted with permission.