The return of spring reminds me that hospitals, like the seasons,
undergo cycles ranging from fair to turbulent to unpredictable. At Bryn
Mawr Hospital, we hope for the former but expect and prepare for the
latter so that our patients can always count on us to be ready for them
when they need us.
As I do each year, I would like to bring you up to date on recent
developments at your community hospital.
Flu Season 2012–13
Turbulence was certainly associated with this year’s flu season. Through
February, we tested 2,030 patients, 358 of whom tested positive for flu.
During the same period last year, we saw only 37 cases of flu. During
this season’s peak in December and January, we experienced volumes that
exceeded available beds in the Emergency Department and on the patient
floors. Our staff did a remarkable job staying on top of events and
adjusting to frequent schedule changes to meet spikes in volume. I
applaud the entire hospital team for rising to the occasion during a
It’s worth noting that all our employees, physicians, allied health
professionals, volunteers and contractors who have contact with patients
or their environment are required to receive the influenza vaccination
as a condition of employment or use of all Main Line Health facilities.
Beyond our campus, our Community Health Services Department (CHS)
vaccinated over 400 community members. CHS also assisted the Montgomery
and Chester County Health Departments in immunizing over 15,000 students
in school districts with large, underserved populations.
Commitment to Patient Safety
The safety of our patients remains our top priority at Bryn Mawr
Hospital. Over the past year we have continued to implement initiatives
towards our goal of making Bryn Mawr the safest hospital in the country.
Examples of these include daily rounds by nurse managers on all
patients, hourly rounds by our nurses and patient care technicians on
all patients and daily safety huddles of the entire Bryn Mawr leadership
group. These safety huddles are designed to ensure that we are all on
the same page every day regarding what is happening in the hospital to
impact patient and staff safety.
Our goal is to achieve and sustain zero events of preventable harm
through best practices, personal accountability and continuous
performance improvement. Front-line staff plays an integral role in
embedding safety behaviors and many have received training as “Safety
Coaches” with responsibility to help promote and reinforce patient
safety behaviors and the use of error prevention tools with their peers.
Bryn Mawr Hospital was recently awarded an “A” rating by the Leapfrog
Group for patient safety.
National healthcare reform continues to make news and influence our
decisions. One trend that we are watching closely is a shift in
historical patterns of hospital utilization. Aside from the surge
outlined above, inpatient activity is down across the country and Bryn
Mawr Hospital and the Main Line Health hospitals are feeling this
downturn as well. The economy and changes in medical practice are
thought to account for some of this shift. Part of the explanation,
however, is due to the way inpatients are counted. Increasingly,
insurance companies and payers, led by Medicare, decide who qualifies
for inpatient care. A growing number of our patients do not qualify as
inpatients, according to Medicare, so we place these patients under
“observation” status. Although their care is indistinguishable from
other inpatients, our reimbursement is significantly less. We see this
trend accelerating, placing downward pressure on revenue. This shift is
just one of many changes occurring in health care, requiring us to adapt
quickly to a rapidly changing landscape.
Our Commitment: A Superior Experience for Patients, Staff and
We continually review the strategies that guide us in our commitment to
provide a superior experience for everyone who comes in contact with us:
the patients who entrust us with their care, patients’ families,
physicians, nurses, employees and volunteers, suppliers of goods and
services, and people who live, work, attend school or visit our
To deliver a “superior patient experience” we hold ourselves accountable
Embed a reliable culture of safety to eliminate preventable
Deliver evidence-based care that consistently results in desired
Achieve top decile patient satisfaction scores across all
domains (nurse/doctor communication, pain management, staff
responsiveness, communication about medications, discharge
process, hospital environment).
Provide leading practice pain/palliative care and hospice
services for acute care inpatients.
Be a “great workplace” model by achieving the highest level of
physician and employee engagement.
In our community, be the hospital of choice to receive care,
practice medicine and come to work each day.
Finalize our campus master plan; rationalize facility needs by
identifying those clinical services and programs that will
require capital investments in bricks and mortar.
We are taking steps to address three primary facility issues on our
aging campus. The first is the need to have all our patient rooms be
private rooms. The other two areas we are addressing include much needed
renovations to our critical care units and upgrades to our busy
operating room suites.
Your Voice Counts
I appreciate this opportunity to share some of the news from Bryn Mawr
Hospital. I also invite you to send me your feedback. We are always
proud to be recognized for clinical excellence and superior patient
care, and we hope that is how you know or have experienced us. In any
organization, however, particularly one as complex as a hospital, there
will always be opportunities for improvement. Understanding where those
opportunities lie is an important part of my job. Taking the pulse of
the community is another. Your perspective on Bryn Mawr Hospital is
always welcome, so please don’t hesitate to share a comment or concern
that will help us to better fulfill our mission to “heal the sick,
comfort the suffering and conserve the life of the community.”
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.