July/August 2002

Catholic Health Initiatives Joins IMPACT Network for Health Care Advancement


"We are enormously pleased with this opportunity to combine our energies and skills with other progressive health care organizations in this timely and innovative effort." – Harold Ray, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

Catholic Health Initiatives has joined IMPACT, a new network of health organizations committed to strengthening quality health care delivery. Created by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Boston, Mass., the network unites change-oriented health organizations in 28 states and two Canadian provinces in a community of providers committed to significant improvement in patient services. IMPACT has a leadership community and five critical areas of focus. In joining IMPACT, Catholic Health Initiatives agreed to assign one market-based organization to each area to strive for breakthrough improvements. The areas of focus and the assigned market-based organizations are:
  • Patient Safety – Ensuring that patients are as safe in their facilities as they are in their own homes – Memorial Health Care System, Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Office Practice and Ambulatory Settings – Building efficient, proactive, patient-centered outpatient care systems – Mercy Health Network, Des Moines, Iowa.
  • Flow in the Hospital – Reducing wait times, redundancy and waste throughout the hospital system – Good Samaritan Health Systems, Kearney, Neb.
  • Intensive Care Settings – Improving care for patients in critical care units while reducing costs – Saint Joseph Hospital, Lexington, Ky.
  • Workforce Development – Ensuring a vibrant, motivated and skilled workforce – Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Each of the market-based organizations will also have a team participate in IMPACT’s leadership community task force. "We hope our ability to structure and create change in key patient care areas will help IMPACT make meaningful health contributions, and that our participation will inspire other large health organizations to support IMPACT’s efforts," said Harold Ray, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer, Catholic Health Initiatives. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement, founded in 1991, is an independent, non-profit organization. It is dedicated to improving the quality of health care systems through education, research and demonstration projects and by fostering collaboration among member organizations. Its projects extend throughout the United States and around the world. "It is hard to improve alone," said Donald Berwick, MD, MPP, president and chief executive officer of the institute. "That’s why we created IMPACT, a community of improvers who will learn and act together across organizations, disciplines and even nations. Together, they will accelerate learnings, cut the risks and costs of innovation, celebrate successes and support each other to transform patient care." Ray noted that Catholic Health Initiatives was created because its participating congregations realized that the changing health care environment meant greater resources would be needed to develop effective programs, structures and services for the new century. "IMPACT certainly holds the potential to be a new and meaningful resource for uncovering ways to preserve and strengthen our Catholic health ministry for the future," he said. For more information about IMPACT, visit the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Web site at www.ihi.org.