September 2003

Leadership Letter from Harold E. Ray, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

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Dear Catholic Health Initiatives Family:

Quality and patient safety have always been cornerstones of Catholic Health Initiatives and we have made considerable strides, as marked by receipt of the 2001 National Quality Health Care Award. Now, our Quality and Patient Safety Agenda will set a new standard as it makes better use of our resources and promotes the best possible care of our patients.

Currently, market-based organizations report quality – and patient safety-related data to multiple groups within Catholic Health Initiatives and outside the organization, resulting in a significant amount of duplication and rework. The Quality and Patient Safety Agenda will streamline this reporting structure to a single source for each market-based organization. The agenda’s coordinating function will ensure the data are shared with all groups that need it. This will simplify the workload of market-based quality leaders related to system reporting while it makes our system-wide data more reliable and useful.

The agenda will also improve coordination and oversight of quality- and patient safety-related data, which will enable Catholic Health Initiatives to better support market-based quality initiatives and system-wide strategies. Consistency of data, terminology and methodology will result in better data for improvement in benchmarking and comparative analysis across the organization.

However, Catholic Health Initiatives appreciates the fact that while quality can and should be tracked nationally, it is delivered locally – by the clinicians – within the facilities of our market-based organizations. Market-based leaders are in the best position to decide which quality and patient safety initiatives are most important to your operations. The purpose of the Quality and Patient Safety Agenda is to use our system-wide resources to provide more comprehensive and effective support for your efforts.

We ask market-based chief executives to review this information with your clinical leadership teams. Please bring your questions to the next Chief Executive Officers Cluster Meeting, which will provide a forum for discussion that will make this new agenda even more valuable to us all.