December 2005

Lofton Introduces Three Key Themes to Support Priorities

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Three themes that will guide Catholic Health Initiatives through the 2007 fiscal year are: Invest in Leaders to Develop Leaders; Create the Safest Environment by Reducing Avoidable Complications; Build the System Together.

Catholic Health Initiatives is a healing ministry, as expressed in the organization’s mission and vision statements: The mission of Catholic Health Initiatives is to nurture the healing ministry of the Church by bringing it new life, energy and viability in the 21st century. Fidelity to the Gospel urges us to emphasize human dignity and social justice as we move toward the creation of healthier communities. Catholic Health Initiatives’ vision is to live out its mission by transforming health care delivery and by creating new ministries for the promotion of healthy communities. During his “State of the Ministry” address at the annual Chief Executive Officers meeting in October, Kevin Lofton, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Health Initiatives, raised a compelling question: what will it take for Catholic Health Initiatives to truly transform health care delivery, as it is called to do by its vision statement? Lofton worked with Catholic Health Initiatives’ senior leadership team to identify three key themes that will enable the system to strengthen its focus on its vision. The three themes, which will guide the organization’s direction through fiscal year 2007, are:
  1. Invest in Leaders to Develop Leaders
  2. Create the Safest Environment by Reducing Avoidable Complications
  3. Build the System Together
Invest in Leaders to Develop Leaders “Chief executives across the system are accountable for the development of current and future leaders for the health ministry,” said Lofton. “This requires focus on the people needed to lead the ministry into the future: to nurture it and to propel it forward.” The following steps are key to developing leaders:
  • Integrating a consistent process for managing change quickly.
  • Striving to be a work community of choice in every market served.
  • Developing relationships that deliver outstanding results consistent with the mission and core values.
  • Using Personal Performance plans to help leaders grow personally and professionally.
  • Performing formal continuity planning and talent mapping.
Create the Safest Environment by Reducing Avoidable Complications “Every chief executive and board member across Catholic Health Initiatives is accountable for tracking progress and achieving quality performance in their organizations,” Lofton said. The following steps are key to creating the safest environment possible:
  • Using Catholic Health Initiatives resources and tools, including the Culture of Safety Survey, rapid response team development and on-line incident reporting.
  • Implementing the seven interventions known to reduce mortality:
    1. Deploy rapid response teams.
    2. Deliver reliable, evidence-based care for acute myocardial infarction.
    3. Prevent adverse drug events.
    4. Prevent central line infections.
    5. Prevent surgical site infections.
    6. Prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia.
    7. Follow Catholic Health Initiatives’ guideline for the management of patients on anticoagulants.
    8. Identifying clinical baselines, proficiencies and foundational systems for improvement.
    9. Standardizing processes for consistent care.
Build the System Together The Catholic Health Initiatives Board of Stewardship Trustees challenged system leadership to strengthen the healing ministry through year-to-year improvement in all areas: mission, clinical services, operations and finance. “Two of our assets — size and scope — present the greatest opportunity,” said Lofton. “Leveraging these assets depends on the ability of market-based organizations, national groups and individual leaders to act as a system. We have already changed our operating model to foster ‘systemness,’ as well as to improve clinical, operational and financial performance.” The organization has also begun to consolidate systems and functions in ways that benefit the entire system. “For example, CHI Connect, is standardizing and consolidating key business operations in finance, supply chain, payroll and human resources,” Lofton said. The following steps are key to building the system:
  • Achieving top quartile financial and operational performance.
  • Creating greater national staff accountability through an Annual Planning Review, Core Values Assessment and new Service Assessments.
  • Developing a Governance Plan that will ensure board members across the system have the skills, competencies and opportunities to contribute to a strong health ministry.
Lofton noted some additional areas of focus are critical to Catholic Health Initiatives’ long-term success. These include:
  • Robust relationships with physicians.
  • Evaluation and adoption of clinical technologies to advance growth in key service lines.
  • System-wide cost accounting and decision support services.
  • Exploration of potential for system growth through regional networks.
“To fully realize each of the key themes, leaders throughout our system must embrace their responsibility to achieve high performance; to be accountable for their performance; and to communicate, clearly and consistently, with boards, physicians, communities and employees,” Lofton said.