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Archive for Tuesday, September 23, 2003

LMH responds to report

September 23, 2003

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During the past week a report was made public on established guidelines that provide one measure of evaluating the quality of care individuals receive for several diagnoses. The report focused on 25 Kansas City area hospitals that voluntarily chose to provide information. Lawrence Memorial Hospital, in our commitment to continual quality improvement, chose to participate in the report in order to provide ourselves another opportunity to evaluate our organization's performance.

The Kansas City Metropolitan Healthcare Council's Quality Initiative Report showed that LMH did not meet recommended guidelines for some aspects of treatment for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia 100 percent of the time. Recommended care may include following physicians' orders for needed medicine, treatments or tests at the appropriate time. For some time, LMH physicians have been studying their ordering procedures as compared to the guidelines to see if adjustments should be made. Hospitals rank higher in the report if the recommended guidelines are followed precisely.

The report shows that we can do better, and we will. LMH could have chosen to dispute the documentation, the accuracy of the report or the report methodology. We don't believe that is a productive way to move forward.

This is an opportunity to show our dedication to patient care. Our commitment with the report and our commitment to you is to become the best community hospital, and we have not wavered from that vision. Our board, physicians and associates remain dedicated to you and those we serve in our community. In the words of one of our physicians, "We're not afraid of reporting data and we're not afraid of change."

We believe in the quality of care that LMH delivers. Our board-certified emergency physicians, cardiologists and primary-care physicians are committed to providing the high quality of care their patients deserve. They are supported by our outstanding nursing staff and over 1,000 associates and volunteers who are focused on delivering first-class care.

Cardiac care is a major organizational initiative for LMH. We are in the final stages of facility planning for our Bob Billings Cardiac Observation Area, which will emphasize early diagnosis and treatment of chest pain and cardiac events. We are working closely with our cardiologists and other physicians to expand cardiac services to those we serve. Our training programs for nursing staff and our community education programs focused on cardiac health are examples of our commitment to enhancing cardiac services at LMH. Our recent expansion of the cardiac rehabilitation unit exemplifies LMH's commitment even further.

I am very proud of the care currently delivered at Lawrence Memorial Hospital that our friends, neighbors and relatives receive. I am equally proud of all those affiliated with Lawrence Memorial Hospital and our commitment to patient care and quality improvement. We continually evaluate many aspects of the care and services we provide. Visit our Web site at www.lmh.org, where we will be sharing additional data about more quality measures in the coming weeks.

Please remember that quality improvement efforts are ongoing in every facet of our organization. We expect the best because you expect the best, and we are dedicated to that vision. My direct line at Lawrence Memorial Hospital is 749-6130 and my e-mail address is gemeyer@lmh.org. I welcome your thoughts and questions.




Gene Meyer is the president and CEO of Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

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