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SJMHS will create a remarkable patient experience supported by seamless regional care delivery rooted in high quality care and service excellence.

The Institute of Medicine has defined six “aims” for a high quality health care system. Organized as a pyramid, these aims provide Saint Joseph Mercy Health System with a lens through which we define and shape the “remarkable patient experience”.

Here briefly are the “aims:”

Patient safety. Safety is the fundamental cornerstone of the health care system. If care is not provided in a safe manner in a safe environment, the chances for a good outcome are lessened significantly. As IOM noted, “Patients should not be harmed by the care that is intended to help them, nor should harm come to those who work in health care.” Our goal must be to prevent harm from reaching patients and those involved in providing care to those patients. That requires everyone to be involved in identifying opportunities for patient care to be made safer. And it requires everyone to be continuously involved in learning from medical errors and close calls.

Patient centeredness. The real business of health care is about preventing illness, healing those who are ill, meeting the needs of people who must live their lives with disabilities or chronic disease, and helping people in our communities achieve better health. Patient-centered care includes respect for patients’ values, preferences, and expressed needs; the coordination and integration of care; information, communication, and education; physical comfort; emotional support; and the involvement of family and friends.

Efficiency and Effectiveness. Efficiency does not mean withholding health care services. Rather, efficiency means eliminating medical errors and the overuse of services whose risks outweigh the benefit to the patient. Efficiency also means reducing administrative costs by, for example, eliminating duplicative paperwork, redundant testing and numerous re-entries of various types of practitioner orders.

IOM defines effectiveness as “care that is based on the use of systematically acquired evidence to determine whether an intervention, such as a preventive service, diagnostic test, or therapy, produces better outcomes than alternatives – including the alternative of dong nothing.” It’s the foundation for “evidence-based medicine” – medicine that integrates the best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values.

Timeliness. Long waits in the emergency room or delays in the start of operative or diagnostic procedures are a frequently accepted norm within health care today. Because these types of delays can be a hindrance in patients getting prompt care or providing treatments in a timely manner, we need to get everyone more involved in making patient care processes flow smoothly.

Equity. Equity occurs when we overcome racial, cultural or ethnic disparities in health care, and treat each person based on their health care needs, rather than on personal characteristics that have nothing to do with their illness.