Hospitals joining collaborative

Published 9:34 am Monday, March 4, 2013

Special to the Daily News

Vidant Beaufort and Vidant Pungo hospitals have been selected to participate in the Carolinas Rural Hospital Lean Culture Transformation Collaborative, an innovative, two-state collaborative created to help improve quality of care and financial performance at small and rural hospitals in the Carolinas.
The four-year initiative is funded in part by a $5 million grant from The Duke Endowment.
Over the next few years, members of the collaborative will concentrate on implementing Lean, a business-improvement philosophy and practice widely used to identify and improve business processes. The Lean approach was first used by manufacturers and is now being successfully applied to improve hospital processes as evidenced in the western North Carolina Rural Hospital Lean Collaborative established in 2008.
“We are pleased to have been selected to participate in this collaborative,” said Harvey Case, hospital president. “We are looking forward to the process improvements that will come as a result of Lean. The most important outcome will be the improvements in our quality of care and patient experience.”
The South Carolina Hospital Association and North Carolina Hospital Association, in partnership with The Duke Endowment, are leading the collaborative. The South Carolina Office of Rural Health and the North Carolina Office of Rural Health and Community Care are also actively involved in the effort.
“Increasing efficiency and effectiveness is vital in all hospitals and is certainly going to be key to continued quality improvement and sustaining services to our communities,” said Bill Pully, president of the North Carolina Hospital Association. “Participation in the Lean collaborative is indicative of Vidant Beaufort and Vidant Pungo hospitals determination to provide its patients and community with the best possible healthcare service.”
Mary Piepenbring, vice president of The Duke Endowment, agreed. “Our trustees approved this initiative because they recognize how important it is for hospitals across the Carolinas to focus on ways to become more efficient while enhancing quality of care,” she said. “Rural hospitals provide key medical services to residents, and effective implementation of Lean management will lead to improved patient satisfaction and outcomes.”
Participating hospitals must commit to a three-year engagement with the Collaborative.  North Carolina hospitals that have already joined the initiative include Chatham Hospital, Scotland Heath Care System, Vidant Bertie Hospital, Vidant Chowan Hospital, Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, Wake Health and Murphy Medical Center.