In “Good to Great,” author Jim Collins tells a story about an Ironman triathlete who is so intent on minimizing the fat in his diet that he rinses his cottage cheese. Here is a man who was burning about 5,000 calories EVERY DAY, and he still was looking for more ways to reduce fat. Although the book is now almost 15 years old, “rinsing your cottage cheese” is still shorthand for an unusually high level of discipline.
Hospital and health systems in Washington State are making improvements to care and safety in just that kind of way — improving every interaction, step and transition. Like the Ironman, care improvement is not something you do by force of will alone. In addition to force of will, it takes extra resources of training, support and knowledge to do this kind of work. That’s where WSHA comes in.
A few weeks ago, Carol Wagner announced that WSHA received a federal contract to do rapid-cycle patient safety improvement in our state. This multi-million-dollar contract provides the energy needed to make big progress on health care’s trickiest problems, including healthcare-acquired infections, falls, health disparities and more (read the list here).
Washington State hospitals have common goals of health care safety; through WSHA, they also have the resources to identify and share their best practices. And that’s where the Ironman analogy breaks down.
Because while each hospital is working toward an ideal care experience for every patient, no one wins alone. Our collaborative approach to this work is an important part of the reason why we received the Partnership for Patients 2.0 contract award. We are proud to bring these resources to the state and convene our members in a way that maximizes that money.
It’s also why we think this work, and this state, is special.
President and CEO