| Charles T. Frock
Chief Executive Officer
FirstHealth of the Carolinas
And so on …
It’s a fundamental of anatomy to consider the human skeletal system in terms of connecting bones. When you think about it, though, a successful hospital works in much the same way. Lots of connecting departments with lots of differing responsibilities work together to get the job done, and not one would work very well without the other.
Dr. Ward Oakley, an orthopaedic surgeon who has been on the medical staff at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital for 24 years, made a similar point as he was interviewed for a story in this issue of FirstHealth of the Carolinas.(See the story.)
In the story, which focuses on the multidepartmental makeup of FirstHealth’s busy Orthopaedics Service Line, Dr. Oakley made it clear that the membership of the group he has chaired since 2001 involves more than doctors and nurses. It also includes representatives of hospital departments from Food & Nutrition to the Operating Room and Post-Anesthesia Care.
Each department, Dr. Oakley maintained, contributes to the quality of care that all orthopaedics patients receive—whether they are in the hospital for hip or knee replacement, for rotator cuff repair or for surgery to set a fractured limb. And each works toward the success of the whole.
“I want everyone to feel like they have value,” Dr. Oakley said, “because trying to improve the quality of care is what it’s all about.”
Let’s now continue this “connection” metaphor for a discussion of total hospital care. About 70 separate employee groupings (or departments for lack of a better word) contribute to the quality of care of each patient at Moore Regional Hospital. (This same philosophy of connected care is, of course, also true for both Montgomery Memorial and Richmond Memorial hospitals, just in fewer numbers.)
To perform its job successfully, one department needs the assistance and support of all of the others. In this respect, Environmental Services is connected to Food & Nutrition, Food & Nutrition is connected to Sterile Processing, Sterile Processing is connected to the Operating Room, the Operating Room is connected to the Lab, the Lab is connected to Pharmacy, Pharmacy is connected to Nursing, and Nursing is connected to the medical staff—with many other departments adding their unique contributions along the way.
At FirstHealth of the Carolinas, we have rolled these truths into a core purpose, to care for people, and further verbalized it with a series of FIRST values: Focus on quality and excellence; Integrity; Respect for the individual; Service to others; and Teamwork.
Put them together and you’ve got the framework, the skeleton as it were, for our 2020 Vision: Working Together, First in Quality, First in Health. At FirstHealth, that’s a given that’s just as basic as connecting bones.