Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Kudos to Levy

I have often commented on the inadequacy of hospital CEO involvement in efforts to improve the safety and quality of patient care. I understand the hazard of managers being accused of interfering in clinical matters. At the same time, I have been sympathetic with the observation of Paul O’Neill, President George W. Bush’s first Secretary of the Treasury, that until the hospital CEO takes personal responsibility for every medical error, progress in preventing them will be slow.

Well, we are still some distance from O’Neill’s ideal, but we are moving in that direction. Paul Levy, CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston now operates a blog. His January 23 posting dealt with catheter-associated blood stream infections. It indicated that the BIDMC record, when compared with that of other institutions, was not as good as it should be. The January 25 posting included similar information about Ventilator Associated Pneumonia. In both cases, Levy used his blog to urge his people to do better.

The postings can be seen at www.runningahospital.blogspot.com.

All of us wish that things would move faster, but we are thankful for progress made and to Paul Levy for doing his part.

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