Strong Leadership = Improved HCAHPS Scores

It is amazing to experience firsthand how critical it is for a hospital department to have high performers lead by even higher performing leadership.

I have lived and breathed HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems) for the last four years. I have pulled apart and analyzed Reston Hospital Center’s scores in a hundred different ways to find opportunities for improvement. At the end of the day, all that matters in achieving good scores is having staff that practices service excellence. Believing it is the right way to do things, and having a leader that supports and helps them along the way. Reston Hospital Center’s Medical Unit is a prime example. They are a fantastic group of nurses, probably one of the most experienced in the hospital, and yet they struggled to raise their scores out of the first quartile in patient satisfaction. It made absolutely no sense…..these are high performers, extremely seasoned, and honestly, just super nice people that truly believe in the art of nursing.

Recently, there was a change in the department. The first responses for this quarter are in and the Medical Unit’s scores are in the highest quartile in everything!!! What could’ve changed you may ask? Well, Ann Burridge recently stepped into the Interim Director of the Medical Unit role. Now, will they sustain it? Was it a fluke? Did this outstanding group of nurses do something different??? We will see, but whatever they are doing it is working.

I would be remiss if I did not recognize how well Mother/Baby and the Surgical Unit are holding their own, along with PCU who I know will rebound. Our Mission Statement, A Passion for Excellence. Compassion for You., is alive and well through the practice of service excellence on these nursing units and our patients, physicians and I are extremely grateful.

Cindy Glover, RN
Chief Nursing Officer
Reston Hospital Center

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Kudos to You

The four points of our logo represent our four stakeholder groups.

The four points of our logo represent our primary groups of stakeholders-patients, physicians, employees and communities. We regularly ask for important feedback from these groups, made up of all of you, to gauge how we are progressing as an organization and to invite you to be active participants in the development of Reston Hospital Center. We gather your input through tools like the Employee Engagement Survey, HCAHPS, Physician Satisfaction Survey, NDNQI, etc. We have received some outstanding results from two of these feedback tools that warrant kudos being given to you!

National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI)
This survey allows our nursing staff to measure itself against other non-teaching facilities across the country.

Not only did we improve in all areas measured, 86% of our nursing staff participated in the survey. This is the highest level of participation in 5 years and well above the national average!

Special congratulations to the NICU, Surgical and Pediatric units that had 100% participation from their staff. Following closely behind is PCU with 97% participation and Medical with 96%.

Kudos to the Reston Hospital Center nursing staff for taking an active role in improving their organization.

Physician Satisfaction SurveyThis survey allows our medical staff to give feedback on how they feel about Reston Hospital Center.

  • Over 95% of the physicians surveyed rated the Quality of Care as “Very Good” or “Excellent”
  • Over 95% of the physicians surveyed rated RHC as a “Very Good” or “Excellent” Place to Practice Medicine
  • The percentage of physicians who rated our Nursing Care as “Excellent” increased 4.2% from 2009’s survey
  • See more detailed results from the survey here.

Kudos to everyone at RHC that makes our hospital a place physicians enjoying working.

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Will Tim’s Take Live On?


Tim was the first to admit that he was skeptical about writing a blog.  Would anyone really want to read the thoughts of the CEO?  As it turns out, they did.  The success of Tim’s Take was a huge surprise and communicated clearly that the patients, employees and physicians of RHC wanted to know what was important to their CEO.

That message was not lost on the leadership team so Tim’s Take will live on as Our Take. Your Hospital.  The blog will continue to be a source of information, inspiration, education and recognition.  But instead of only hearing the CEO’s perspective, you will get to peek inside the heads and hearts of the whole leadership team.

 So tell us…what do you want to know?

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Parting Words

I still can’t believe that I am leaving Reston Hospital Center.  This has unquestionably been the highlight of my career. To be honest, I have been very conflicted about leaving as it has been such a positive experience.  There is something so unique about this hospital that you may not always see, especially if you haven’t worked at another hospital.  As I have reflected on my time, I am sure it is the combination of a family atmosphere and the exceptional clinical care.  Over my two years, it has been so comfortable and comforting to walk the halls and talk to patients, visitors, employees, volunteers and physicians who contribute to the high caliber of care provided at Reston Hospital Center.

On a personal note, I always knew that when I went to bed at night our patients were in great hands.  Not just any hands, but great ones — hands of people who really have a passion for their work and compassion for those they serve.  It is obvious that the talent of the team is the reason this hospital has grown so dramatically over the last 25 years. 

I start my new job as CEO of HCA’s Chippenham and Johnston Willis (CJW) hospitals in a few weeks.  I am very much looking forward to this new opportunity, but it is with a heavy heart.  I know what each of you does for our patients and our community; it is a high benchmark for success.  Thank you for making me feel welcome and allowing me to be a part of the Reston experience.  I have a lot of great memories and know that you will continue to thrive serving the healthcare needs of Northern Virginia.  You have so much to be proud of at this hospital and I know that the next CEO is walking into something really extraordinary.  Best of luck.

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Recognizing the founders of Reston Hospital – Spotlight Dr. Tom Fleeter.

Tim:  Why did you originally chose to practice at Reston Hospital Center?
Dr. Fleeter: I came to the Reston community before there was a hospital.  I soon realized that it was a growing area with a young population and a good place to live. I found it by luck.  Certain things happen because you are in the right place at the right time.  It helped that there were basically no orthopaedic surgeons in the Reston, Sterling, and Herndon areas.  Sure has changed, hasn’t it?

Tim: What is the biggest difference between Reston Hospital Center then and now?
Dr. Fleeter: The quality of care has improved.  We are so much better from start to finish.  We have nursing specialist in total joints, inpatient hospitalists’ coverage, full-time radiologists and many other specialists.  We offer a range of services that we couldn’t 25 years ago.  We take care of medical challenges in the hospital now that were originally sent out.  We have always maintained a community atompshere throughout the past 25 years.  I know just about everyone I see in the hospital.  Reston founder Robert E. Simon’s idea of live, work and play in the same community is still true.  I feel like my grandfather in Ohio.  I know everyone in town.

Tim: What are you most proud of?
Dr. Fleeter: I am most proud of the team we have put together.  I have served in a lot of capacities at Reston Hospital Center and I am really proud of what we have collectively accomplished.  So many people tied to our hospital have been named Best of Reston.  The level of care provided at our hospital is second to none.  Everyone in my family has utilized this hospital at some point and I never was worried about the quality of care they would receive.

Tim:  A lot of people don’t have exposure to the hospital’s Board of Trustees?  You were Chairman for a number of years, what would people be surprised to know about the Board?
Dr. Fleeter: A lot of people think of a Board as aloof or above everything.  But our Board is comprised of the people who live around the corner from you. They are very involved and very representative of those constituents they serve.   The community activitists have served in multiple other organizations and really take pride in the smallest details.  The best managers get their hands dirty and our Board is like that.

Tim:  You have seen a lot of leaders at Reston Hospital Center.  What is your take away?Dr. Fleeter: When I look back, there is a good parallel between hospital administrators and medical staff leadership.  With each leader there has been more involvement in the hospital and with our patients.  Today there is a lot more interaction at the patient level and more opportunities for the hospital staff to really shine.  We have evolved into visible leaders who are involved – not sitting in offices. 

Tim:  You were one of the people involved in my interview for the open CEO position two years ago.  What was that process like for you?
Dr. Fleeter: The CEO selection process has changed. Corporations used to select CEOs and put them in at the hospital. Today, people probably don’t realize that a lot of people are involved in the process and share the ownership of the final selection.  Each new leader today is more likely to be successful because there was a collaborative approach and they have ownership.

Tim: What is your take on the changes in healthcare?
Dr. Fleeter: My complaint about healthcare is not about the hospital as much as it is regarding the amount of regulation we are facing from the government and the insurance companies.  It is getting in the way of patient care.  We spend more time completing forms and it can cause us to lose sight of common sense.  The doctors I work with and respect most really like their jobs, but we all agree that it has become overly burdensome.

Tim:  What is your favorite memory of Reston Hospital Center?
Dr. Fleeter: Several years ago, a survivor from a Russian prison camp was dropped down a well and left to die. Somehow he escaped and came to Reston. He needed significant orthopaedic surgery related to the accident and had no means to pay for it. Everyone rose to the occasion and chipped in to help – from nursing, to pharmacy, food services, and orthopaedics. Every Christmas he sends me a note to acknowledge what was done.

Tim:  A lot of people don’t know that you are a medical consultant to the US Figure Skating team.  What is that all about and how good is your triple putts… I mean lutz?
Dr. Fleeter:  (laughs)  I can do a single axel and then fall on my butt. On an annual basis, I travel with the team all over the world.  I think I have provided medical support in 15 countries and at local competitions.  It is great to help the community and watch graceful skaters compete in places I wouldn’t otherwise have been, such as Bulgaria. Bill Adams (Former Reston Hospital Center CEO) was assigned to walk with one of the champion Russian skaters at the Verizon Center to make sure he didn’t cheat on his drug test.  
Tim:  That sounds like an assignment that I am glad I missed.

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Recognizing the Founding Employees of Reston Hospital – Spotlight Meggan Klippen, RN, MSN, CEN, CEPN

Tim: What made you choose to come to Reston Hospital Center 25 years ago?Meggan: I came here because I lived in Reston and worked at Fairfax Hospital for 14 years.  The commute was getting much worse and they started charging for the toll road so I had to starting paying to drive. 

Tim: What was your first impression of Reston?
I worked the first night that it opened and we had two patients in the hospital.  Coming from Fairfax where I was rounding 585 beds, I didn’t know what I was going to do all night.  However, I got to know all the staff.  I remember we opened in November and I was called in Christmas night because the medical unit was overflowing and there wasn’t enough staff.  We ended up having the Director of Nursing come in as the medication nurse for the 19 patients.  It was hard to find someone to even watch the telemetry monitors. 

Tim: There have been a lot of nursing shortages over the years and I am sure you could have gone to another hospital. 
Why didn’t you?
What is nice about this hospital is that everyone is friendly and community oriented.  It is like a family.  Having been a supervisor in the past, I know over 50% of the staff that are here.  I think it is important to have meaningful relationships at work since we spend so much time away from family.  I still have that great 3-minute commute.  After the hospital opened, I went back to Fairfax for a short period of time because I felt that I was missing something.   I only worked there for 6 months and I realized that Reston met all my needs so I came back.

Tim: What is your favorite memory from your years at Reston Hospital Center?Meggan: The surgical unit night shift staff had Craft get-togethers where we crocheted Christmas bears and hung them in the unit.  After the season we gave them away to the staff.  We still have dinners together.

Tim: If you could change anything at Reston Hospital Center, what would it be?Meggan: We need to improve the speed of the hiring process and stay ahead of the nursing needs in the ER.  It would be great to somehow reward the people who are at work in some non-monetary way.

Tim:  You probably know I am leaving Reston Hospital…So just between us friends — What is your honest opinion of our Chief Nursing Officer, Cindy Glover?
She has a very open door policy.  She is so easy to talk to about anything.  She has a good understanding of what is going on in nursing and I think she has the nursing interest as a priority. I like her new hair style.  She is even more beautiful now than ever.

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Partnering for Success

This week is national EMS Week, making it a great time to recognize and celebrate the positive impact these medical professionals have on our community.  Last year, Reston Hospital Center treated nearly 7,600 patients who were brought to us by EMS squads from Fairfax County, Loudoun County and EMS Medical Control for Dulles Airport.  When minutes matter in an emergency situation, these teams make all the difference.  Their skills as paramedics, EMTs and nurses often make the difference between life and death.  Partnerships with local EMS have been an important factor for patient volume growth and the success of Reston Hospital Center for the last 25 years.  With more than 50% of our inpatient admissions coming from the ER, we are dependent on a collaborative medical care approach to managing crises situations.  Over the last several years we have achieved national recognition for our award-winning emergency care through the recognition as a Stroke Center of Excellence by the Joint Commission and being accredited as Northern Virginia’s only chest pain center. 

We are proud to partner with the EMS teams in our region to provide outstanding emergency care. As a small token of our appreciation and recognition of their tireless work, we will be hosting a cookout for them over the next few days.  If you see an EMS member in the hallway, please pass along our thanks.

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