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What does it mean to think strategically?

It means we should have purpose.  Every employee at Fort Health should be familiar with our Mission & Vision posters hanging throughout our organization.  This is who we are and why we do the things we do.  Everything we do needs to be tied back to the elements of this poster.  If we cannot then we really need to question why we are doing it.  Population Health is no different.

Mission Vision -final- web(570w)Our Mission:  Improve the Health and Well-Being of our Community.

Population Health fits perfectly with this mission.  It’s almost as if the Mission was written specifically for Population Health.  Notice that our Mission is not just our patients.  It is our community.

Our Vision:  Be the Healthiest Community in Wisconsin

Another perfect fit for Population Health and again the focus is beyond just our patients.  The focus is our community.

The Population Health initiative does not seek to compete with our existing Mission & Vision, rather it largely seeks to accomplish the Mission & Vision “by using Population Health data to transform the delivery of care.”  This is why our Population Health Vision is our Fort HealthCare Vision plus a little extra, “Be the healthiest community in Wisconsin by using Population Health data to transform the delivery of care.”

What does that mean?

How might we transform the delivery of care?  Let’s look at our value priorities for the Population Health initiative.  Our priorities are based on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim.  The population health value priorities are:

  1. Improve the health of populations by identifying gaps & weaknesses in current delivery systems
  2. Reduce the per capita cost of care thru efficiencies and more appropriate use of services.
  3. Improve the patient experience of care (including quality & satisfaction) thru improvement in quality metrics and patient engagement, adopting a more patient-centric model.

Those value priorities will guide us as we look for ways to transform the care model.  To think strategically we don’t start a project because it feels like the right thing to do.  We have to be certain we have a goal in mind.  What does success look like?  How do we know what we’re doing is successful?  This is where it is wise to define Value Objectives.  The Value Objectives for the first phase of the Fort HealthCare HealtheRegistries project are:

  1. Increase breast cancer screening rate by 5% – 1 year post go-live of the adult wellness registry.
  2. Increase colon screening by 7% – 1 year post go-live of the adult wellness registry.
  3. Increase cervical cancer screening by 5% – 1 year post go-live of the adult wellness registry.

These metrics are not meant to be the focus, but rather serve as a marker of our goal of improved health.  If we are following good, evidence-based medicine then we are doing things to keep patients healthier.   One way to measure that is, are we doing the right, evidence-based things?  Now here we’re talking patients because that is who we largely have data on.  Ultimately the goal is improved health for the community.  As more phases to the HealtheRegistries are rolled out more value objectives will be established.

With anything we do we should have a way to determine if what we are doing is achieving our Mission and Vision.  Fort HealthCare has a way and that way is with the Strategic Plan.  The Population Health initiative does not seek to redefine, or compete with, the strategic plan.  Population Health fits into and is  guided by the strategic plan.  Every employee at Fort HealthCare should know our strategic plan.  It is what determines if we are getting our jobs done  The Strategic Plan starts with our Core Commitments:  Quality, Safety, Service, Finance, Growth (which are on our Mission & Vision posters).  The strategic plan takes each of these Core Commitments and ties metrics to them.  This is what makes those metrics so important; it is how we (leadership, employees, & board) know whether we are getting the job done.  Do you know how you or your department impact the elements of the strategic plans?  You must.

We also have a Code of Ethics.  The Code of Ethics guides the quality and integrity of the health system’s many relationships and provision of services.  Know that we are committed to those we serve.  We are committed to our communities.  We are committed to our employees.  We are committed to our physicians.

RESPECT FishermanWe also have our R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Values.  This is how we interact with one and another to achieve our Mission and Vision.
And finally, our Mission and Vision poster also states:

Fort HealthCare is committed to improving the quality of life throughout the communities we serve. We will achieve our mission by favorably impacting health behaviors, clinical care, social & economic factors & the physical environment. We will achieve our vision by encouraging exercise, good nutrition, health education, prevention and personalized medicine.  Our partnerships with area organizations that share similar goals will help to assure that each of us will lead healthy, productive lives.

Thinking strategically means each of us takes into account all of these things (most of which are on the Mission & Vision posters) when we deliver care as we do now, or as we may transform our care for the future.  In reality, it is this strategic thinking (‘vision’) that actually guides us into transformation to continuously get the best outcomes from the work we do.