By implementing systemness, healthcare providers ensure that patients have the same experience and get the same high quality of care no matter where in an organization they receive care. Hoping to realize this objective, Dignity Health began rolling out a systemwide initiative in late 2016 that aimed to reduce surgical-site infections, envisioned in partnership with Medline, the largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies. The goal was broader than preventing infections – the project was an ideal vehicle for moving forward with hospital leaders' vision of building system thinking, or “systemness,” across the 40-hospital organization, headquartered in San Francisco.
At the center of the project was a patient-facing kit that supports the patient at home as they prepare for surgery, providing them with high-quality products and standardized pre-operation instructions in hopes of reducing SSIs and creating more consistent outcomes. The implementation of the kit across Dignity Health's diverse system of healthcare facilities would demonstrate that standardizing processes and protocols can improve patients' outcomes, patient experience and staff engagement, all while reducing costs. Beyond that benefit, systemness stands to break down silos and unite staff as they work toward the same organizational goals.
Read the white paper, “Systemness: Leadership From Vision To Reality,” to learn how this initiative empowered Dignity Health to prevent 43 surgical site infections in 2017 for a cost savings of over $1.2 million. Dignity Health's story provides relevant best practices and strategies that can be used to implement similar initiatives in any health system.