Syracuse hospitals collaborate as well as compete

BY AMBER SMITH

Advertisements for the various Syracuse hospitals may lead you to believe they’re locked in a competitive battle. But for the past two years, medical staffs and administrators have worked together on quality initiatives designed to keep patients safe.

Upstate University and Crouse hospitals, and St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center collectively are improving hand hygiene practices and reducing the rate of surgical site infections and life-threatening infection complications. They have also standardized some protocols to improve patient safety. For example, wristband identification colors are the same at all of the hospitals.

“Our vision is to create a community of care in which a patient can receive the same commitment to quality and safe care in any hospital in the Syracuse area,” hospital officials wrote in The Post-Standard newspaper in October. Signing the letter to the editor were Hans Cassagnol, MD, Upstate’s chief quality officer; Bonnie Grossman, MD, associate chief medical officer at Upstate; nurse Christopher Jordan, director of quality resources at St. Joseph’s; and Mickey Lebowitz, MD, clinical quality medical director at Crouse.

Through this quality collaborative, officials have shared the best ways to treat patients and reduce medical errors and readmission rates.  Working together helps eliminate variations in care and can help improve the overall health of the community, known as “population health.” It can also lead to more efficient use of health care resources.

This article appears in the winter 2017 issue of Upstate Health magazine.

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