Employees Health

Putting Patients and Families First

The following email was sent out by AU Medical Center CEO Lee Ann Liska, AU Medical CFO Greg Damron and AU Medical Associates CEO Julian Nussbaum.

At AU Health, we put patients, families and quality first and always. This commitment has been renewed in our strategic planning effort and will be central in our new clinical strategic plan’s goals and in all of the projects that will help us achieve those goals.

We expect that our strategic plan will be finalized in the next month or so, but we haven’t been waiting on that document to begin making some very important changes. Recent initiatives in uniforms and patient parking, have been in support of that overriding commitment.

We’re about to take our commitment to another level, a level that will put us at the leading edge of patient care and significantly advance our mission to provide clinical expertise to meet critical healthcare needs in our region, our state and beyond.

Over the last several months, leadership teams from every level of our team have been building the architecture for a project that will create a new patient experience framework that ensures delivery of the highest quality care and service from the first moment of patient contact through every phase of the patient experience. Since virtually every function and unit throughout our hospitals and clinics will be involved, we want to let you know what’s coming and why.

Background and current state

AU Health is committed to providing unparalleled, value-based, high quality and accessible patient- and family-centered care in the state of Georgia and beyond. To do that, we must provide and maintain a clinical environment that allows you to perform your jobs in the most efficient and seamless manner possible, enhancing your ability to deliver accurate, top-quality clinical care and patient support.

Today, each of you has experiences in your daily work that don’t match that ideal. Our systems and operations don’t always communicate well with each other, transitions from one phase of the patient experience to the next are not always smooth, and you’ve no doubt incorporated workarounds to get your job done. The tools you currently have to work with are often not adequate to deliver the quality care and service you want to provide to our patients and families.

We have an important mission. As Georgia’s public academic medical center, delivering world-class pediatric, acute and routine care at the region’s only level-1 trauma center, we are uniquely positioned to create a healthier, more prosperous community and state. So a priority must be to ensure our effectiveness, our financial sustainability and strong stewardship of our resources. People are counting on us.

Where we’re heading

The AU Health project team is working with Chartis, experts in health care operations, and Cerner, AU’s technology partner in the Jaguar Collaborative, to create an industry-leading operating model that ensures and improves patient satisfaction, organizational efficiency and financial stability.

Every phase of a patient’s contact with AU Health, from scheduling the first appointment through all clinical care to the last payment on the account, will be redesigned to encompass leading practices for standardized processes, tools, training and technologies.

It’s big. It’s comprehensive. And it will help you do your job and serve your patients better. The full “go-live” is scheduled for early 2019. From now to then, dozens of you across all clinical and non-clinical units will be asked to provide your input to unit-level project teams — some of you have already been involved. We need your expertise.

Some changes will roll out in the interim, beginning this fall with piloting same-day and next-day scheduling in five ambulatory care units, followed soon after with changes to emergency department payment processes. Your work may be impacted over the project period as new workflows and processes are implemented. We understand how valuable your time is and ask that you remain patient as we work to improve the patient experience.

You will receive updates and training information throughout this process from your managers and from the project team. Information and FAQs will be posted on Jagwire and a project website that is under development. We look forward to partnering with you through this process and thank you for all you do for our patients every day.

 

About the author

Staff

Jagwire is written and produced by the Division of Communications & Marketing at Augusta University. Contact 706-721-7406 or communications@augusta.edu.