Posts Tagged ‘patient-centered care’

So Many Hospital Rankings, So Little Time – What Should You Look for as a Patient?

Understanding Hospital RankingsWhen you’re trying to price a car, you probably go to the Kelley Blue Book. When you’re looking for a go-to restaurant rating system, you probably choose Yelp or Zagat. When you’re looking for a cancer treatment center, you probably make sure it is designated by the National Cancer Institute. So, when you choose a doctor, or a clinic, or a hospital, what resources do you have to help you make that decision? Aside from the input of your trusted friends and family members, or checking out a health care system’s website, there are many organizations that seek to help patients make decisions about where they seek their care. Some of these organizations rank hospitals with hard data, i.e. – metrics on quality levels and patient outcomes, or by program survival rates. Others seek to measure quality as it relates to consumer or marketplace perception, and some even use fee-based systems, excluding hospitals who don’t pay to participate.

So if you want to make sure you can trust your health care team, you probably also want to make sure that the ranking system you employ to choose them is also trustworthy. Here are 3 things to look for when you choose what hospital rankings you rely on to choose your care provider:

Hard & Tangible Data

Whatever ranking system you choose, make sure that it uses reliable, unbiased data. As an example, some hospital rankings system includes data such as mortality rates, but be careful here. Mortality rates should be adjusted to take into account how sick patients were when they arrived at the facility; otherwise, the data is misleading. Make sure the ranking system you choose is straightforward in its disclosure of how ranking data is collected and used.

Validation from Independent & Credible Industry Associations

Just as there is a large volume of rankings out there, so too is there a large volume of established and reliable accrediting and governing organizations in the health care space. Ranging from large governmental organizations such as the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the American Medical Association (AMA) and the reliable publications they produce, i.e. – Journal of the American Medical Association, to nonprofits such as the American Cancer Society, there are organizations out there you can trust to give you the honest scoop on what you should look for in your care team and what ranking systems do a good job of helping you find them.

Collaboration in Rankings

If it was up to the organizations being ranked to choose their rankings, every business would be #1. It’s important when you choose a hospital ranking system to rely on that you also know who was involved in the process. In general, rankings that incorporate input from consumers, hospitals, physicians, and accrediting organizations are the most reliable. Look for rankings that are tangible and transparent in their language about who is involved in the selection process and how entrants are qualified.

What else do you look for when picking a hospital, clinic or doctor? Do you use ranking to help inform your decision? Let us know in the comments below!

Related Resources:

Can Twitter Help Save Lives? A Health Care Social Media Case Study, Part II


This case study is the second of a two part series. The information below reflects the events of April 25, 2011 from a tactical standpoint, with critical regard to process and strategic considerations. Part I details the story of April 25, 2011 from a human standpoint.

Background

The dialogue that took place on Twitter between Emory Healthcare and Matthew Browning on April 25, 2011 was a powerful one. Without time to spare, Matthew turned to Twitter in a time of crisis to help get his wife Phoebe’s grandmother transported to a hospital with capacity and capabilities to help treat her ruptured aorta. We were able to assist Matthew and his family in an emergency situation, leading to Phoebe’s grandmother being airlifted within 16 minutes of receiving contact information, a truly amazing feat. Despite this, there are countless lessons learned from the experience. While Part I of this case study explored the story and events of April 25, 2011, this portion focuses on the meaning behind and implications of that story. The whole goal here is to help people; and if that’s truly your goal with social media crisis resolution, there are steps you can take to make that a reality, knowing that there will always be scenarios and circumstances that can’t be resolved with a cookie cutter process.

What’s Covered in Part II

  • What we knew before our interaction with Matthew and how that produced the outcome that was achieved on April 25, 2011
  • Tactics and qualities we employed as part of our social media strategy
  • Steps your organization can take to define its process and strategy
  • Things we learned from our interaction with Matthew
  • Questions that remain unanswered

Health Care Social Media – What We [Thought We] Knew Then

Prior to our interaction with Matthew on April 25, 2011, we had what I would deem to be a thorough and solid process for mitigating risk and resolving issues over social media. Our process and general process recommendations are outlined below.

Social Media Process Tactics

The tactics used at each organization will differ substantially based on organizational structure. Larger, more siloed organizations will have to work harder to bring together disparate contacts in the time of crisis. Aligning these groups and stakeholders in advance is highly recommended. Below is a listing of core components of our social media strategy at Emory Healthcare prior to our engagement with Matthew Browning.

Evaluate Need for Response

When receiving feedback via social media, before jumping into any process, you must first evaluate whether there is a need for response at all. Many may already deem this item to be common sense, but in fact, it’s not. Not every contact via social media warrants a response, especially not when you’re getting hundreds of them a day. Ask yourself first:

  • Does it require a response at all?
  • Does it need an immediate response?
  • Is it likely that our network will respond on our behalf?

Collaborate

No work in health care or any business is done in a vacuum. Collaboration is key both within the walls of a hospital or clinic, and outside of them. At Emory Healthcare, social media is another realm in which this collaboration continues. We collaborate with direct contacts in several departments who know we rely on them to solve problems over social media. If we get a billing complaint, there’s a contact for that. If someone voices concern over an insurance issue, there is a contact for that. If at any point, we can’t get an answer from one of these contacts, we still take action by letting the individual know we are working on getting them an answer. As soon as we do, we always circle back and follow up.

Continue the Dialogue Offline

When the dialogue gets heavy or privacy becomes a concern, we try to steer the conversation to a more private location. When on Twitter, we will often Direct Message (DM) contact information for the appropriate department so the individual can work directly with them to continue the resolution process. Social media is not an end. It is a means to the end, which is an appropriate source for resolution. It is our job to make the transition from Twitter to telephone, or hospital, or clinic as seamless as possible for every individual.

Identify Common Complaints

You know your health care system better than anyone else. If your most common source of complaint relates to long wait times, or slow billing, you should have on-call contacts to help when those concerns come up. But furthermore, you should communicate those trends in feedback to departments that can directly impact their improvement. Again, Twitter is not an end; it is a piece of a very large and cyclical accountable health care puzzle.

Just like our doctors, nurses, and staff have been trained and are equipped to handle the most severe and/or high-pressure medical cases, so too have our team members behind the scenes who facilitate Emory Healthcare’s internal operational and communications processes. This means that before an emergency ever arises, we have processes in place to guide groups in a decentralized organization to a commonly understood and supported outcome.

Questions to Help Guide You in Defining Your Process

When looking to define your own process, contacts, logistics, process, stakeholders, and response times are just a few of the things to consider and outline before developing a process for handling social media feedback. Based on our experience in the past and the events of April 25, here are some questions you should consider and ask:

  • Are you listening constantly and able to act immediately?
  • Do you have contacts for every standard issue? I.e. Is there a person you can reach immediately in every department that may be required to assist you with resolution?
  • Do you keep key contact information in your line of vision and reach?
  • Have you considered every possible one-off emergency that could come your way?
  • If every necessary contact in your process disappeared, do you have a back-up plan?
  • Do you have a way to communicate to teams in your health care facilities (if decentralized) to keep them in-the-loop?
  • Do you have a method to reach other health care facilities in the region if you are unable to help?
  • Could you remove spatial barriers to appropriate teams? Are your teams strategically located to aid in social media efficiency?
  • Is there a feedback loop in place to allow you to proactively stay informed once a hand-off has been made?

Social Media Process Qualities

Every brand and every brand’s social media manager(s) deals with negative feedback. No company, product, or service is perfect, so none are immune from this. And as discussed above, in health care, the services we provide can oftentimes be life altering ones. Whether or not we’re aware of it, health care social media managers are often leaders of support groups and patient advocacy. As such, providing patients, families and community members with options for effective help and resolution via social media is key.

There are four key qualities consistent amongst every successful health care social media feedback strategy, including ours at Emory Healthcare:

1. Immediacy
2. Empathy
3. Authenticity
4. Empowerment

Immediacy

Feedback can come at any time. It is important that the person(s) managing health care social media presence have a constant finger on the pulse of their stream. Personally, when not in-office, I use my mobile phone to remain constantly in tune with and updated on the feedback our Emory Healthcare social media accounts receive. Without a constant listener, there can not exist the constant ability to act. And when there is a crisis or complaint, the response should be immediate.

At Emory Healthcare, when we receive negative feedback, if we don’t have an immediate solution or next step for an individual, we contact them to let them know we’re working on it. If you don’t respond immediately, you miss an opportunity to serve and demonstrate your commitment to your community. On April 25, a lack of urgency would have almost certainly resulted in an immediate loss of life.

Empathy & Authenticity

Every dialogue and situation is unique. Empathy, or at least the ability to acknowledge we don’t know each person’s unique story is so important from a health care social media standpoint. When the situation allows, we must take the time to educate ourselves on the person reaching out, and learn as much as we can about their circumstances. What makes them tick, what have they gone through recently, have they reached out before? When it doesn’t, we must be aware that unique or unexpected circumstances may exist and avoid jumping to conclusions.

When Matthew Browning reached out to us on April 25, there wasn’t time for extensive research. Because I monitor our Twitter and Facebook presence as well as the general health care social media space as close to 24/7 as a human can, I knew of Matthew and his role in the space. I did not know the details of this situation. In fact, when he reached out about who we later learned was his wife’s grandmother, we didn’t know if he was helping his own family member or the grandmother of a friend, but it didn’t matter. What did matter, was the fact that he and his loved ones were in desperate need of help.

The impact of empathy and authenticity on your strategy and process should be pervasive. Empathy and authenticity should exist from start to finish, because if in fact an authentic dialogue, focus on quality of care, and true concern for humanity exist, these qualities are innate parts of your process. Every touch point, whether via social media, in a health care facility, over the phone, or otherwise, should reflect this. If the people involved in your process cannot buy in to this, I suggest you find new people.

Empowerment

Assuming you have the right processes and people in place, EMPOWER THEM! Without being empowered to help people and do the right thing via social media, I and the Emory Healthcare team would have been unable to execute the processes and tactics outlined for above. The more rungs of the hierarchical ladder the person on the front lines much climb, the slower your response and the less effective it will be.

The Opportunity Cost of Fear

Operating in the health care social media space requires the right kind of process, being employed by the right kind of people, with the right kind of attitude, not to mention a lot of effort. So what justifies these things? The risks of not participating in social media far exceed those encountered via participation. From solely a reputation management perspective, health care organizations must consider that at least 59% of internet users use social media to “vent” about a customer-care experience1.

Consider a person taking a flight out of state and receiving the run around from an airline after delays and being rerouted. If this person uses social media technologies such as Twitter, chances are, their following is going to hear about the experience. Flight hassles, however, don’t usually have a lasting impact on one’s life.

Those in health care must always be cognizant of the fact that the work we do has direct and potentially lasting implications for a person’s being. Going through airline security is not as frightening as going under anesthesia before an operation. Being hassled with flight rerouting is trivial when compared to trying to juggle resources to get your loved one seen for emergency surgery. Let’s face it– health care can be scary. It’s our job to remove those fears with action. As humans, we’re much more likely to tell others about a negative experience than a positive one. Whether or not you’re listening, it’s being said, and to a lot more people than you think.

Health Care Social Media – What We Know Now

As much as we’d like to think that formal processes create solutions for every one-off scenario, they don’t. When a person’s life is on the line there isn’t time for following a flowchart or researching his/her history.

When a crisis does arise, it is mission-critical that outlined processes are well understood and can be executed seamlessly, because when in an emergency, as Matthew told us, “You can’t think. You gotta just move.” And he’s right. When a crisis presents itself, we take our training, knowledge, and contacts, and couple those with common sense and urgency, and move. No barriers. No flowcharts. No waiting. What’s most important is acting quickly and effectively in a chaotic time of need; if that means cutting out steps, that’s what has to happen.

However, from our experience on April 25, we have determined that a sub-set of our processes and list of additional phone numbers must be created for such urgent situations. As an example, when Matthew mentioned in his tweet that his grandmother needed a emergency airlift, we did not have an immediate phone number to reference for such a request.

Thankfully, the way we are structured puts us in the same organizational department and physical area as our call center staffed by Registered Nurses. When his tweet was sent, it was a literal 30 second walk down the hall to get contact information and confirm that in order to be airlifted, the transfer service phone number must be called first. (This is why when we contacted Matthew, he was given a phone number for this service rather than directly to our airlift service). This situation proved that careful consideration to  things such as departmental organization and spatial closeness can save precious and potentially life saving minutes in an emergency.

We also know with certainty that without Twitter on April 25, 2011, a family would have felt more hopeless and helpless than they already did. They would have had one less avenue through which to gain answers and options. They would have been forced to use alternate streams to get these answers; streams from which getting an answer could have taken much longer than Twitter did. All risks that I personally, and I believe Matthew Browning will agree, we can’t be willing to take. When it comes to saving lives, the motto has to be “by whatever means necessary.”

Health Care Social Media – What We Still Don’t Know

What does all of this mean for health care and social media? This story could mean that Twitter becomes a means to a life-saving end, and it could not. I and the rest of us at Emory Healthcare are not going to pretend to be the authority on the industry. Despite the success of the process, qualities, and methods we use here at Emory Healthcare, when evaluating our interaction with Matthew Browning on April 25 in hindsight, there exists much that can be improved and much that we still don’t know. Below are several unanswered questions that we hope generate a dialogue that lead to our community sculpting its own answers, rules, and ideas for what the future of health care and social media will look like.

Does Network Size & Influence Matter?

It turns, as was touched on in Part I of this case study, that Matthew Browning is well-connected in the health care and technology spaces. So much so in fact, that even prior to the events of April 25, 2011, we were already following him on Twitter from our Emory Healthcare account. His level of influence is an important consideration when evaluating this case. Matthew’s necessity for a regionally based facility for his wife’s grandmother is also an important one. Matthew resides in the Northeast, and his connections are by and large from the same area. As Matthew told me on Tuesday “I was out of my turf, but I have a great network.”

Questions we must consider regarding Matthew’s background include:

  • Did his level of influence and large network of industry peers impact his ability to get help via Twitter?
  • If so, how would those without such a network achieve similar volumes of quality and actionable assistance in the time of a health care crisis?
  • To what extent did Twitter allow Matthew to dissolve geographic and time consuming barriers to help?
  • What role did Matthew’s intrinsic knowledge gained from his background in health care play in his ability to break barriers & get help?

What does it All Mean?

As mentioned above, we are not going to pretend to be the industry authority on the future of how social media will be used in health care. While on a personal level, this story means more to me than any number of words can express, from an industry perspective, the final outcome may prove to have nothing to do with social media.

Our interaction with Matthew Browning has many potential future implications for health care’s use or lack of use of social media. Maybe it means we need to open doors that make immediate assistance a more reasonable thing to achieve. Maybe it means a discussion around privacy as it relates to saving lives emerges. Maybe it means there needs to be a long and hard look taken at improving access to regional emergency care. Maybe it means the 9-1-1 system needs an upgrade. To be honest, we don’t know what it means.

The Inherent What-Ifs

The overwhelming majority of people working in health care social media will tell you themselves, the space is filled with a lot of “what ifs”:

  • What if someone exposes their personal information to us in a public arena such as Twitter?
  • What if we aren’t careful and diligent in our response, could we further compromise that person’s privacy?
  • What if we can’t help?
  • What if we don’t respond? But most importantly, what if we do?

1http://sncr.org/

Author: Morgan Griffith, Interactive Marketing Manager, Emory Healthcare

 

Related Links:

Can Twitter Help Save Lives? A Health Care Social Media Case Study, Part I

Twitter Emory Healthcare on Twitter
Twitter Matthew Browning on Twitter

Can Twitter Help Save Lives? A Health Care Social Media Case Study, Part I

This case study is the first of a two part series. The information below reflects the events of April 25th, 2011 from a human standpoint, without critical regard to process or tactical considerations, or future implications, which will be covered in Part II.

Social media and health care, the conundrum of all conundrums. While social media facilitates a quickness and level of transparency that contrasts starkly with the inherently private nature of health care, there are moments and glimpses that show us that the two can coexist, and quite effectively. Because much of what I do here at Emory Healthcare involves social media, I’m an advocate for its use and believe in the benefits of social media for health care organizations. To name a few, social media breaks down geographic barriers to traditional support groups. It allows us to keep important health and wellness factors top of mind. We can use social media to discuss health news and innovations in real time or solve problems for patients, families, and communities looking for a quick solution, or an outlet and set of ears to listen. In all of these cases, social media proves time and time again to be a trusted source for getting answers, engaging with peers and businesses, and resolving problems. On April 25th, I had a chance to participate in a social media dialogue that will forever impact my life, and potentially the realm of health care social media.

At 11:06 am on April 25, we received a tweet from Matthew Browning, who was playing a critical role in helping his wife and family in getting through a crisis situation. The tweet read as follows, “@emoryhealthcare NEED HELP NOW!! Grandma w/ RUPTURED AORTA needs Card Surgeon/OR ASAP, STAT! can you accept LifeFlight NOW!!?”

Tweet from Matthew Browning to Emory Healthcare

While much of our social media is proactive and conversational, when we receive a tweet like Matthew’s, everything changes. We must immediately throw out the process flowcharts, remove all barriers, and act. Instantaneously, things shift into high gear and a number of contacts in a variety of departments are contacted to get the right information as quickly as possible. Within minutes, we tweeted back to Matthew, “@MatthewBrowning Matthew, please either call 911 or have your grandma’s doctor call our transfer service to get immediate help: 404-686-8334.”

Response tweet from Emory Healthcare to Matthew Browning

What was most important here was giving Matthew information he could act on. When using Twitter, messages can only be 140 characters, so it was critical to include the most necessary information for him to get immediate assistance. The reason we provided the number for the transfer service will be discussed in detail in part two of the case study.

Four minutes later, at 11:21 am, Matthew responded, “@emoryhealthcare We are doing that! She is in small South Georgia hosp right now- but needs MAJOR help- We are calling, thanks!” We responded “@MatthewBrowning keep us posted & please let us know if there is anything else we can do to help. We’re keeping you both in our thoughts.” Matthew sent a tweet one minute later, “@hospitalpolicygrp @emoryhealthcare Thank you for your help!” Followed by “@emoryhealthcare Look for STAT Transfer from South Georgia, accept her if able and we’ll see you soon Thanks!”

Emory Healthcare Matthew Browning Twitter dialogue

16 minutes later, at 11:41 am Matthew’s wife’s grandmother was on a lifeflight to Emory. “@emoryhealthcare Thank you for accepting her- She is on the LifeFlight to you now- Bless you all and Thank you!!”

Tweet Matthew Browning to Emory Healthcare - On LifeFlight

Our dialogue with Matthew on Monday continued on through the day, and not all of the tweets we received or sent are included above, but if that doesn’t show you the power of social media, I don’t know what will. It’s true that the same outcome may have taken place if it had not been for social media. But when a life is hanging in the balance and minutes, not hours make the difference, the risk of ignoring technology such as social media to intervene and save a life is one we’re not willing to take. As Matthew mentioned when I spoke with him via phone on Tuesday, “when you’ve got a ruptured aorta as a diagnosis, you can’t think. You gotta just move.”

And move he did. As a Registered Nurse and founder of Your Nurse is On, a health care staffing application, Matthew’s circle of health care peers and friends is not a small one. Using Twitter, email, and LinkedIn, he was able to make more contacts in minutes than anyone could in hours with traditional technologies. At the same time, phone calls were being made from the hospital trying to find a hospital to transfer his wife’s grandmother to, “we got lots of nos,” Matthew told me Tuesday. Thankfully, in this case we were able to be there. When he reached out to us via Twitter our team had the ability and capacity to help. “We group-sourced something to people with a common interest and achieved a medical miracle,” Matthew said.

Emory Healthcare able to accommodate patient via Twitter

Response to Matthew Browning

While HIPAA and patient privacy considerations are of the utmost priority when it comes to any health care related dialogue, there are moments in which common sense and the willingness and desire to save a life has to take a front seat. He recalled that when his wife’s grandmother was on her way via lifeflight, a surgeon had been lined up, but a bed had not. But in times of crisis, like he says, you just move. And like Matthew moved to make contact with his network in minutes, our team of physicians, nurses, and staff moved to make sure our patient was accommodated. “That’s the pace of health care,” he says.

In this case, health care and social media not only coexisted, but mirrored each other in pace to keep alive the possibility of saving a life.  Without the quickness of social media, that helicopter may have never been dispatched. It’s our commitment and our passion in health care to do everything we can to make sure the things we can control go well. On April 25, Twitter was a tool we used to help make that happen.

Very unfortunately, we learned from Matthew via Twitter that his wife’s grandmother passed away on Monday evening. He told us “@emoryhealthcare Thank You for your valiant efforts on behalf of our Grandmother – your team is awesome and their compassion unrivaled- thx“.
Matthew Browning to Emory Healthcare - thank you

We are and will continue to keep Matthew, his wife, and their family members in our hearts and thoughts. When I spoke to him on Tuesday, though, he had a humbling peace about him, as though he knew everything possible was done. The series of events that took place on Monday, April 25 were no doubt humbling and powerful for all of us involved. This experience has shown us what we already believed, that social media has the power to truly change the landscape of health care and impact and potentially save individual lives because of it.

Thank you to Matthew Browning and his wife, Phoebe, for reaching out a hand and for the dedication, care, and love they have shown us and the health care community despite tremendously chaotic circumstances. Welcome to our Emory Healthcare family.

Related Links

Can Twitter Help Save Lives? A Health Care Social Media Cast Study, Part II

Twitter Emory Healthcare on Twitter
Twitter Matthew Browning on Twitter

Author: Morgan Griffith, Interactive Marketing Manager, Emory Healthcare

The Intangibles that Make Emory Healthcare a Top Atlanta Workplace

AJC Emory Healthcare Top Atlanta WorkplaceAs an Emory Healthcare team member, I can truly say working amongst the multifaceted team of exceptional individuals at Emory is a powerful and rewarding experience. My peers at Emory Healthcare agree, as is evident from the feedback our team provided to The Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC)  resulting in Emory Healthcare being named one of the best places to work in Atlanta, and specifically, one of the top 20 large companies at which to work, in their “debut edition” of Metro Atlanta’s Top 100 Workplaces.

The list of nearly 500 nominated companies was whittled down to 166 back in January, and the AJC partnered with Workplace Dynamics to survey over 40,000 team members from these companies. According to the AJC, “Companies were graded (per survey responses) on several factors — the direction of the company, execution, work conditions, career paths, management, pay and benefits.”

But as the AJC notes, and we agree, there are always intangible factors that end up playing a huge role in what it means to be part of your team. Maybe it comes in the form of the amazing dedication you see from your peers, who may have different roles, but give everything they have to accomplish & exceed common goals. Or maybe it’s the passion you see in leadership teams that inspire organizations in an authentic and ethical way. Perhaps it’s the sense of family and community you have with your coworkers, who at the end of the day, are true friends.

These are just a few of the ways in which we are all inspired as team members to do everything we can to make the Emory Healthcare community experience the best it can be. The strength of the Emory Healthcare family allows us to wholeheartedly concentrate on our mission, “To serve humanity by improving health.” At Emory Healthcare, we are diverse in our backgrounds and strengths, but we all share this common goal, and we carry it out by supporting each other and supporting our patients and families.

We thank the AJC for recognizing the special family over here at Emory Healthcare. If you are part of the Emory Healthcare team and want to give a shout out to someone, or if you’re part of our community & have feedback, please don’t hesitate to comment below.

Emory Home to Top Hospital in Atlanta, Nationally Ranked in 11 Specialties

Emory University Hospital Best in Atlanta

Besides the name Emory, what do our Cancer, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Ear Nose & Throat, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Heart & Heart Surgery, Kidney, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Psychiatry, and Urology programs have in common? According to U.S. News & World Report’s 2011 rankings of Best Hospitals, all of Emory’s above listed medical specialties are ranked amongst the top programs in the country.

U.S. News ranks top hospitals and specialty programs nationally every year. This year, they also conducted regional rankings of hospitals in 52 metro areas across the United States. In both polls, Emory was a standout. We are very pleased to announce that Emory University Hospital has been ranked as the best hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

Emory is the only health care provider in Atlanta to have received over 10 national program specialty rankings. Aside from Emory, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (ranked separately in a category for Children’s Hospitals) was recognized with rankings in 9 specialties, and the Shepherd Center received 1 national program ranking. Meaning, of the 12 national hospital program rankings bestowed upon non-pediatric specific hospitals in the Atlanta area, Emory University Hospital received 11 of them.

What does this mean for you, our patients, families, and community members? It means that when you come to Emory, you get the type of patient-centered care you can’t find anywhere else in Atlanta or Georgia. It means that we continue to advance the possibilities with the latest medical research, technology, and process improvements that garner national recognition year after year. It also means that you can rest assured that as an Emory patient, you’re getting not only the level of care that’s expected by virtue of being a top national academic health care system, but the level of care expected by you, our community.

If you have any questions on the rankings, or just want to share your feedback, please feel free to use the comment field below.

Emory – 4th Largest Contributor to New Drug Discovery in U.S.

First announced in the February 10th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a new study has found that Emory is the fourth largest contributor to the discovery of new drugs and vaccines in the U.S. The contributors evaluated included federally funded universities, research hospitals, and federal laboratories.

The study found that public-sector research was involved in the discovery of as many as 20% of therapies approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 1990-2007. Through studying the FDA review process, the researchers also found that public sector research institutes “tend to discover drugs that are expected to have a disproportionately important clinical effect.”

To determine impact of various research organizations, researchers for the study identified 153 FDA-approved drugs and vaccines that were discovered at least in part by public-sector research institutions during the past 40 years. The top five contributors were:

  • The National Institute of Health (NIH) (22)
  • The University of California System (11)
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering (8)
  • Emory University (7)
  • Yale University (6)

The seven Emory products included HIV/AIDS drugs lamivudine (3TC) and emtricitabine (FTC), discovered by Emory scientists Dennis Liotta, PhD, and Raymond Schinazi, PhD, and their former colleague Woo-Baeg Choi, PhD. These two drugs are among the most commonly used and most successful HIV/AIDS drugs in the world, taken in some form by more than 94 percent of U.S. patients on therapy and by thousands more globally.

Emory University President, James Wagner, is extremely proud of the accomplishments of Emory researchers and scientists, commenting, “this study illustrates once again that our nation’s long-standing and world-leading policy of investment in research through universities and other public institutions, along with the responsible use of technology transfer, delivers a tremendous return through improved health for millions, innovative technologies, economic development and training for the next generation of innovators.”

We thank our Emory scientists making new discoveries that allow Emory Healthcare to continue to advance the possibilities in patient-centered health care and improve health in our communities.

Thank You, Team For Putting Patient Care First

John T. Fox, President & CEO of Emory Healthcare

John T. Fox, Emory Healthcare President & CEO

What an incredible week it’s been for the team at Emory Healthcare. From the moment we tuned into weather reports and anticipated that this was the “real thing” I was amazed at the tremendous response of our healthcare professionals as they started to make their way back to work before a drop of snow hit the ground.

What we witnessed over the course of several days following Georgia’s first snowfall of 2011 was absolute acts of heroism by our Emory Healthcare team of nurses, physicians, leaders and staff. Our employees demonstrated their commitment to patient-centered care, and made our patients their first priority, using any creative means necessary to join their team at work. One of our team members even put on her golf cleats and trekked many blocks through the snow to be here. Other employees demonstrated their commitment by volunteering to step into roles outside of their own without hesitation.

I am always proud to be a part of Emory Healthcare, but this week, my pride has been elevated to the deepest admiration for our outstanding team of nurses, doctors, and staff. You are all a true inspiration, and our patients are truly fortunate to receive compassionate care from individuals like you. Some of you were too snowed in to make it to work, but I know you were with your colleagues in spirit as they kept operations running smoothly.

It is our priority at Emory Healthcare to deliver outstanding patient-centered care each and every day. I want to thank the thousands of dedicated professionals who make up our Emory Healthcare team and who, over the past week, again rallied around our patients and each other during one of the worst winter storms in Atlanta’s history. I also want to acknowledge and thank your families and loved ones, many of whom did not see you for three or four days while you spent day and night in our hospitals and clinics.

I thank you for the dedication that you have shown this week and that you show each day at Emory Healthcare. I am truly honored to work with you. And thank you, thank you and thank you for living our commitment to our patients and putting all the words of our Care Transformation model into real action.

Health Care Heroes Lending Helping Hands

If you follow us on Twitter or are friends with us on Facebook, you may have seen some of our recent “storm stories,” spotlighting acts of heroism our Emory Healthcare team members demonstrated this past week despite the snow. While this past week’s storm was one of the worst in Atlanta’s history, it didn’t stop our EHC team from stepping up to do what we do best– put patients first.

Larry Hodges, Marion Oglesby, Demetrice Fullard, Marsha Bruce, Kathy Charles, Michael Cobb, Brenda Wilbanks, Jewell Hudson, Nicole Bansavage, and Chrissy Day are stellar examples of what it means to be part of the Emory Healthcare team:

Emory Healthcare Employees Brenda Wilbanks, Jewell Hudson, Nicole Bansavage, & Chrissy Day

Chrissy Day, Jewell Lazzette, Brenda Wilbanks, & Nicole Bansavage

Brenda Wilbanks, Jewell Hudson, Nicole Bansavage, & Chrissy Day

When Brenda Wilbanks, EUH Hematology 6E, saw the storm was coming, she knew her motor home had a new use – accommodations for her and a few of her co-workers during the days to come! Therefore, her husband drove the family motor home down on Sunday night. Brenda set up shop across the street from CRM in an area where Emory University is getting ready to tear down aging dormitories. This put the motor home within easy walking distance of our tunnel system via CRM. On Sunday and Monday night, co-workers Jewell Hudson and Nicole Bansavage joined Brenda. On Tuesday night, Chrissy Day headed over, as well.

Michael Cobb

The storm may have made transportation via an automobile a challenge, but it didn’t deter Michael Cobb, EHC Office of Quality and Risk, from figuring out a way to make it to the nearest EHC location. Michael lives about a quarter of a mile from EUOSH, so he decided to walk in each day – Monday through Wednesday – to see how he could help. On Tuesday, he took on a new role outside of his everyday EHC responsibilities. He sat with a patient – referred to as 1:1 observation – to ensure the patient remained in bed and had everything he needed.

As Michael said, “I stayed with him until about 7:30 on Tuesday night. We talked about all kinds of things and I made sure he was comfortable. … I was really impressed with the way the nurses cared for him. There is definitely a patient-centered focus here – and now I have had a chance to see it in action.”

Emory Healthcare Payroll Team

Marion Oglesby, Demetrice Fullard, Marsha Bruce & Kathy Charles

Marion Oglesby, Demetrice Fullard, Marsha Bruce, & Kathy Charles

Just because there is a storm doesn’t mean that our team members can go without getting paid. And EHC Payroll made sure payroll was still processed in time. In fact, they were hard at work beginning Sunday evening and continued into Tuesday to ensure our team members received their compensation on time.

EHC Cooks in the Kitchen

Larry Hodges with Nutrition Assistant, Vernon Mathis

Larry Hodges

During the storm, Larry Hodges, from EHC Human Resources, jumped into a new role to help Food & Nutrition Services at Emory University Hospital Midtown. Larry not only served customers during lunch, but he also helped prepare food – peeling eggs to make egg salad. He’s a shining example of how our team members showed extreme flexibility to help things run smoothly during tough times!

If you have an EHC team member to recognize for their efforts during the storm, please post your story in the comments below. We will continue to feature stories on our employee intranet and on Emory Healthcare’s Facebook and Twitter profiles. Thank you to the whole EHC team for all that you do!