How the project by project approach transformed a hospital system

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A look at what Sinai Hospital System’s Loren Chandler had to say about their transformation…

If you tuned in with us at the end of March then you were lucky enough to get a transparent view of a hospital system’s transformation to better quality. Like Dr. Juran said, he has never seen a successful transformation without the top management being involved. Loren Chandler, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer of Sinai Health System & President of Mount Sinai Hospital at Sinai Health System shed some light on how a large hospital system has been able to better themselves in order to help their patients with better care and better customer service.

Sinai Health System has been in business for over 100 years and is composed of seven different entities some of which include a Rehabilitation center, Children’s hospital, and community institutes.

So what made Sinai want to embark on this journey? And what made Loren so enthusiastic about making changes within the organization? Loren describes the hospitals wanting to come together to have more of a cohesive message and better their processes to accomplish their quality goals.

Like Loren said, he didn’t want the hospital to just “survive,” but thrive. In order to do so, they needed to view how they worked in a whole new light. Looking at yourself day-in and day-out will not allow you to see the imperfections and operations that may need a bit of work to make better, more efficient, and succeed. Loren and the Health System wanted to take a step back in order to see the full picture. They knew that their ratings were down, customer satisfaction was not great, and even the Emergency Room waiting time was way too long. They decided they wanted to be equal, if not, better than the surrounding hospitals. They needed great outcomes at a low cost.

Take a look at how leaders play a role in culture.

Loren and Sinai Health System made the decision because finances have always been a struggle and they wanted a better handle on keeping costs low while keeping quality high. They also knew they needed to become more efficient. It was important that they remember their “why,” “why” they choose to be in their profession and what brought them all together in the first place — it’s all about the patients — and Sinai wasn’t where they wanted to be.

All 4,500 full time employees (plus the part-time and contracted employees) worked hard to continue to understand the community they serve and strive to care harder and love deeper, just as their slogan says. Loren constructed an improvement group that was more than just finance and more than just quality, so he and the people who were invested in improving came up with the title Partners in Excellence, or PIE.

Loren discussed how teamwork and striving for excellence is so important and to always remember why you are doing this in the first place — to be stronger, care harder, love deeper. He wanted to build a community and use their team name for celebrations and announcements so that all of Sinai would recognize and join in their efforts — and it worked! Years later they continue to grow project by project, celebrate successes with the whole system, and really feel what it is like to have teamwork and overall satisfaction between employees and patients alike.

Interested in all the details Loren discussed including their full transformation, the downfalls, lessons learned, and positive financial impact? Head over to the webinar on our YouTube channel here.

Author: Audra D’Agostino

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