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Reinertsen honored with Eisenberg award
James L. Reinertsen, MD, received a 2010 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality award for individual achievement from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum.
a.senior fellow with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Reinertsen now heads a consulting group, the Reinertsen Group in Alta, WY. He practiced rheumatology for more than 20 years and served as CEO of CareGroup, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Park Nicollet Health Services.
Health care organizations must support the quality leaders and personnel, Reinertsen says. When those leaders "see a change that's evidence-based and works and they now want to extend it to the whole organization" but they encounter any kind of resistance whether it's resistant doctors or nurses or other providers or whether it's financial resistance to support the change, they need the will of senior leadership, he says. "You need a board and a senior executive team that has backbone and is committed to this and has the will to make it happen."
In order to activate boards, you must help them "see" the problems. You don't do that by sending them data that are difficult to understand or too technical, he says. "You send them and tell them stories about harm that's happening in your hospital this month," and then you can give them the data.
"If there are 4.2% of your people getting some particular problem, how many actual people is that? Count them. That's what you report to the board. You don't report the rate; you report the number of people affected." He says, many quality professionals he works with now show their boards the first name and last initial of the patient, and the date and name of the event. "That's what they report to the board. Not technical data in complicated charts, but people. In essence, what I'm saying is that you make the board see the human side of this problem."