Our Quality Journey 

Exceptional Medicine

PeaceHealth's rigorous pursuit of exceptional medicine springs from our mission, values, and commitment to provide Healing and Compassionate Care to patients and families in the communities we serve. PeaceHealth embraces the message of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report "Crossing the Quality Chasm," which is well aligned with the journey we've been on for over 15 years. We have a reputation for being an early adopter of systems and structures that promote quality health care. Examples include:

Focus on outcomes, patient safety, transparency
For years, we have been focused on improving clinical and operational outcomes, and have held ourselves accountable for measures of process and outcomes.  We have a strong focus on patient safety, in both the inpatient and clinic environment.  We are committed to sharing our results, both internally and externally.

Ongoing training of leadership, staff and clinicians 
PeaceHealth has made a major commitment to training and cultural transformation toward becoming a continuously improving organization. One example of the commitment is when PeaceHealth put more than 50 physicians and nurses through the four-week Advanced Training Program and Quality Improvement at Intermountain Healthcare.

Investment in information technology (IT) / Community Health Record (CHR)
 In 1994, PeaceHealth began the process of developing of an electronic medical record that we call the CHR. The vision continues to evolve, and PeaceHealth has been recognized as a national leader in the integration of information technology into clinical care.

Commitment to disease management and evidence-based medicine 
The Senior Health and Wellness Center in Eugene is one example of how PeaceHealth is an innovator in the implementation of models of care to support those with chronic disease. We are applying the lessons from this project broadly in the communities we serve, including developing the IT infrastructure needed for patients and providers. An important piece of our commitment to clinical excellence is bringing science to the bedside or exam room - building agreed-upon protocols based on the best evidence into the care process, and providing easy access to the science behind these protocols.

Collaborative relationships with community-based organizations
Cooperation, between providers, across settings of care, and with patients, is critical to PeaceHealth's vision of seamless care. Our patients want and deserve a system that provides easy flow within and across the continuum of care. This requires cooperation among physicians, other caregivers, and staff in the system, with the patient at the center. PeaceHealth is working hard to make that happen.

"One of the reasons I chose to work with PeaceHealth Medical Group was the obvious dedication to its core values and the delivery of its mission. PeaceHealth has always been dedicated to the community to provide state-of-the-art care, regardless of one's ability to pay. I have observed nothing but complete support in providing the best equipment, staff, and physicians to care for the most critically ill patients that come to our hospital."

Michael McNellis, M.D., Critical Care Physician,
Lower Columbia Region, PeaceHealth

Pursuing Perfection

PeaceHealth, along with the Whatcom County Community Health Improvement Consortium, was recently selected from a pool of 250 applicants to receive a $1.9 million "Pursuing Perfection" grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This project seeks to bring to life the message of the IOM report, "Crossing the Quality Chasm," which is a template for the health care system of the 21st century. Along with 12 other organizations in the United States and Europe, PeaceHealth is pursuing these goals with demonstration projects, and building the infrastructure needed to transform care across the community.

"The opportunity provided by this grant is to make a concerted, coordinated effort to break through and dramatically improve systems of care for those with chronic diseases. Such a system will directly affect the health of the people of Whatcom County and, by extension, the people in PeaceHealth regions and across the nation."

Marc Pierson, Chairman, Community Health Improvement Consortium

PeaceHealth Partnerships

Physicians are active partners in the leadership of our health care system. Through their board representation, extensive involvement with quality and other governance committees, and delivery of first-rate patient care, the PeaceHealth medical staff continues to be the keystone to carrying on our heritage of providing the highest quality health care to people in the communities we serve.

Regional Foundations 
The philanthropic work of our regional foundations is crucial to the fulfillment of PeaceHealth's Mission. Through the tireless efforts of foundation volunteers and staff, the regional foundations provide crucial support to our medical facilities, enabling them to make real the promise of exceptional medicine and compassionate care.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement 
PeaceHealth has had a long-standing partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. We have been involved in a number of collaborative projects (e.g., the idealized design of a clinic practice) and are involved in numerous initiatives related to the Pursuing Perfection project.

The Health Technology Center (HealthTech) 
PeaceHealth is a strategic partner of The Health Technology Center, a nonprofit research organization based in San Francisco that develops in-depth forecasts about the future impact of emerging technologies on clinical programs, health care facilities, information systems development, the workforce, and market positioning.

"While the Siuslaw Region is a rural, relatively small health care organization, our association with PeaceHealth has allowed us to make improvements in safety and quality of care that would have been beyond our means otherwise. The support we received has truly enabled our improvements in diabetic care, medication list accuracy and accessibility, and many other areas. I believe the people at PeaceHealth are not only committed to excellence but are willing to direct the needed resources to achieving it."

Sherry Catlin, D.O., Medical Director, 
Health Associates of Peace Harbor, PeaceHealth

Awards and Acknowledgements

PeaceHealth has repeatedly been recognized as one of the 100 "most wired" health systems in the United States by the American Hospital Association. This annual award highlights technological innovators in the health care industry. For the past few years, PeaceHealth's Internet site, www.peacehealth.org, has been awarded the e-Healthcare Leadership Award for excellence in Internet design.

Ketchikan General Hospital, challenged by its geographic isolation, has become known as a pioneer in telemedicine for oncology. In 1995, Ketchikan physicians joined with St. John Medical Center in Longview, Washington to form a unique video-based "tumor conference," which won acceptance by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer as an Affiliate Cancer Program. This program has evolved into an ongoing oncology telemedicine service, currently affiliated with St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham, Washington.

St. John Medical Center received the 2003 Washington State Nurses Association's Community Partner Recognition Award for partnering with WSNA in the 2002 recruitment campaign "Nursing-A Career for Life." The goals of the campaign were to attract more people to the nursing profession, to salute nurses at the facility for their dedication and hard work and to educate the public about the diverse role nurses play in our medical center and in the community.

Sacred Heart Medical Center was named one of the "100 Best Employers in Oregon" by Oregon Business Magazine in its annual survey of workplaces. Sacred Heart was also recognized as one of the "Top 100 Hospitals" by Modern Healthcare, and one of the "Best Places for Care" in Oregon by Healthcare Research Corporation.

Peace Harbor Hospital received a perfect score on the "Patient-Focused Functions" section of its most recent review by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations review. The Joint Commission focuses on continuously improving the safety and quality of health care.

PeaceHealth Laboratories, owned and operated by PeaceHealth, achieved the highest inspection rating under the College of American Pathology (CAP) accreditation program in 2002. CAP accreditation is the gold standard in the clinical laboratory industry and they have "passed with distinction." Since 1990, PeaceHealth Labs has been inspected and passed NLCP certification every 6 months.

"In the years ahead, opportunities to use advanced information technology to improve the safety and quality of medical care, as well as the health of communities, will be exponentially greater. PeaceHealth has already accomplished a great deal, and we are well on the road toward harnessing the power of technology in support of the patients and communities we serve."

John Haughom, M.D., Senior Vice President,
Healthcare Improvement Division, PeaceHealth