Quality, safety and the CPGH Inc. board

Posted: Sunday, March 27, 2011

The mission of Central Peninsula Hospital (CPH, including the hospital, Heritage Place and Serenity House) is to provide high quality health care, and the Board of Directors (CPGH Inc.) has both ethical and legal duties to ensure that the organization is true to this mission. In keeping with these responsibilities, the CPGH Inc. board has taken great interest in the activities of the Borough Assembly's Central Peninsula Health Care Task Force. Two members of the CPGH Inc. board serve on the task force and board members attend the public meetings. While taking part in the process and looking forward to the Task Force's recommendation, the 11-member CPGH Inc. board continues to oversee the operation of CPH, and has helped it grow into a health care organization that employs more than 700 area residents.

While continued financial viability of the hospital is among the board's fiduciary duties, the oversight of high quality services for patients takes priority over all. Federal health legislation, also known as the Patient Protection Affordable Health Care Act (PPACA), brings these two duties together by linking hospital reimbursement to quality outcomes. The better the quality performance of the hospital, the better the reimbursement.

With all of the uncertainty regarding the future of health care locally and nationally, one thing is certain: there is sharp focus at all levels on quality and safety. State and Federal governments and independent agencies are tasked with confirming the quality of care delivered in hospitals and information is available to consumers to help them make informed decisions. To fulfill their duties of quality assurance, hospital boards, including CPGH Inc. rely on the use of multiple indicators of performance that cover the range of hospital functions from patient care to finances. Patient, physician and employee satisfaction comprise one group of such indicators.

Satisfaction ratings have a direct correlation with quality performance and good clinical outcomes. Patient, physician and employee satisfaction is measured at CPH through recurrent surveys and monitored at regular and frequent intervals by the board. Over the last five years, CPH employee satisfaction has increased 34 percentile points and physician satisfaction has grown by 35 percentile points.

Patient satisfaction data are reported to the Federal government and the results are made known to the public through a program known as, HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems). HCAHPS provide a national standard that allows comparisons to be made among hospitals. Public reporting of HCAHPS scores incentivizes hospitals to focus on quality and safety by giving consumers information to choose where they receive care. PPACA changes the way hospitals receive payment to a system based on quality data that include HCAHPS scores. CPH's HCAHPS scores rank higher in every category than the averages for the State of Alaska and the nation as a whole.

The CPGH Inc. board is very proud of the CPH's achievements and encourages the community to be active participants in quality assurance by using resources such as www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov to assess performance and make good health care choices. To learn more about the CPGH Inc. Board of Directors, please visit http://www.cpgh.org/body.cfm?id=83.

The CPGH Inc. Board of Directors oversees operations at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna.

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