A Message from MGH President Peter L. Slavin, MD

August 28, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

On Monday of this week, a 10-person team from the Joint Commission arrived at the MGH to conduct a weeklong reaccreditation survey of our hospital and laboratory programs. The survey team provided a rigorous, but fair-minded assessment encompassing our processes of care, elements of documentation, environment of care, laboratories services and the many other key facets of our organization. I am very pleased to let you know that we remain a fully accredited hospital.

At our exit conference this afternoon, we heard from the surveyors what I have always known. They saw that at MGH patient care is truly a "team sport," involving physicians, nurses, therapists and support staff who work together to provide exceptional care to our patient and their families. They saw firsthand the talent, dedication and passion of the individuals who make this organization what it is. They were impressed to hear our staff speak so eloquently about their duties and commitment to patients. For example, one of our staff, remembering the lessons of our Hand Hygiene Program, gently reminded one of the surveyors to CalStat after entering a patient room.

The survey team also witnessed our commitment to never being satisfied with our care and always looking for improvement opportunities. In this realm, they heard about a remarkable effort to measure vibration around the B3C construction site to enable us to intervene before patient care would be jeopardized in any way. They heard about the measurement system we have in place to assess physician performance on an ongoing basis. In both cases they said they have never seen anything like it.

They have also seen a hospital that was very prepared for this Joint Commission survey -- or as we have said so often, a hospital that is well prepared for the next patient who comes through our doors.

Thanks again to everyone for making this week such an educational moment and improvement opportunity. This is certainly an ideal time to pause and celebrate an impressive achievement. At the same time, however, we cannot let this positive survey experience relax our commitment to continuously improve the care we deliver at the MGH. The survey team gave us a set of processes and practices upon which we must improve. I am confident that in the coming months and years our commitment to Excellence Every Day will endure beyond any single survey. Our patients are counting on it and deserve it.

My sincere thanks and congratulations to all of you.

Peter L. Slavin, MD

Peter L. Slavin, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital


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