The most significant contributions I have made as a member of the El Camino Hospital District Board as well as the El Camino Hospital Board include (consistent with the commitments I made in 2008):
Commitment to the Community – the Board tripled the annual amount of tax money we spend on community care to the maximum allowed by law: almost $6 million/year. More important than the amount we spend is how we spend it. Our community care investments are characterized by:
- Aligning with tri-annual assessment of care gaps in Santa Clara County (the hospital spent more money to ensure a broader survey of the northern Santa Clara County citizens we serve)
- Working closely with a broad range of community organizations providing expertise not just money. We established a philosophy that we would: only contribute financially when we could also contribute our expertise, serve as a focal point, coordinating efforts among community organizations and work with organizations to improve their metrics, quality and accountability:
- May 22, 2012 the Santa Clara County Board of Supervis recognized the successful partnership between the El Camino Hospital (ECHD) and Santa Clara County Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) in providing medical and dental services for uninsured families at Valley Health Center (VHC)
- Sunnyvale school recognition
- In November 2011 we were awarded the Outstanding Corporate Grant Maker Award at Silicon Valley Philanthropy Day by Association of Fundraising Professionals. We were recognized for the value we provide to our partners:
- “El Camino Hospital has taken a leadership role in facilitating close working relationships between its various community partners, to optimize their overall contributions to community health improvement.”
- “El Camino Hospital has been at the forefront of corporate grant making, supporting innovative best practices models…The hospital takes an analytical and systematic approach to their Community Benefit efforts.”
- “Like a well managed Venture Capital Fund, El Camino Hospital invests in social change for the betterment of the community…They collect meaningful data to assess program effectiveness, thus contributing to the body of knowledge in social innovation.”
Expand citizen participation in and contribution to a variety of District and Hospital committees – I believe that leadership requires actions not just words – I come from the “walk the walk” not just “talk the talk.” As the board of directors asked the entire hospital organization to improve the quality and efficiency of the care we provided it was important that the board of directors “walk the walk” as well. The Board of Directors evaluated our own Governance and Oversight processes and procedures and identified a number of opportunities to evolve from essentially the same structure we started with 50 years ago.
With expectations for boards’ responsibilities significantly expanding, particularly over the past decade or so, we have adopted Best Practices by moving from handling most all our responsibilities as a board of five members to a structure where much of the board’s work is done in six committees before discussing and deciding at the board level. These six committees are: Quality and Patient Experience, Finance, Investment, Executive Compensation, Governance and Audit, Compliance and Patient Safety.
We conducted a broad search for people throughout the community with deep subject matter expertise. Not only did we reach out to existing committees of the hospital such as our community advisory boards and other committees like the Chinese Health Initiative, but also we advertised broadly in local papers and engaged recruiting firms.
We have just completed naming three new El Camino Hospital Board Members and 17 Committee members. These people provide an incredible depth of subject matter expertise that will improve the guidance and oversight we can provide to the management team as we navigate these turbulent times in the health care industry.
Strategic process and organization dashboard- I have also been a major instigator and encourager of El Camino Hospital migrating to Best Practices in our Strategic Process. Over the past two years the executive team and board have worked together to develop a consistent and rigorous approach to strategic analysis. We are creating a meaningful corporate dashboard that:
- Serves as the primary tool for the board to ensure that the strategy is being executed via operating and financial plans
- Nests down throughout the organization such that each person working at the hospital has a direct line of site from their individual responsibility up to specific organization metrics
Evidence Based Medicine – We are working to reinvigorate our commitment to data driven decisions. The two foundational elements are not just data but also analysis. To improve our data collection we have been working with physicians, both independent and at major partners like PAMF and Stanford, to ensure that they use electronic health records and that they can easily share the data with the hospital.
With forthcoming expansion in available data, I have been encouraging administration to ensure we develop our ability to analyze the data – a need that requires not only analysts focused on the data, but evolving into a culture of analysis where everyone is trained to approach care in a data driven manner.