Quality: Always A Team Approach at Hamilton Community Health Centers

FLINT–In the last few decades, we have seen a change when it comes to health care and how patients and their doctors work together. Years ago, the doctor would tell patients, “Take two of these and call me in the morning.” Thankfully, those days are gone and today patients are involved in their own healthcare and work with their medical provider to achieve better clinical outcomes. The approach is turning into a team effort.

However, the team effort does not begin in the exam room. Here at Hamilton Community Health Network the team effort begins with our Quality Improvement team. Did you know the Quality Improvement team is instrumental in making sure Hamilton is reaching our high standard of care? In fact, just recently we received accreditation from the Joint Commission for Hamilton’s Behavioral Health program accreditation. This follows Hamilton’s Gold seal accreditation with high recommendations from the Joint Commission received just a few months prior. The Gold Seal accreditation is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care.

What does this all mean for our patients? A high-quality, patient-centered approach, and a healthcare team that goes beyond the exam room to assure our patients receive the best care possible.

Kim Warden is Hamilton’s Quality Improvement Director who works behind the scenes when it comes to patient care, but you can often see her on television representing Hamilton. A nurse by trade, Kim’s focus is on achieving better clinical outcomes for our patients. Every day her team, comprised of community health educators and a quality improvement coordinator, work to determine the best patient-centered health improvement strategy that will assist patients in improving their health.

“Just like your quality of health starts before entering a doctor’s office, quality care starts before the exam room,” explained Kim. “Your quality healthcare begins before you even enter Hamilton’s doors and is everyone’s responsibility. Everything we do is linked to quality of care – from proper handwashing, available services to meet patient needs, to tracking patient health outcomes all play a part in making sure Hamilton’s healthcare is above par.”

For the most part, patients do not even realize there is a huge force behind the clinics making sure everything is exceeding standards. Rather, patients know the end results of Quality’s work – high standard healthcare. Patients may also hear about the medical studies Quality is involved with – such as the University of Michigan colorectal cancer study or the cervical cancer study we are currently partnering on. Patients may get phone calls from the team’s community health educators reminding them of any gaps in care they may have. But usually, the Quality Improvement team are the behind-the-scenes experts who work to make sure Hamilton patients are receiving the highest standard of care possible.

–Hamilton Community Health Network