Valley Presbyterian Hospital

  • Location: Van Nuys, CA
  • Award: Healthcare Organization of the Month
  • Awarded: February 2018

Valley Presbyterian Hospital (VPH) opened its doors to the community in 1958 as a small, neighborhood provider of personalized medical care. Today, we are one of the largest and most prestigious full-service acute care facilities in the San Fernando Valley. Our 350-bed hospital serves thousands of families each year, with access to a wide range of medical expertise and leading-edge technology across all elements of care. Among the regions brightest and best, our nurses, therapists, technicians and more than 500 physicians represent virtually every specialty and most sub-specialties in the medical field, including cardiac care, orthopedics, maternal and child health, and oncology.

Results and Achievements

Employee Engagement

Since partnering with Studer Group in November of 2015, VPH has made great progress in cultivating a strong culture where employees feel valued, respected, and heard. In fact, due in part to a focused effort on employee rounding, we decreased the turnover rate from 13.9% in 2016 to 12.4% in 2017, which exceeded our target. In February 2017, we implemented the MyRounding® tool to hardwire  across the hospital. As a result, more than 2,500 employee rounds were completed in 2017.

Several “personal touches” have gone a long way in making employees feel like valued members of the team, including hand-written thank you notes from the CEO, directors, managers and supervisors. In addition, we launched staff appreciation opportunities for employees to recognize each other with events such as “Candy Grams” – personalized thank you cards sent with a candy bar. We also adopted the Daisy Award to recognize and honor nurses’ dedication to patient safety and care.

We expanded discharge phone calls to include patients discharged from the Emergency Department, Same Day Surgery and the GI Lab. By the end of 2017, 60% of patients surveyed (n=558) answered “Yes” when asked the question “Post-discharge call received.”

Patient Experience

As we focused on our commitment to patients, community and our care team, we began to see consistently better results in our patient experience scores. Our HCAHPS Rate 9 – 10 score increased from 71.8% in FY16 to 74.9% in FY17, which was more than 2% higher than our FY17 Target. Also, our ED CAHPS Rate 9 – 10 Score increased from 50.8% in FY16 to 57.1% in FY17, which was over 6% higher than our FY17 Target.

In August, we began holding daily Safety Huddles every morning, bringing together leaders and clinicians from every area of the hospital to provide top-line updates and discuss issues of the day. It’s an evidence-based practice adapted from the naval aviation industry. In these daily meetings, we look back at any significant safety or quality issues from the past 24 hours and look ahead at any anticipated in the next 24 hours. It’s an effective format that empowers leaders to speak up, discuss barriers to safety, work together to resolve problems and mitigate future occurrences.

Our staff is working to improve our patients’ overall perception of the care they receive as well as reduce their anxiety with clear, thoughtful introductions and explanations. Implementing the use of AIDET Plus the PromiseSM has significantly increased our staff’s ability to communicate consistently with empathy, concern and appreciation – in every interaction.

We are fostering leadership development for all executives, directors and managers with quarterly off-site retreats called Leadership Development Institutes (LDIs). These content-rich sessions have been the launching points of several initiatives in our Journey to Excellence, including employee rounding, objective performance goals, 90-day action planning, behavioral-based interviewing, peer interviewing, and better onboarding procedures. In 2018, we will expand these leadership training sessions to hospital supervisors.

The Los Angeles business community has also recognized the outstanding leadership at VPH in recent months. The Los Angeles Business Journal honored Gus Valdespino, President and CEO, with the prestigious CEO of the Year Award in 2017. Dr. Lori Burnell, Chief Nursing Officer, was also nominated for Chief Nursing Officer of the Year Award – a highly competitive honor in the greater Los Angeles region.

While our range of acute care services and expertise has continued to expand, we remain a community-based hospital at heart. As one of the Valley’s only independent, non-profit, and locally governed institutions, we work every day to provide exceptional care that responds to the needs of our community. As a result, we are honored to have been voted "Best Hospital" by the readers of LA Daily News for 12 years in a row, and to have received the 2016 Women's Choice Award as one of America's Best Hospitals for Patient Safety.

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