Valley West Community Hospital

  • Location: Sandwich, IL
  • Award: Evidence-Based Leadership Healthcare Organization of the Month
  • Awarded: December 2006

Valley West Community Hospital has been a tremendous success story for Kish Health System. Just four years ago, the hospital was facing serious financial issues, inconsistent patient satisfaction results, and low employee morale. At that time, Valley West senior leadership was restructured along with a reorganization of the governance structure to enhance an integrated system approach to operating Valley West.

We partnered with the Studer Group in January of 2004. That partnership and strong leadership and commitment from our Board, our administrative team, managers, employees, physicians, and Valley West Auxiliary, led to the creation of a culture that emphasizes teamwork, fiscal responsibility, individual accountability and most importantly – a focus on service to every patient, every time.

The attached letter is just one example of a patient’s experience at Valley West. And these experiences are reflected in the patient satisfaction results. Since April of last year, the results have trended up in each service area. And for the first quarter of 2006, all four service areas reached their targets. Inpatient, Ambulatory Surgery, and ED were all in the 90th percentile or above. And Outpatient, an area that had been as low as the 33rd percentile, was at the 84th percentile. Truly the patients are feeling and expressing their satisfaction with the changes and the staff is committed to service excellence!

The key to Valley West’s success has been its focus on individual accountability. Where there used to be blaming, now there is problem solving and dialog. Individuals take a look at how they can contribute. Managers formed a Friday “Lunch and Learn.” Each Friday, whoever can attend brings their lunch and the team members discuss what’s working and what’s not, share best practices and learn from each other. Above all, what you feel at Valley West is that total sense of purpose. Every staff member knows they are there for one reason – to serve their patients! And the results speak to the efforts of all.

SERVICE PILLAR: Our patient satisfaction results tell us that our patients are receiving very good care. We have increased our emphasis on monitoring the results to track opportunities for growth and for reward and recognition.

VWCH Patient Satisfaction Results

SERVICE PILLAR (con’t): Letter from one of our patients

QUALITY PILLAR: The four goals under the Quality Pillar were chosen to drive our clinical excellence initiative. Valley West met all goals for last fiscal year. By focusing on issues related to the diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia, smoking cessation, and AMI and CHF patients, we improved the quality of care for our patients and hardwired new processes across the system.


PEOPLE PILLAR: The successes under our People Pillar include a 93% system wide participation rate for our employee satisfaction survey. Managers are held accountable for the survey results as we continue our focus on making this a great place for employees to work. And, turnover for first quarter FY 07 is at 2.4%.

FINANCE PILLAR: The success of our service pillar contributes to the success of our Finance Pillar as illustrated by the increase in patient days, our improved efficiency in managing FTEs per AOB, and by being good stewards of our resources, as evidenced by our operating margin results.

GROWTH PILLAR: Talk about hitting it out of the ball park – since we began our service, clinical and operational excellence journey in 2004, we have recruited 17 new doctors to Valley West! We have also increased market share and continue to be a growing resource to the immediate and surrounding communities.


So results have not just come in the area of patient satisfaction. Strong financials, declining turnover, and recruitment of 17 doctors to the hospital show the drive and determination of Valley West and Kish Health System.

The Valley West staff demonstrates the hospital’s motto every day-Health.Heart.Home--providing quality healthcare from the heart close to home.


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