Northwest Health Fall 2011

In My View

We're Working to Improve Group Health for You

We've made improvements throughout Group Health with benefits that our members and patients are really noticing.

Go to: Northwest Health Index

Scott ArmstrongIn an organization as big and complex as Group Health, making changes can be challenging, and for some, it's more than a little scary. But over the last few years, our staff has been fearless in tackling projects — big and small — to dramatically change the health-care-as-usual culture. In doing so, they've made remarkable improvements across Group Health with benefits that our members and patients are really noticing.

How so? Months ago, some of you might have waited a half hour or longer to pick up a prescription from one of our larger pharmacies. Now you're almost always on your way within a few minutes. Need your flu vaccine? At Group Health Medical Centers you no longer have to wait for a special "flu clinic." Flu vaccines are offered Monday through Friday during regular office hours. There have been dozens and dozens of staff-inspired changes that result in improvements like these. And I'm pleased that we're sharing a few of them in this issue of Northwest Health.

As I work with many of my nearly 10,000 colleagues at Group Health, it's easy to see how much we've achieved in the last few years. Over and over, I've been witness to the deep commitment that our people have to our patients, better health, and the innovative mission of the organization. Our convictions are bringing us closer together, building team spirit, and inspiring a sense of pride that comes from solving problems that make a difference in so many people's lives.

On the management side, we've been working to give our staff the tools and training they need to effect change, and to make sure we all focus on how well our patients are served.

We know we still have plenty of problems and big challenges to solve. But in our emerging culture, problems are opportunities. That's a very different attitude. We know we're not perfect, but we're determined to continually ask "what's next" for our members and patients. A lot of great projects are in the works even as I write this.

What's next? Stay tuned.

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