MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- Today is National Doctor's Day, and so we went to Dr. Marla Koroly, chief medical officer at Northern Westchester Hospital, for her thoughts.
Daily Voice: How do you define “high-quality medical care?"
Dr. Koroly: Quality is defined as consistently adhering to evidence-based medical standards that are well-documented and proven in practice. New breakthroughs in medicine, technology and surgical approaches are happening at an incredible pace, so medical training must never end.
An important part of my job is to ensure that before Northern Westchester Hospital adopts any new approaches, our medical leaders evaluate the medical evidence and related guidelines to make certain that the new approach is best for our patients.
Daily Voice: Do you ever look to other industries for inspiration?
Dr. Koroly: As a high-volume surgical hospital, we are always looking for ways to improve quality and safety. Some of the best ideas are found outside of health care; for instance, we’ve worked with safety experts from the aviation industry to learn their processes for achieving astoundingly low error rates.
We learned their methods for standardizing safety processes and adapted many key learnings into our procedures. We then brought our entire team of surgeons, anesthesiologists and surgical staff together for rigorous training on our refined approaches. As a result, we earned an “A” safety rating and AARP Magazine reported Northern Westchester Hospital as one of the 66 safest hospitals in America.
Daily Voice: How do you successfully implement improved approaches with a staff of over 700 physicians?
Dr. Koroly: Much of the credit goes to our amazing medical staff. The Hudson Valley is a wonderful place to live, so this area attracts very accomplished medical professionals who are eager to provide the most advanced care possible to our patients.
When our medical leadership has vetted and approved new approaches, my role is to ensure they are applied universally across the hospital, to ensure consistent care from patient to patient.
Daily Voice: How good is good enough?
Dr. Koroly: There is no such thing as good enough. Hospitals must incorporate a philosophy of continuous improvement and always strive to reach a higher standard of care.
While Northern Westchester Hospital consistently ranks in the top 5 percent of hospitals in providing high-quality care, we are always pushing ourselves to reach higher. While this can be tremendously complicated, the support and commitment of our medical staff enables us to continuously provide better care for our patients.
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