Gwinnett Medical Center: Healthier Decision-Making Steers Hospital Board
Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC) is a 553-bed, not-forprofit healthcare network that provides a wide array of high-quality services and facilities around the Atlanta area. With approximately 4,800 employees and 800 affiliated physicians, GMC has repeatedly received national recognition for clinical excellence, ranking in the top five percent in the United States for clinical quality.
The medical center has one main board and eight committees for a total of 27 end users and five administrators. David McCleskey has served on the main board of GMC since 2004 and has been chairman since 2010. A hallmark of his tenure: McCleskey spearheaded technological improvements to enable more effective decision-making, thus impacting the development of quality policies.
The healthcare industry thrives on innovation. From electronic health records to state-of-the-art medical devices, technology has greatly improved the quality of care in both administrative and clinical environments. Yet there was one area within GMC David McCleskey saw as lagging: the boardroom. GMC’s board, like many others across industries, leaned on paper-based processes that were time-consuming and slowed policy-making.
McCleskey described how the distribution of board materials was handled: “On Thursday afternoon, a courier would arrive at my door with about five pounds of paper. Just wading through it slows your ability to hone in on what’s important for policy creation.” When there were inevitable updates, McCleskey found himself short of the time needed for digesting new information. McCleskey sought a solution that would help his board become faster, more efficient and more reliable when it came to policy creation.
McCleskey was aware that digital options were available for the creation and distribution of board materials. He and his colleagues investigated the top players in the field and found Diligent Boards™, a secure board portal solution. Ultimately, the choice came down to two providers, but Diligent was deemed more user-friendly. Importantly, the company’s service standard stood out.
“Knowing that we needed to initiate focused training to quickly address a learning curve, I recognized Diligent’s personalized investment in our team up-front,” said McCleskey. “That engagement was a distinguishing feature and indicated that the Diligent team would continue their personal service commitment in the future as we became confident end users.”
The Diligent team provided one-on-one tutorials with each GMC board member. Uptake of the technology was nearly instantaneous, and the GMC board went completely paperless. “Now, with Diligent Boards, we see time as variable instead of as a fixed agent,” said McCleskey.
The Diligent Boards solution turns data into information, information into insights and insights into solid policy for GMC. “Handing someone an iPad with the solution on it isn’t like handing them a pen, it’s like handing them an idea,” McCleskey noted.
With the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) now law, medical facilities need even more efficient operations. The Diligent Boards solution saves time and enables better access to information around regulatory changes. PPACA is driving new requirements for communication between legislative bodies and medical boards. The portal solution enables seamless information sharing. “It’s more than a tool. Diligent is part of doing business effectively,” said McCleskey
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