John Culbreath, chair of the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital board, right, calls a special called meeting of the body to order Thursday evening while Dr. Steven Wolinsky looks on. The board met with the medical staff leadership for the purpose of setting a course for quality improvement.
ALBANY, Ga. -- In a unique gathering comprised of the board of directors at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and the hospital's medical staff leadership, an exchange of ideas was put into motion in the hopes of plotting a course for quality improvement.
The two groups met together in a special called meeting of the board at Doublegate Country Club on Thursday evening for a discussion that officials hoped would prompt further talks of that nature down the road.
"It is to mutually set the course, at least for the coming year, in pursuit of a higher quality of care," said Dr. Doug Patten, senior vice president of medical affairs at Phoebe.
This was something that came forth as officials with the hospital strive for Phoebe to become among the top 10 percent of hospitals in the country.
"There continue to be new goals, but as you get closer, it can be harder to get to those last few yards," Patten said.
With the medical executive staff embracing this notion, its contribution to the meeting was to share its plan on how to lead the hospital toward meeting that benchmark while the board also shared its thoughts on how to get there, Patten said.
"We want this to be an interchange," he said just before the meeting.
For this purpose, the body went immediately into closed session after the meeting was opened. No action items were on the board's agenda.
The meeting was held late in the day to allow for a larger number of voices to be heard, Patten said.
"We felt it was important to have as many people here as possible," he said. "It was the best time for everyone."
With the strategies put in place as a result of Thursday's meeting in terms of what it would take to meet quality measures, the foundations are now set to open up ideas for deeper discussion at future board meetings, Patten said.
Patten also noted that while board members and Phoebe's leadership interact with each other on a regular basis, this was the first time so many board members and medical executive staff members had been brought together in such a manner.