In my last diary entry I told you about two of the four new people on our management team -Dr. Osnat Levtzion-Korach and Yuval Adar. Both of them were chosen for their exceptional ability to fill existing positions, succeeding highly valued and qualified members of the HMO team.
Dr. Neomi Siegal and Dr. Gabriel Polliack, the other two new members of our team, were appointed to fill essential needs - Dr. Siegal as Head of Quality Assurance and Strategic Planning and Dr. Polliack as Deputy Director of Hadassah-Ein Kerem. While they have different responsibilities, both view their return to Hadassah through a patient-focused lens.
Dr. Neomi Siegal
Dr. Gaby Polliack
After ten years as a pediatrician, I moved to medical management to influence major issues for a larger audience," Neomi Siegal says. She earned a Master's Degree in Health Administration from Ben-Gurion University and then spent several years at Harvard University where she received Master's Degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government.
Dr. Siegal then applied her combined skills at Maccabi Healthcare Services, where she served as a physician executive in a vast array of roles, culminating as Head of Maccabi's Medical Division Department of Strategy, Planning and Development. "I believe in growing from bottom up. It ensures you never forget your real commitments -commitment to the patients, commitment to the medical staff that provides them with direct care."
"Consequently," she says, "here at Hadassah we have to adapt an even more patient-centered approach. For me," she adds with a smile, "it all boils down to providing an experience a patient like my mother might have. I want her to be able to say that at Hadassah she received the best of medicine but also that she was treated kindly and with utmost attention to her needs."
One of Dr. Siegal's first tasks will be to direct the International Joint Commission accreditation process; a process that is focused on assuring patient safety and quality while developing an organizational culture of continuous improvement. "At the end of the process," says Dr. Siegal, "we will be proud to be accredited and even prouder that we work in an organization that regards patient safety and quality of care among its main concerns.
"As medical specialization has developed over recent years, the same is true of the nursing. This evolution is critical to outstanding patient care." She believes that good medical care and treatment involves a team approach, where nurses play a major role.
Dr. Polliack is already putting some of these practices into action. With extensive credentials in Diagnostic Radiology, based on his training and residency at Hadassah, he decided to broaden his scope to perfect the patient experience, earning a Master's Degree in Health Administration from Ben-Gurion University. He returned to Hadassah with an impressive resume in comprehensive care from his years as head of the Primary Medical Services Division, and Head of the National Services for Maccabi Healthcare Services – and years in the military, as Head of the Medical Branch of the Israel Defense Forces' Medical Corps where he was responsible for the delivery of ambulatory care services among other duties.
"The quality of medicine at Hadassah is amazing, but we need to work harder on how it is delivered," says Dr. Polliack, "especially when it comes to ancillary services. Medical treatment is the most important part in the patient's experience, yet only part of what our patients expect us to provide." He has already begun concentrating on ambulatory services, which involves all outpatient clinics, daycare departments, laboratories and radiology services.
Dr. Polliack believes that communication is the key to effecting change – communication among the staff members involved and communication with the patient. "We have to perceive the patient as a customer who expects service to be delivered as it is in other forms of commerce," he says.
To perfect the patient experience, Dr. Polliack has instituted a series of seminars explaining the LEAN management approach and involving the staff in improving the outcome. They began in the Department of Ophthalmology with a pilot project in the Retina Clinic, the first of eight ophthalmology clinics they have analyzed to change the processes for the patient's benefit.
Although the project is only a few months old, just the other day a patient told me she couldn't believe that she was in and out of Retinal Clinic within two hours, receiving excellent care in a calm and relaxed atmosphere. Clearly the concepts have taken hold.
Both are proud to return to Hadassah where they trained. For Dr. Siegal, returning to Hadassah is a closure. ""It is an honor to rejoin this exceptional institution," she says. "In the short time I have been here, I have encountered so much talent and excellence. But what really moves me is the value-driven attitude of the physicians and nurses. They are committed to their patients and to conducting state-of-the-art research, which they regard as part of their professional identity. It is the best face of medicine."
"During my time in Boston I found a vibrant Jewish world with a deep dedication to our shared past and future. I had to cross the ocean to have this experience and came back empowered by the strength and power of the bond between the Jewish people on both sides of the Atlantic. The Hadassah Medical Center is a shining example of the strength of that bond."
"The quality of medicine at Hadassah is amazing," says Dr. Polliack. "There are greater demands here and people work harder here. Since the physicians are committed to a clinical and research-oriented approach, they provide the most advanced treatment. I believe that together with the talented people here, we will bring Hadassah to even greater heights of excellence in the holistic cycle of patient care – from how their appointments are scheduled to how we treat them when they arrive; through superb medical treatment and a stress-free departure. I sometimes reflect on Hadassah's earliest days bringing healthcare to the community to improve people's lives. I see myself as carrying on that tradition in a 21st-century style rooted in the same values."
Hadassah's reputation for excellence in clinical care and treatment is well deserved. Our entire medical staff is dedicated to providing our patients with the most advanced treatment using the most sophisticated technology.
I wholeheartedly believe that our expanded and experienced management team will ensure that Hadassah's patients and their families benefit from their combined expertise and their patient-centered approach – and together they will raise the Hadassah Medical Organization to even greater heights.
Pictured, from left: Dr. Gaby Polliack, Dr. Osnat Levtzion-Korach, Yuval Adar and Dr. Neomi Siegal