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Fort Worth's new thoroughfare plan aims for more variety in street design

Fort Worth is launching a review of its master thoroughfare plan aimed at accommodating continued suburban growth and central city redevelopment with a greater variety of streets and more efficient traffic flow.

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Holt Hickman, businessman who helped preserve Stockyards, dies at 82

Longtime Fort Worth businessman, philanthropist and preservationist Holt Hickman died Nov. 15, 2014, at the age of 82.

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UPDATE: Could American Airlines move its headquarters?

A key linchpin in the Fort Worth economy, American Airlines Group Inc., is considering sites for a new headquarters, possibly outside the city, the airline’s CEO said this morning.

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Crestwood area hoping to block planned office building

Residents of West Fort Worth’s Crestwood Association are trying to block the rezoning of a small apartment complex at White Settlement Road and North Bailey Avenue to make way for a planned office building, saying it would represent the start of commercial encroachment into their neighborhood.

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Tiger Woods takes a swing at Fort Worth's Dan Jenkins - in print anyway

Rarely does Golf Digest make the news. Leave it to Dan Jenkins to change that.

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Michael Williams: The hospital of tomorrow

 

Carolyn Poirot
cpoirot@bizpress.net

Hospitals all talk about patient-centered medical care, but Dr. Michael Williams says they have never really focused on patients, and that’s a big problem.
“To me, no hospital is really focused on patients – in their mantras and mottos, maybe, but patients have never been the real focus of how we operate hospitals. The focus has always been about the success of the health care organization.” Williams said.
And, he says, that’s what he told the presidents and CEOs of a dozen of the most prestigious hospitals in the country when editors of U.S. News and World Report asked their newly appointed Hospital of Tomorrow advisory council, “What keeps you up, awake at night?”
“We went around the table, and I was the last of the nine or 10 people to answer, but I was the first to even mention patients,” Williams said following the first meeting of the Hospital of Tomorrow advisory council, which includes the presidents of the Cleveland Clinic, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Duke University Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Williams, among others.
Williams is interim president of the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth and former CEO of Hill Country Memorial Hospital, an 88-bed general hospital in Fredericksburg.
“Heath care has never been about patients and their families,” said Williams, a board-certified anesthesiologist. “Too often physicians think their needs and considerations should be first, but we are partners in care. Patients are the customers, and they should be first.”
At Hill Country Memorial, Williams served on the board for five years before quitting the board and his medical practice to become CEO in 2008. There, he said, he “tried to change the focus from the traditional focus on financial operations and appealing to the physician staff to truly making it about the patients and their families.”
The idea was to operate the hospital as a business with patients as the all-important customers. The goal was to move from a provider-centered, cost-based focus to a patient-centered, value-based system, he said.
To help with that transition, Hill Country Memorial provided staff training from well-run businesses with the values the hospital sought already imbedded in their organizations: Southwest Airlines for employee satisfaction – “a value-centered culture where people want to work so we can attract and retain the best talent and give the best care to our patients;” Zappos for emotional engagement with their customers and “amazing customer service;” Toyota for value realignment, and the Ritz Carlton for hotel amenities because, Williams said, “A hospital is a hotel for sick people.”
Little things – landscaping to provide more curb-side appeal when patients and their families drive up; a greeter in a golf cart who offers a ride and a cold bottle of water to each new arrival – began to add up.
“We wanted our customers – patients and their families – to have a good experience from the time they parked their cars to when they walked out the door and got their bills, the whole comprehensive process,” Williams said.
The most important factor in a “good hospital experience” is, first, to eliminate all preventable harm – take an active role in dealing with patients and their families, and take particular care with patients who have had an adverse outcome, no matter who was at fault, Williams said.
He introduced “Chasing Zero,” a program to eliminate preventable harm, including mix-ups, wrong medications, wrong treatments, accidents and bad decisions even if they were made with the best of intentions.
“We brought in patients to help us identify preventable harm,” Williams said. “At first everyone thought I was crazy. Our malpractice lawyers were very apprehensive about the whole idea when I said we should include patients and board members on our quality control committees and be willing to admit, ‘it looks like we screwed up here.’”
However, the idea was extremely appealing to patients and their families. Hill Country Memorial went from three or four lawsuits a year to zero last year.
That’s the kind of experience Williams says he will take to the advisory council, which will present a national forum in Washington, D.C., in November to address critical challenges facing the health care industry, spotlight pioneering strategies and create 
solutions.
 

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