theresa larivee

Last month, Kevin Mahoney, the new CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, held a leadership town hall at Pennsylvania Hospital. During his presentation, he discussed the personal experiences that encouraged him to pursue a career in health care, his dynamic vision for Penn’s future, and the variety of market forces that may impact the health system. But given that this month’s issue of What’s New focuses on our commitment to the patient experience, I’d like to delve into what Kevin spoke about regarding this most important area.

Kevin noted that what differentiates us from our competitors is our dedication to providing a reliable and exceptional patient experience. He explained that the measure of a health system is not how many buildings it acquires, but how its staff cares for their patients. But a “reliable” patient experience does not mean that we meet the standards of care and stop there. Rather, we continually aim to meet the individualized needs of each patient who walks through our doors, while also planning for the needs of future patients.

At PAH, we have created comprehensive, state-of-the-art facilities like the Spine Center, Cardiac Rehab, and Crisis Response Center. Our staff are providing convenient access to the latest treatments and therapies, reimagining surgical approaches to shorten lengths of stay and reduce readmissions, fine-tuning pain management protocols to keep opioid prescription rates low, and sharing best practices to improve patient outcomes. As we find new and better ways to conduct research and deliver care, our commitment to keeping “patients first at the nation’s first” is always at the center of our work. 

Kevin cited a quote during his discussion — “A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for” — and I am sure our pioneering founders would agree. Like a ship sailing the open sea and sharing the wonders it finds, Penn Medicine is meant to explore, create, and share knowledge. With Kevin Mahoney at the helm, and Pennsy’s hardworking crew aboard, I am certain that the Penn Medicine Experience will continue to mark us as leaders in our community, our region, and the world.

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