Recognized as a national leader in quality and patient safety, Memorial Hermann rigorously measures patient safety and other clinical indicators to ensure we are exceeding current standards and setting new benchmarks for quality. We want all of our patients and their families to feel confident in choosing Memorial Hermann as their health care provider.
Memorial Hermann Health System remains dedicated to caring for patients and providing the best possible outcomes. This commitment means we embrace evidence-based practice to ensure each patient is treated in an appropriate manner. What matters most to patients is receiving personalized care that returns them to health while preventing avoidable harm or complications.
Teamwork and accountability are essential components of safe practice. At Memorial Hermann, we provide our employees and medical staff with specialized training and tools designed to deliver safe care. Additionally, the care we provide is supported by the latest, evidence-based research, the most current medical knowledge and advanced state-of-the-art technology, utilized by our skilled and experienced staff.
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At Memorial Hermann, we have taken major steps to build a system of care that aims to ensure timely, accurate, safe and effective treatments. Our 26,000 employees and over 5,500 affiliated medical staff physicians strive to create a high-reliability culture that fosters and supports patient safety as a core value.
Committed to delivering the best possible clinical care to our patients, we benchmark and measure our performance against other hospitals across the country. Memorial Hermann leaders evaluate quality and patient safety based on process and outcomes data. Every day, in real time, hospital leaders track data that reflects ongoing process reliability. We rigorously measure quality and patient safety in our drive to deliver exceptional patient outcomes.
At Memorial Hermann, we work continuously to improve upon the quality and safety of the care we deliver by finding the critical interventions that protect patients from harm. Memorial Hermann employees and affiliated physicians undergo extensive training in methods and behaviors proven to improve safety and prevent harm. We are also catching and preventing critical omissions and errors before they can harm a patient by incorporating evidence-based medicine and nationally recognized risk-prevention processes.
Some awards are based on reputation. Others are based on clinical outcomes readily available from public data sources, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services through Hospital Compare. This consumer-oriented website provides information on how well hospitals deliver recommended care to their patients. We believe that recognition that rests on measures of an organization's overall performance—patient outcomes and satisfaction, operational efficiency, physician performance, patient safety and financial stability—is the true validation of quality.
Leaders at Memorial Hermann have created a culture of safety that begins at the board level and extends throughout the organization. In 2006, we implemented safety behaviors that provide training and tools to employees to perform tasks in a safe, highly reliable manner. This enhanced knowledge provided the foundation to begin a journey to become a high-reliability organization (HRO) in 2009. Practicing the principles of high reliability that engineers and experts from nuclear power, commercial aviation, naval aviation and other HROs deploy, we train our employees to perform tasks in a safe and highly reliable manner.
At Memorial Hermann, safety is everyone's responsibility. To recognize high-reliability behavior, we created the Memorial Hermann High Reliability Certified Zero Award for hospitals that go 12 consecutive months or longer without preventable adverse events in federally defined categories. We call the award "certified" because these results are formally certified in monthly reports to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Since the program started in 2011, Memorial Hermann hospitals have earned more than 339 Certified Zero Awards for avoiding hospital-acquired infections and other conditions.
Heightened attention to detail means employees are more likely to detect subtle variances in complex situations. The cornerstone of our performance improvement efforts encourages employees to think critically, communicate openly, ask questions and consider alternatives—behaviors that foster collaboration and reduce errors. To sustain our performance improvement gains, employees are reminded continuously of high-reliability techniques and nationally recognized actions that prevent patient harm and support quality care. Leaders, staff and physicians compare monthly outcomes to goals set at 100% for quality measure performance and 0 percent for preventable harm.
The result is safer, more coordinated care that leads to better clinical outcomes and reduces costs for employers, consumers and society. Our clinically integrated physician network the Memorial Hermann Physician Network (MHMD) delivers the best value for our patients, who also benefit from our longstanding affiliation with McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), whose world-renowned specialists bring leading-edge research from the lab to the bedside.
When we embarked on our HRO journey, our goals were 100% compliance with evidence-based quality measures and a 0 percent incidence of preventable patient harm—a major opportunity for a system the size of Memorial Hermann. We operate more than 320 care delivery sites, including acute care hospitals, specialty institutes, rehabilitation hospitals, and ambulatory surgical centers. We count more than 26,000 employees and over 5,500 affiliated physicians who provide 907,600 days of inpatient care for 174,650 patients annually.
A disciplined approach and an aligned organizational structure have ensured the ongoing emphasis of our performance improvement efforts. Our outcomes focus is determined annually by the Memorial Hermann Health System board and senior leadership, and defined in our system strategy, which is tied to our vision and mission, and backed by specific goals and measures. Outcomes are tied to goals, and performance improvement is developed and executed as close to the bedside as possible.
Results are reported up through Monthly Operating Review (MOR) meetings, giving leadership the opportunity to aid in process streamlining and execution. Our system leaders and facility leaders form action plans for every variance across our entire health system. Each of our facilities organizes performance measures into a dashboard showing results against target goals, and action plans are developed for performance that does not meet goals. Our board reviews quality and patient safety results quarterly through the System Quality Committee, giving top leadership ownership for quality, patient safety and clinical care alongside those who work at the bedside.
Memorial Hermann Physician Network (MHMD) is leading the transformation of medical practice in collaboration with patients, payers and caregivers through the use of evidence-based medicine. With more than 3,500 physicians, the group has established a culture of physician accountability, and creates and deploys new models of care that are improving the quality, safety and cost efficiency of the care we provide. The Clinical Programs Committee structure is the means by which Memorial Hermann Health System addresses clinical practices and standards of performance. Their development of protocols, guidelines, order sets, and quality metrics form the basis of performance improvement initiatives and quality-based contracting.