Mission Reinier de Graaf Hospital (RDGG): Become the Best in the Netherlands. But How?

How does a Dutch hospital become the best?

In 2010 the Delft Reinier de Graaf hospital (RDGG) wrote in their Medical Strategic Policy plan 2010-2016 that they have the vision, and the mission (!) to be the best hospital in the Netherlands by 2016. Such a statement gives me a lot of energy! But, how do they manage this?

Vision: Being the Best Hospital of the Netherlands!

In 2016 the RDGG wants to be the best hospital of the Netherlands. Again in the RDGG year report of 2012 this policy is renewed. Points of attention to become this are quality and security, hospitality, and effectiveness.

This vision gives me personally a lot of energy, because it demonstrates courage: It provides clarity and direction. However, heart and ratio are quite different things. It Is worthwhile the trouble to explore in more detail how one can become the best hospital in the Netherlands. In my opinion 2 elements need clarification:

  1. Content:
    Which aspects do play a role in this process?
  2. Form:
    Which process oriented activities can increase dramatically tot chances of success?

1. Content: Which Aspects Do Play a Role in This Process?

In my opinion aspects that play an important role are:

  1. How is determined what the best hospital of the Netherlands is, and who carries out this measurement, on who’s authority?
    Objective and factual information is essential. The chances on a random result should be a small as possible.
  2. How does this measurement relate to the purpose of a hospital in the community?
    A hospital derives its purpose from its community. Only within this ecosystem a hospital can survive and excel. This determines the context of ‘best’.
  3. What is the relation of the purpose to other players in this field, and other interest groups
    Examples of interest groups are other hospitals, other care providers in this process chain, government, insurance companies, patients and patient organizations, and specialist disciplines.
    Ecosystems, living in symbioses, can grow exuberantly, because 1 plus 1 can become (much more) than 2!

It is important for the hospital to establish that the earlier mentioned points of interest are really the essential points of interest to achieve the said goal in that context. If necessary they should be adapted.

2. Form: Which Process Oriented Activities Can Increase Dramatically the Chances of Success?

The recommended way to check whether the ambition is sufficiently concrete, is that every arbitrary employee knows, what she or he has to change in her or his way of working. This implies answers to questions like:

  1. What is complete picture?
  2. Which role model do they follow?
  3. What specific role has everybody, realizing the vision of ‘The Best Hospital of the Netherlands’?

In short: The situation is rather complex, and there does not seem to be many clues. I advise a pilot, which, when successful, can easily be copied.

Go back to the essence of the hospital, its role in the big picture, and decide on the points you want to excel in (compete) in relation to the other players, and that comply with the ‘function of a hospital’ (compass).

You want some possibilities to consider? Thinks about these suggestions:

  1. Measure in the outside world (outside the hospital) the relative Patient Satisfaction, and also that of the doctors referring them.
    Relative in this context refers to the performance of other bodies in the ecosystem. You want to be slightly better, but not much.
  2. Execute ecosystem management!
    Create your best supporters. They are allowed to vote, or seek other ways to make sure that their voice is heard!
  3. Politics (and all other parties) require the cost are low, or even better, that everybody gets value for money.
    This is a matter of good organizing. Organization is dependent on the first step.

Important conditions:

  1. Make your best man responsible.
    You consider this important, thus you take every precaution to realize this vision, and turn it into a great success.
  2. Choose a representative context.
    Not too small to be put off as unremarkable, and not too large so it cannot succeed. Large enough to serve as a shining example!

Going this way you have exerted yourself to the utmost in order to realize this ambition, and no doubts left: In RDGG will be the best hospital of the Netherlands!

About the Author, Hans Lodder

Hans is a very strong analyst, especially in complex situations with many conflicting interests. He makes problems completely clear, taking into account all interests as well as possible limiting circumstances. This also creates clearness regarding possible future solutions, together with the sustainability of those solutions. Hans is capable of approaching a situation from different viewpoints and different distances, while disabling his own preferences, in a somewhat detached manner. This approach results in first of all businesslike discussions, and do not end in dug in positions and continuous repetitions. Hans pries them loose, and opens new possibilities.

Hans wrote this blog on his own discretion to present his ideas on becoming the best! You can contact Hans Lodder at Results2Match.

Back to top