The Words of The ChristianaCare Way
The words of The ChristianaCare Way were carefully chosen because of what they mean, and because of the actions they imply. Learn more about why we chose them:
A “way” is a basic approach to doing things. It is a philosophy. It also can mean a path forward to reach a destination. That destination, for us, is the best possible health care.
As a not-for-profit organization, our primary mission is to serve.
Service is a guiding principle for us at ChristianaCare. We take inspiration from the concept of servant leadership, a philosophy and practice developed by Robert K. Greenleaf that instructs us to lead by focusing on the quality and value of people, and by giving priority attention to the needs of the people we serve. In the context of health care, that means putting patients and their families at the center of everything we do. We are privileged to serve those who have entrusted us with their care.
The word “neighbors” is helpful to us in describing the relationships between the doctors, nurses and other health professionals at ChristianaCare and the people we serve in the community. Very often, we quite literally take care of our neighbors.
But “neighbor” is also a way of treating another person. We take time for our neighbors, and we look out for them. We greet them with a smile and say “hello.” At ChristianaCare, we strive to treat all of our patients and their families as neighbors.
Respect is at the center of any healthy relationship between people. It is the foundation for trust. It permits us to understand each other’s uniqueness. It creates the two-way communication that is necessary for people to help each other, and for doctors and nurses to provide the best care.
As human beings, we all deserve respect. We believe that respect for everyone is essential.
The people whom we serve at ChristianaCare are not just looking for “caring” in their care. They want expertise. A caring neighbor is not the same as a caring, expert physician.
As medical professionals, we take very seriously our responsibility to be experts at what we do. Every one of our patients deserves the best care, and we work tirelessly to stay at the forefront of the medical profession so that we can provide it.
ChristianaCare has a long history of bringing new methods of treatment to our community. But expertise is not only the responsibility of doctors, nurses and front-line staff. Every member of the ChristianaCare team is called to be among the very best.
A common danger among the helping professions—including medicine—is that experts can fall into the habit of telling people what to do. In the fast-paced environment of a hospital or a doctor’s office, doctors and nurses can sometimes forget the importance of respectful, open communication in the rush to make things right quickly.
At ChristianaCare, we are committed to treating every patient as a partner, and to the philosophy of patient and family centered care. Doctors and nurses are experts at providing medical care, but patients and their families are the experts in their own lives. It takes a partnership—both sides working together—to be truly successful.
Health is about more than health care. We provide health care, but health is always our goal. An operation is not successful if the patient’s health is not improved. Prescriptions have no value if they don’t help the patient to get well and stay well.
We know that there are many, complicated factors that contribute to a person’s health. They include environment, family history and personal choices. Much of what determines a person’s health lies outside of health care. But that is never an excuse for focusing our efforts too narrowly. The health of our patients is our goal—nothing less.
Create and Innovate
ChristianaCare is by far the largest health care organization in our community. Our size alone implies a unique responsibility in caring for our neighbors, because what we do creates the standard of care in our community.
This great responsibility gives us a special opportunity to make a great difference. We have the opportunity to design and implement approaches to care that are not only excellent, but that focus on the specific needs of our community. To succeed, we must be creative, and we must be innovative. We must make the best use of the tools of science and research, and we must challenge ourselves to continually ask questions and strive for perfection.
Effective and Affordable
Care that is not effective is worthless. Care that our patients and our community cannot afford is inaccessible. There is no quality health care without accessibility. As citizens in our community, and as the largest private employer in Delaware, we are responsible for making sure health care is both effective and affordable.
Systems of Care
All health care is delivered as part of a system. Well-designed systems of health care delivery enable the care to be more effective, more affordable and more valuable.
Poor designs limit. The best technology and the best expertise lose value if mired in a poorly designed system.
Most of the major advances in quality and safety that we have seen at ChristianaCare over the past decade were not the result of new technology alone, but rather of new systems of care that these technologies spawned. Future improvements in value are most likely to come from improvements in systems of care.
At ChristianaCare, “value” has a specific, formal meaning: Value is making a measurable difference in people’s lives through what we do, in ways that people appreciate and that they and our society can afford.
Our concept of value embodies quality, safety, cost, accessibility, affordability, efficiency, effectiveness and patients’ perceptions. Understanding what is valuable to the health of patients and increasing that value is ChristianaCare’s fundamental strategy of service.