Kathy Hutchinson, Freeman Quality Improvement Director
Quality and safety in healthcare are more than just buzz words at Freeman Health System. With safe, high quality care, people function better and enjoy life more. Kathy Hutchinson says her role at Freeman is to ensure an organization-wide commitment to highly reliable, top quality, patient-centered care. Quality in care truly characterizes every aspect of Freeman's vision for the community.
Hutchinson's goal for System Quality Improvement is to meet the needs of the region. "Quality is anything that enhances the product or services from the viewpoint of the patient. In healthcare, our customer is not only the individual patient we serve, but the entire community as well. We work to align our values with community needs."
The quality of care received by patients consistently ranks as a high concern in patient satisfaction surveys. The quality and safety of patient care cannot be assumed. Health systems need a 24-hour-a-day commitment to excellence in healthcare.
A registered respiratory therapist, Hutchinson joined Oak Hill Hospital (now Freeman East) in 1987, assuming her current position in 2002, when the need to positively focus on quality improvement became a top priority at Freeman. Now directing the Quality Improvement, Clinical Data Services, and Education departments, Hutchinson is one of only 7,400 professionals worldwide to achieve Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality designation from the National Association of Healthcare Quality. In 2008, Hutchinson received the Missouri Association of Healthcare Quality Distinguished Quality Professional Award.