Alegent Health Names New Chief Quality Officer

Article Date: Jul 8, 2010
Media Contact: Jodi Hoatson
(402) 343-4514

“Quality is the key to success in the new world of health care” – Richard D. Miller, DO

(OMAHA, Neb.) - Quality is something most consumers take for granted when they go to their doctor, clinic or hospital. They get good “enough” service and may feel better – but they need better information to understand quality according to Richard D. Miller, DO, MHA, FAAFP, a trained family physician who understands quality and will bring his expertise to Alegent Health on August 2, 2010.

“In health care, quality has historically been an extra - now there is a transition from quality projects to the way we embed quality in how we practice medicine,” said Dr. Miller. “The challenge is how do you coordinate all the quality efforts across the system and ensure care is coordinated? For every patient there is a care team, and each clinician and physician plays a role in their experience.”

Dr. Miller comes to Alegent Health from the insurer Wellmark Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa, where his innovative leadership as Medical Director for Collaboration on Quality focused on connecting providers with collaborative and analytic tools that help identify health risk, promote best practices and improve patient care.

In his position at Wellmark, Dr. Miller has had the opportunity to see lots of health systems. Those who succeed, he said, are those who make quality a part of everything they do. That is why he was drawn to Alegent Health. “Alegent has a reputation for quality, and a real concern for the community and people they serve,” said Dr. Miller. 

“Rick’s education and experience, coupled with an enthusiastic spirit, will drive the success of Alegent Health’s quality initiatives into the future,” said Richard A. Hachten II, FACHE, president and CEO of Alegent Health. “I know these efforts will continue to empower employees and physicians to provide high-quality, exceptional patient experiences.”

Dr. Miller brings to the Chief Quality Officer position some very valuable perspectives – that of a family practice physician at Mercy Medical Clinics in Des Moines; an innovator who developed a technology assessment process and online curriculum at institutions in Tennessee; and a change agent who implemented a clinical quality improvement process at Avera Health Plans in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

He describes himself as collaborative and data driven, saying “I like to provide clinicians with all the metrics, trends and data similar to a scoreboard so that they have a big-picture understanding of our progress and where we are heading.” That is something that drew Alegent Health to Dr. Miller.

“Rick is a great fit with Alegent,” said Hachten. He understands our Mission and the goals we have set for ourselves. I am confident he can help us accomplish them while embracing physicians, providers and raising the bar on quality.”

About Alegent Health
Alegent Health is the largest not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare system in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa with 10 hospitals, more than 100 sites of service, over 1,300 physicians on its medical staff and 9,000 employees. Alegent Health is ranked first in the country in quality and patient satisfaction according to the Network for Regional healthcare Improvement (NRHI). That exceptional commitment to providing patient focused care for the body, mind and spirit of every person keeps Alegent Health faithful to its Mission, which was inspired by its sponsors, Catholic Health Initiatives and Immanuel Health Systems. At Alegent Health, patients and their families find a continuum of care, from women's and children's services, primary care, wellness counseling, and senior care to cardiovascular services, orthopaedics, oncology, physical rehabilitation and behavioral health. Alegent Health is online at www.alegent.com.


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