Memorial Healthcare System: A Public System Focusing on Patient- and Family-Centered Care

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Memorial Healthcare System (MHS) has provided public hospital care in South Broward County, Florida, for 56 years. MHS hospitals scored very well on process-of-care measures, not only compared with other publicly owned hospitals but compared with all hospitals. MHS leaders have developed a multifaceted quality and safety strategy that relies on storytelling to convey to staff and patients the type of care they wish to provide. Monitoring and reporting of performance data, combined with careful design of care processes, help the hospital achieve its goals. Staff also receive training and coaching on ways to enhance the quality of care. In addition, hospital leaders’ desire to appeal to privately insured patients, and to keep people healthy before and after hospitalizations, appears to drive improvement. For further information about the public hospital selection process and cross-cutting lessons about their improvement efforts, please see our introduction to the public hospital case study series.


This study was based on publicly available information and self-reported data provided by the case study institution(s). The aim of Commonwealth Fund–sponsored case studies of this type is to identify institutions that have achieved results indicating high performance in a particular area of interest, have undertaken innovations designed to reach higher performance, or exemplify attributes that can foster high performance. The studies are intended to enable other institutions to draw lessons from the studied institutions' experience that will be helpful in their own efforts to become high performers. Even the best-performing organizations may fall short in some areas or make mistakes—emphasizing the need for systematic approaches to improve quality and prevent harm to patients and staff. The Commonwealth Fund is not an accreditor of health care organizations or systems, and the inclusion of an institution in the Fund's case study series is not an endorsement by the Fund for receipt of health care from the institution.