|Profile of Excellence: Unit 5-1600 Team Pioneers in Providing ‘Exceptional Care’ to Patients and Families|
|Sunday, June 30 2013|
Note: Throughout the year, we will
be publishing profiles on the winners of our 2012 Board Excellence Awards,
which are presented to employees whose professional and personal standards
exemplify quality patient care, mirroring the medical center’s ICARE values:
integrity, compassion, accountability, respect, and excellence. All told, this
past year, six individuals and four teams received awards.
For their commitment to patient safety and satisfaction, the nursing staff in the Neurology Inpatient Unit (5-1600) received a 2012 Board Excellence Award in the team category.
A key to the team’s success has been their relentless focus on improving communication—both among caregivers and with patients and their families. This goes far beyond the routine communication between residents, attending physicians, and nurses as they hand off care during a shift change, to include hourly “huddles” among nursing staff to review patient status, and regular rounding by nursing staff to check with patients and their families, ensuring that all of their needs are being met. And, at the prodding of the nursing staff, attending physicians now round at a consistent time each morning, so the families can plan to participate. Once daily, too, the unit’s nurses, therapists, social workers, and residents all come together to plan the day and develop comprehensive discharge plans for patients leaving the hospital.
“Our unit is home to one of the most challenging patient populations in the hospital, and delivering timely and effective care requires a multidisciplinary team effort,” said Todd Holmquist, M.D., the medical director of the Neurology Inpatient Unit. “This requires cohesion, leadership, accountability, and—above all—constant communication among providers.”
“The sense of ownership for providing the highest level of care that permeates 5-1600 is driven by the nursing staff,” added Curtis Benesch, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center at Strong Memorial Hospital. “That’s what makes this unit special. They’ve done a remarkable job providing exceptional care and educating patients and their families, and that’s reflected in the team’s high enthusiasm and low staff turn-over.”
A signature accomplishment of the team has been an active effort to reduce falls. Since their patients are primarily recovering stroke victims, and at high risk for accidental slips, the unit—led by nurse manager Shayne Hawkins, R.N.—undertook a detailed assessment, evaluating not only incidence and trends but also the individual circumstances and scenarios that contributed to falls. After taking this close look at the data, the team rolled out a “No Falls Zone” campaign that included measures such as “Call, Don’t Fall” signs over patient’s beds and incremental bed alarms. While the results to date have been impressive—the unit reduced its fall rate by 54 percent in 2012—the team remains committed to improvement. After each incident, huddles form for real-time analysis; the unit distributes “Humpty Dumpty fall reports” to share what lessons can be learned. Other units are now piloting the same strategies.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this team of nurses,” said Robert Holloway, M.D., M.P.H., interim chair of the URMC Department of Neurology. “They are leaders, team players, advocates, and innovators, and all the while they have patients’ and their families’ best interests in minds. They have shown us the way and are champions of patient-centered care in the truest sense.”
For their exceptional care and for their creativity, we were very pleased to present the team with a 2012 Board Excellence Award.
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