Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Milestone….or Two

If you were an inpatient at GBMC during fiscal year 2010, which ended on June 30, 2010, you had a 50-50 chance of having someone wash their hands when they walked into your room or when they walked out of your room. In July of 2010, the percentage was 54% and in August of that year, it was 52%....equivalent to a coin toss.

Not anymore. In April of 2013, we achieved a score of 92%! This is a phenomenal accomplishment. In April, all 10 of the measured units achieved at least our annual goal of 83%. Two units, Unit 45 (Oncology) and Unit 57 (Medical Intensive Care Unit) were at 100% when the “secret shoppers” came by!

How did we accomplish this? I’d like to say that it was easy but we all know that it was not. I believe that the improvement started with a recognition that we are washing our hands because the patient deserves that. We now formally reflect on how we would want it to be if it were our loved one in the bed. Our leaders remind us at regular intervals.

Some units are doing daily spot audits and discussing the results at morning and evening huddles. We celebrate the measurements and make the statistics readily available. Handwashing has become much more reliable and our patients are benefiting. We are achieving lower rates of all of our measured hospital-acquired infections.

We should be proud of our work but we should not stop until we hit 100% and then we must maintain our vigilance.

If it was your mother entering hospice?

Readers of this blog know that the people of our fantastic hospice company, Gilchrist Hospice Care, decided that the Medicare requirement that a patient entering hospice be comfortable within 48 hours was too low a bar. They asked themselves if 48 hours in pain would be ok if the patient was their loved one and answered with a resounding “no”.

In 2010 they also understood how hard it was to get to pain relief for a newly admitted patient with all of the steps required so they started redesigning their systems. Since that time, Gilchrist has had an afternoon phone call to check in among other things on all of the patients admitted in the previous 24 hours and to learn why any of them were not comfortable. They have kept score monthly since then (see the run chart below).

In April, Gilchrist achieved perfection on this measure. 100% of newly admitted patients were comfortable within 24 hours! Another phenomenal accomplishment. It did require hard work and good intentions but I am so proud of their problem-solving abilities that led to redesign and  continual improvement. Wonderful work. Thank you.

Annual Employee Wellness and Information Fair / Open Enrollment

Approximately 500 employees, physicians, and volunteers attended yet another successful Employee Wellness and Information Fair last week, learning from more than 40 vendors how they can be "Healthy.Wealthy.and Wise" by improving health and by taking advantage of the resources that are available at GBMC. On a related note, Open Enrollment for health benefits started this week and runs through Friday, May 24. The Open Enrollment guides are located on www.gbmcbenefits.com and on the InfoWeb under HR/Benefits/Benefits Material.  Be sure also to check the list on the InfoWeb of when Information Sessions are being held if you have questions about benefits.

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