Thursday, July 2, 2015

Glass Ampules

We need more “both/and” solutions.

Everyone knows that serving the community’s healthcare needs and staying within GBMC HealthCare’s budget can be a challenge. We have committed to driving waste out of our care (it is one of our four Aims) because we owe it to the community and everyone’s loved ones to not squander their money. So it should not be surprising to anyone that when our pharmacists pointed out that we could save $50,000 annually by switching from pre-packaged Dilaudid syringes to Dilaudid ampules where nurses would have to break the ampule and draw the medication up in a syringe, that our leaders thought that this was a reasonable idea. But in the last year, a small number of our colleagues have gotten lacerations from breaking ampules. Adding more joy to our work is another one of our Aims (and we have significantly reduced employee injuries over the last two years by studying their causes and rooting them out). Certainly if our nursing staff is at higher risk for finger lacerations they are not going to be happier on the job or feeling more respected by our leaders. I think we may have fallen into an “either/or” trap. Either we would save money or we would keep our nurses safe.

While some argued that a few minor lacerations were not a big deal and that there were safe ways to break open the ampules, we reversed the decision and have gone back to using the syringes to keep our staff safe. But we still need to look for ways to both reduce waste and keep our staff safe. We must do more “both/and” thinking and not fall into the trap of either/or. I have asked my colleagues in surgical services to look for sources of waste to eliminate that won’t put our staff at risk.

What waste reduction ideas do you have? Please share them with us.

Recognition for Outstanding Care

Congratulations are in order this week for the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Comprehensive Breast Care Center and its staff, who under the direction of Dr. Lauren Schnaper, have once again earned a three-year full accreditation as a center of excellence from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons.  Re-accreditation is given to health facilities that meet specific NAPBC-developed practice guidelines and technical standards, following a rigorous evaluation and review of its performance and compliance with industry standards. This designation is an honor and reflects GBMC’s ongoing commitment to excellence in cancer care.

Finally, I want to wish everyone in our GBMC family a safe and happy Independence Day. July 4th marks the birthday of our great country…the land of the free and the home of the brave. Let's take some time to reflect on what we can each do to make our country even better than it is today.

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