Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Everyday innovators show the way at U. Mass.

I hear through the grapevine that my July post about U. Mass Memorial Health Care in Worcester was not well received by some colleagues in Central Massachusetts.  I can certainly understand that, as I did not portray an optimistic prognosis.  I certainly hope to be proven wrong, and recent numbers from that quarter look better, as reported in this story by Lisa Eckelbecker at the Worcester Telegram.

But regardless of how things progress, I want to expand on a passing comment in that blog post, which I meant with all sincerity:

Dr. Dickson, by all accounts, is a thoughtful, honest, and effective leader, with a terrific sense of what it takes to improve hospital work and clinical processes.

Eric writes a marvelous blog--Everyday Innovators--that is documenting many aspects of the process improvement journey occurring at U. Mass.  He celebrates the small and the large, giving special attention to the ideas created by front line staff.  Here's an excerpt from one recent example:

Our first Idea of the Week comes from a team who has taken these principles to heart, the Anti-Coagulation Center staff. After reading an article about how patient perception of quality of care begins in the reception area, team member Pam Burgwinkle, a nurse practitioner and manager of the center, brought the subject up at her team’s idea huddle and collectively they examined some of the topics discussed in the article.

Pam was looking for ideas about how they could demonstrate to patients UMass Memorial’s commitment to patient centered care. As always our care givers had lots of great ideas including ensuring the reading materials are current, adding plants to the reception area and making sure the patient education material is fully stocked.

Finally the team came up with their best idea adding a USB port charging station so our patients can keep their phones charged and provide updates to their family and friends. 

Well done! 

It is out of such engagement and creativity that progress occurs.  There is a leadership and team building example here that has value to hospitals everywhere.

Best of luck to Eric and his team at U. Mass.  I hope and trust you will prove my earlier post to be totally off base!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a nice effort but we in health care talk alot about patient centered care and WE, in our usual prescriptive way, decide what WE think would make a difference to patients. In my opinion there's a distinct difference between patient centered and patient driven care. We need to be more intentional about asking them and including them in improving our services. Would you really want to be sitting in the reception area long enough to have to charge your phone?