CHCM Makes the Grade at a Major Academic Medical Center
Unit Practice Councils Lead to Major Improvement
A major academic medical center, ranked number one in a large competitive region and top-ranked, by US News & World Report has achieved exceptional outcomes. This kind of achievement doesn’t happen by accident, and it doesn’t happen overnight.
One of the key drivers to excellence was Relationship-Based Care. (RBC) This academic medical center leveraged RBC as a key component of their professional practice model, investing in proven methods to continuously improve and sustain the work of their Unit Practice Councils.
Their story highlights the extraordinary focus that resulted in significant improvements in clinical outcomes, and increased levels of satisfaction for both patients and their nurses.
Shared governance—essentially a decentralized organizational structure in which Unit Practice Councils are empowered to plan, implement, and evaluate improvement efforts for their unit—is a pre-requisite and central component of professional practice. The concept had been in place since the mid 1990s. But it wasn’t functioning at full advantage—the staff was less than fully engaged, and didn’t take complete ownership of outcomes. Also, the staff wasn’t entirely proficient in interpreting data and measuring outcomes.
In the case of this health system, Unit Practice Councils focused on improved quality, satisfaction and patient outcomes.
- An investment in Relationship-Based Care, an ongoing program that promotes excellence in nursing.
- The implementation of Unit Practice Councils to drive continuous improvement.
- Incorporating best practices in co-worker communication and teamwork, using Manthey’s Commitment to My Co-Workers© behaviors and integrating them into job descriptions and performance evaluations.
- Holding an annual hospital-wide RBC summit during which UPCs celebrate and present measurable outcomes of their work and how they support patient care and the professional practice model.
- A series of experiential learning seminars called Re-igniting the Spirit of Caring, which helps people connect with the meaning of their work, and to discover the best in themselves and share that with others.
Nurse satisfaction went from underperforming to outperforming in four out of five criteria.
Department Outcomes are Equally Impressive
Simply put, our efforts have strengthened relationships, exceeded expectations and more than paid for themselves.