Happy and healthy holidays to you all!
We continue to experience high demand for our care, thanks to the skill, expertise and kindness that our patients experience each and every day. To ensure access for the communities we serve, it is essential that we advance patient care in a timely manner when patients are clinically ready to transition. Our mantra is: "the right patient, in the right venue of care, with the right team, at the right time." We launched our Patient Progression Initiative in December, with Phase 1 units implementing new strategies to help achieve this goal.
At the core of Patient Progression is enhancing intra- and inter-professional communication and consistent care teams. We are making great strides with regionalization in collaboration with our colleagues in Patient Access Services. Twice-daily huddles on the inpatient units ensure that the plan of care is reviewed for all patients, and that all team members use this information to maximize their contributions to advancing care.
Patient Progression includes empowering patients and families, ensuring that they contribute to and understand the plan and the role that they play in preparing to assume responsibility for their care. Do they understand their medications, their purpose and when, how and why to take them? Are patients able to pay for their medications? Do they have a follow-up appointment and understand the importance of keeping that appointment? Do they know to bring all medication lists and pill bottles to that appointment? Do they know the signs and symptoms to report and what to do if these symptoms arise, including who to contact and the phone number?
It is our firm belief that when we implement Patient Progression, we will enhance the satisfaction of patients, families and care teams while decreasing length of stay and gaining an additional 16 needed beds on any given day. In addition, if we implement the discharge bundle (post-discharge phone calls to high-risk patients, follow-up appointments made in collaboration with the patient and family, warm hand-offs to skilled facilities and thorough review of medications in our discharge teaching), we can better ensure that patients transition smoothly with the necessary skills to manage their health in the community, and that they do not experience unnecessary readmissions.
I want to thank you, as always, for your energies and efforts in advancing this critically important work. I witness your kindness and compassion every day, and it truly inspires me.
Mark Twain said that, "Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Every day, we are privileged to have the opportunity through a kind act to bring light to someone - a patient, their family or a co-worker. Please continue to email your stories to me regarding the kindness that you have witnessed or received, and I will ensure that they are shared with our broader community.
All the best for a happy and healthy New Year!
With warm regards,
Jackie Somerville, PhD, RN
Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services