City of Hope has conducted rapid improvement events monthly as part of its Accelerating City of Hope Excellence (ACE) program, but employees need not wait for ACE events to come to them.
Recently, an ACE team focused on developing a pilot program called Managing for Daily Improvement in which staff members identify issues and conduct rapid improvement events on a daily basis. Another team developed a working plan for year-round ACE events to improve patients’ experiences.
Wade McNair reports on his team’s improvement efforts. (Photo by p.cunningham)
Teams reported their successes Feb. 24.
Managing for daily improvements
ACE program participants saw how staff members appreciated the improvement process. Inspired, the participants sought opportunities to use the process in their own work areas and establish a system that employees could use on a daily basis to drive improvements large and small.
“After more than two years of ACE events and great employee response, we recognized that we had started to build a community of problem solvers,” said Kimberly Carli, ACE program director of process improvement. “We want to capitalize on this to provide tools to spread the improvement culture, where everyone is empowered to find and fix problems they may see in their areas.”
The ACE team developed a system for using routine staff meetings to uncover and fix problems. The system aims to help staff members make immediate changes or identify which problems may take more time to understand and address.
The Managing for Daily Improvement program will undergo pilot testing in select locations around campus. Each location will have some flexibility in how the system is incorporated, such as setting the schedule for regular meetings and how many staff members need to participate in a problem-solving team for an identified issue.
Infusion clinic improvements
ACE program teams have focused on the outpatient clinics, especially the infusion clinics, in the Geri & Richard Brawerman Ambulatory Care Center since the program began in 2009.
“Our overarching concern was the delay between physician evaluation and actual infusion many patients experience during their scheduled appointments,” said Dan Ross, vice president and chief pharmacy officer. “We identified several rapid improvement events that span across the different groups involved in a patient’s infusion — from registration to blood testing to chemotherapy preparation — that should contribute to an overall improved experience for everyone.”
The next ACE events are scheduled for Mar. 19 through 23. For more information, employees may visit www.coh.org/ACE. Questions about ACE also may be addressed to Tricia Kassab, R.N., B.S.N., M.S., vice president of quality and patient safety, at email@example.com.