Two programs aimed at increasing patient satisfaction and improving the quality of care at Norman Regional Health System were honored with Jerry D. Leu MD Healthcare Excellence Awards. The winners were the Frontline Clinician Leadership Program, an initiative that puts decision making into the hands of surgical staff, and the Cardiovascular Outcomes Improvement Project, which improved the hospital’s outcomes in heart-related care.
The Frontline Clinician Leadership Program has also garnered national attention, and a paper detailing the program and its results will be published in nursing magazine, OR Nurse, in March. This is the second year of the leadership program and it has lead to increased surgeon satisfaction, reduced surgical supply costs, faster room turnovers between procedures and overall improved financial cost savings, said Jeff Barlow, RN, author of the paper.
“Autonomy, front-line staff decision making, and ownership all play a key role on the retention and recruitment of nursing staff,” Barlow said. “This steers them away from shift-workers mentality, and brings them to a new level of personal growth and potential fulfillment.”
The program is not only for nurses but also certified surgical technologists as well. The program gives the front-line clinicians (those in the Operating Room) the resources they need to work as a team and to individualize patient care. Barlow said Norman Regional is one of the first hospitals to explore this self-governance and transformational leadership approach and implement it within surgical services.
Barlow served as the team leader and other participants were: Garry Crawford, Mike Foli, Nancy Jones, Vicki Ramsey, Michael “Red” Moody, Erin Baker, J Phillips, Natasha Williams, Jeremy Podany, Sarah Wheeler, Karen Arduine, Karen Brown, Jennifer Findley, Bethany Stroud, Bonnie Campbell, Brian Teal and Susan Bolz.
The Cardiovascular Improvement Project faced a challenge and met it head on with education, process changes and more. Norman Regional’s Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at the HealthPlex Campus has only been in existence for two years, and already has moved facilities and equipment and brought together nurses from different areas of the health system, said Amy Baden, RN, team leader of this program.
Through education, for both employees and patients, the unit saw an improvement in patient satisfaction and outcomes. They split the original unit into two specialized areas of care, which helped nurses and staff easily indentify a patient’s level of acuity. Also simple changes, such as altering the time when charge nurses and unit secretaries/assistants began their shifts improved the overall patient experience.
In addition to Baden, other contributors were: Dr. Kyle Toal, Dr. Mark Camp, Dr. Rebecca Eagle, Laura Velez, Stephen Allen, Susie Kimberling, Bonnie Rainbow, Tom Gremling, Sheela McKenzie, Amanda Orr, Amanda Boyer, Janet Lawson, Rhonda Flowers, Stefan Nowlin, Lisa Hill, Jacque Ragan, Jan Miller, Allie DeYoe, Barbretta Chambers, Kelly White, Debbie Shipman and Penney Rinderknecht.
Norman Regional established the annual Jerry D. Leu, MD Healthcare Excellence Award to honor teams dedicated to quality improvements, increased customer satisfaction and/or cost reduction. Dr. Leu was a member of the medical staff for more than 35 years. He exemplified Norman Regional’s mission to provide quality, compassionate care to our patients, and to improving processes.