I asked a quiz question in the Pharmacy Department while visiting Inova Alexandria Hospital. The question: “Who would you rather have on your team to help solve an issue from your Creative Solution Board, me or Kathleen?” Kathleen Maloney is a Pharmacist and a valued member of the Pharmacy team. The good news is they all passed the quiz by voting for the expert, Kathleen.
This is a double win! The first win of course is that they recognize the true experts are the folks on the front line. The second win is that they felt comfortable expressing their opinions. We like to foster safe spaces at Inova and as I round across the system, I am glad to see so many productive and fun huddle environments. Safe space is the key to progress.
Towards the end of my tour, I paid a visit to the Larisa Golding’s team on Unit 25, IMCU to check out the space for their performance improvement initiatives. In addition to the Creative Solution Board, and the Kensa 5, they have A3’s with their two initiatives – decreasing the door to needle time for stroke patients to 60 minutes and decreasing the average time for internal transfers to less than 60 minutes.
Jalil Bentaleb, RN and Stroke Coordinator, says that in addition to looking at processes that don’t work, they look at all the processes and for ways to improve upon that which is already working just fine. The door to needle time at Alexandria went from 26 steps to 12 steps and is down to 37 minutes. Wow, no wonder the entire IAH Stroke Clinical Effectiveness Team is recognized by so many as one of the leaders and have been asked to present at the International Stroke Conference in Hawaii and at the National Training Institute.
Internal patient transfers were sometimes taking longer than two hours. The staff formed a team involving ICU, Transport and IMCU and they have cut that time in half. Their new goal is 45 minutes.
And my final quiz question, which is better for Inova, spending $1.99 for a Personal Belongings Case and having a happy patient, or risk being responsible for between $2,000 and $5,000 when hearing aids or dentures are lost and having an unhappy patient? Tony Paduano, Patient Representative, and his team knew the right answer and took advantage of the Empowerment Fund to jump start this fabulous idea.
Being a member of the Inova family, means that we look out for each other. It’s not about blaming someone else for missing dentures; it’s about finding a solution together with all involved parties and sustaining that process until a better one comes along. It’s about making the day in the life of a patient more pleasant by creating less waiting time for the next test. It’s about looking at our successful stroke program and not resting on our laurels. It’s about feeling safe enough to say, “Thanks for stopping by, Knox, we got this area covered.” And it’s this trust that I reckon will move the needle and get us to where we need to be. On the top!