Quality Initiative Aims to Increase Communication, Identify Mortality Patterns

May 17, 2018
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A new quality initiative at NHRMC is designed to increase communication, awareness, and identify ways to help improve care for patients and their families.

Beginning April 2, a group of administrators, clinical leaders and floor managers began meeting every Monday to review patient deaths during the previous week.

The honest discussions focus on processes of care around the patient and family with a goal to identify areas of improvement.

In selecting the patient cases to present to the group, clinical outcomes managers focus on whether the care we delivered would be good enough for our own families.

The conferences are part of the focus on quality in NHRMC’s Strategic Plan, and are in line with Lean methodology of plan, do, study and act. The purpose isn’t to point fingers, but to look for patterns that could point to changing a process.

The case reviews have already led to discussions about initiating conversations about hospice or palliative care earlier, perhaps even before patients with chronic conditions reach the hospital setting. Presenting those options to patients and their families can empower them to make informed decisions about their goals and their care.

A system issue with a specialty bed was also identified – the rental bed will be replaced with a different product that is more user-friendly for the caregivers and easier to safely move the patient to a procedure.

Because the mortality conferences are just beginning, some of the details are still evolving. And organizers eventually want to find a way to include more physicians and staff nurses who are on the front lines taking care of patients.

While the specifics may change, teams will continue to begin each week with a timely discussion about real patient outcomes.