On Thursday, NHRMC President & CEO John Gizdic, honored Kim Duggan, the ERAS Program Manager, as our April Employee of Excellence.
It may have been the first time that an NHRMC employee wearing a mask has been presented the award. Even in the midst of a pandemic, though, NHRMC recognizes the need to recognize excellence. Kim’s nominations illustrate the excellence she brings to her job every day and how her work makes a difference in the lives of her patients and their families.
Perhaps Grant Rush, Business Administrator of Surgical Services, said it best: “Kim has revolutionized the way we care for surgical patients. Her patient first approach has helped us provide the highest quality care that focuses on each individual patient first. She helped develop the Surgical Navigation Center that now touches every surgical patient prior to coming in. She always goes above and beyond for her patients.”
And there’s this, from Brandon Hill, Business Director of Surgical Services: “I can't think of anyone who is more dedicated to the mission of NHRMC than Kim. We gave her a job that was to decrease length of stay, decrease provider variation in cost and outcomes, and instead she decided to do the legwork to ensure we were giving each and every patient the very best care possible. There isn't an adjective in the dictionary that embodies that kind of spirit.”
The Surgical Home and ERAS programs have been a shining example of our vision statement. We are leading the industry in surgical home service lines and sharing that knowledge and experience across the nation via Kim's participation in professional organizations, publications, and conferences.
Kim has championed preoperative patient education and optimization through her role in the ERAS program. She's developed multiple education tools, has written protocols to ensure adequate nutrition and hydration to support better surgical outcomes. She is currently looking into ways we can ensure patients have the means to shower and keep themselves clean after discharge to prevent infection.
One of Kim’s recent initiatives was to help the breast program to the outpatient surgical setting. As soon as she was asked to be a part of the program, she started collaborating with our surgeons, our anesthesiologists, our nursing staff, leadership, marketing, oncology, and scheduling to ensure that these patients, that used to stay overnight, had an excellent surgical and recovery experience in the outpatient setting.
She created teaching material and an outpatient breast surgery protocol for our staff and our patients. Kim also helped set appropriate expectations with patients and their loved ones for their surgery and recovery at home.
On the first surgical day, she also met personally with the patients in the surgical facility to ensure they had all of the appropriate information and expectations that they needed as they prepared to go home and recover. Kim understands the importance of recovering at home and how that facilitates a patient's recovery. As if that wasn’t enough, she took the time to call each person and check back in that night to make sure everything was going as planned and to see if they had any questions she could answer. She followed up with the care team after those calls to let everyone know how the patients were doing and, as a true advocate and owner, she identified an opportunity where we could make the process even better for our patients.
Kim continually strives to deliver excellent care, and our organization and our community are better because of her dedication and compassion.