The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2010 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

RESPIRATORY PRACTICE TEAM BOOSTS EMPLOYEE MORALE WHILE IMPROVING PATIENT CARE/OUTCOMES AND DECREASING COSTS

Julie A. Colquist, Mary Jane Johnson, Amelia Lowell; Respiratory Care, Mayo Clinic Hospital, Phoenix, AZ

Background: A Respiratory Practice Team was initiated that utilizes the Plan Do Study Act (PDSA)Model to improve Respiratory Care at Mayo Clinic Hospital. The purpose of the team is to improve patient care/outcomes, improve therapist morale, and decrease costs. Method: An educational meeting was held, open to all therapists, to understand how the PDSA Model works. Therapists identify issues/deficits and the group prioritizes them based on the needs and feasibility of the project. After selecting an idea the project is submitted to management to ensure proper support and approval. The PDSA Model is a step by step process that allows for planning, implementing a test, and analyzing the results. Outcomes are compared to the original project goals and changes are made based on what is learned. The circular method allows for changes and improvements to be made before the project is finalized. Results: For the first project, the team implemented a patient safety initiative that utilized standardized trach supply kits to be kept at the bedside. The project resulted in potentially improved patient safety by increasing compliance of having all necessary trach supplies at the bedside. Initial patient audits indicated that supplies were routinely missing (less than 60% compliance). Post implementation audits showed 100% of required supplies were at the bedside. Therapist time taken to gather supplies has been reduced as well as an estimated annual cost savings of $6,720. Even more substantial than the safety and time savings was the unexpected consequence of improved teamwork and morale that this project provided. The team has been educated on a step by step process of improvement that can be utilized in future projects. Volunteer therapists were utilized for the team, resulting in a greater buy-in, improved staff satisfaction, and a feeling of empowerment. A diverse team with different experience levels and backgrounds enables projects to be viewed from different angles resulting in more creative ideas and better prediction of obstacles. Conclusion: In addition to improving patient safety and decreasing costs, creating a Respiratory Practice Team resulted in improved employee morale by empowering therapists to become change agents while utilizing the PDSA Model for Improvement. A team of therapists have spread the word to the department generating a sense of excitement that change can be made. Sponsored Research - None