The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2010 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

STRATEGIES TO ENHANCE RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS’ PROFESSIONAL SATISFACTION: CLEVELAND CLINIC EXPERIENCE.

Ed Hoisington, Robert L. Chatburn, James K. Stoller; Respiratory Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

BACKGROUND: To ascertain most-wanted improvements in respiratory therapy (RT) processes, The Cleveland Clinic Respiratory Therapy departments held a series of structured meetings facilitated by the Process Improvement (PI) department (Respir Care. 2009;54(11):1568). We describe one measure undertaken from these meetings – conducting a staff survey to assess ways of optimizing RTs’ professional satisfaction. METHODS: The Cleveland Clinic issues a 12-item annual Gallup (Gallup Organization, Omaha, NE) survey yearly to assess institution-wide employee engagement. As a follow-up to this survey, we polled RT staff regarding general satisfaction (Q3 and Q4-2009) and again in Q1-2010 and Q2-2010 (see Table) with a focus on satisfaction with specific types of RT equipment. In the 2009 general survey, RTs were asked to rank which of the 12 survey items were most important to them and first was “Having the necessary equipment to do my job.” The Q1-2010 and Q2-2010 surveys were developed to identify the specific types of equipment most in need of improvement, e.g., ICU ventilators, transport ventilators, and CPAP machines. Response ratings were: no problem, need better equipment, need more equipment, equipment too hard to find, need more supplies, or supplies too hard to find. RESULTS: In the baseline Q3-2009 general satisfaction survey, 50% of RT respondents felt they had the materials and equipment necessary for their job (see Table). By the Q4-2009 survey, scores had risen, with 67% of respondents reporting satisfaction, possibly reflecting a concurrent announcement to purchase new ventilators. Later, in Q1-2010, RT supervisors implemented an “equipment shortage card” on which RTs indicated where and when they could not find specific equipment. Supervisors committed to seeking equipment and prepared an “equipment bulletin,” which located some hard-to-find items. Thereafter, the demand for the equipment has only rarely exceeded the supply and satisfaction has risen in all categories on the Q2-2010 survey. CONCLUSIONS: Focused attention on specific opportunities to enhance RTs’ professional satisfaction can identify actionable solutions to longstanding and widespread challenges. Specifically, in the case of locating equipment, using focused on-line surveys to poll RTs and having a leadership commitment to harvest solutions from the staff and to implement good ideas can produce favorable results. Sponsored Research - None