Adirondack Health’s quality care initiative took center stage at national conference
SARANAC LAKE – Adirondack Health stepped into the national spotlight at this year’s Press Ganey National Client Conference. Representatives of Adirondack Health were invited to share the organization’s successful formula for enhancing quality care and best practices.
Linda McClarigan, Adirondack Health Chief Nursing Officer, Noelle Wood, RN, and Breanna Laquay, RN, presented Excellence Every Day: Our Journey detailing Adirondack Health’s utilization of a Patient Care Bundle to enhance the experience of care for patients and their families.
More than 3,000 people attended the November conference in Orlando, Fla., making it an excellent opportunity for Adirondack Health to showcase how a small, rural community health system can excel at providing exceptional patient care. Adirondack Health was one of three health systems chosen to speak out of 160 applicants based on improvements in patient satisfaction scores and the quality initiatives put into place.
Adirondack Health’s Patient Care Bundle is a standardized approach to patient-centered care and the family experience, focusing on the culture of care at every level of the health system.
“As an organization we started looking at our culture, the patient care experience and our staff, and we realized it takes the whole organization becoming involved to achieve success,” said McClarigan. “We took a step back, researched best practices at the bedside, and ultimately created a Patient Care Bundle.”
While processes, programs and scripting are important to providing quality healthcare, it is a culture of excellence and high employee expectations that determine patient experiences and ultimately gain patients’ trust.
As part of the Patient Care Bundle, all staff sign commitment statements to Excellence Every Day and leadership takes an active role in modeling desired behavior. Greater effort is made to showcase and celebrate employee achievements, successes and professional growth throughout the organization. In addition, Shared Governance was introduced to involve staff in the creation and development of bedside processes and policies.
All nurses are cross-trained to work in a variety of patient care settings, which has improved teamwork and productivity. Patients are provided private rooms whenever possible, many with a view of beautiful Lake Colby. The pharmacist role at the bedside was increased, improving patient care through medication education, and communication during the discharge process was enhanced to assure patients were leaving with the proper education and resources.
Proof of the program’s success is evident in Adirondack Health’s patient satisfaction survey results as well as the awards and recognition it has received. The health system consistently meets or exceeds state and national benchmarks, earned a five-star rating for patient experience by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and has been named a “100 Great Community Hospital” two years in a row by Becker’s Hospital Review. The Patient Care Bundle has won two awards and was published in a national nursing magazine.
Adirondack Health continues to grow and spread this highly successful care model across the organization. The Tri-lakes region has a rich history of quality care, and Adirondack Health strives to uphold a culture of healing and caring in which neighbors care for neighbors.
“We are in the process of making the bundle of care multidisciplinary in nature instead of just nursing because it takes everyone in the organization to be successful,” said McClarigan. Starting in 2016, the patient care bundle will be introduced as a part of orientation for all new employees.
McClarigan’s presentation at the Press Ganey conference was extremely well received by peers and conference participants. Wood and Laquay, both Patient Care Bundle champions, were able to add a personal touch to the presentation by sharing patient stories. Their presentation even prompted a Press Ganey “case study” demonstrating the importance of partnership in attaining high patient satisfaction.
Michael Pinto, Press Ganey Associates Account Director, said “Linda and her RNs did a superb job with their presentation at our Small Community & Rural Preconference. They were certainly the best presenters during the preconference.”
Adirondack Health has also received recognition on the state level. The health system was twice nominated by HANYS (Healthcare Association of New York State) for 2015 Pinnacle Awards for Quality and Patient Safety. It was recognized for its precautions to protect patients from infections associated with catheter insertion, maintenance and removal (otherwise known as CAUTIs) and for the decreased percentage of readmissions at Adirondack Medical Center due to an enhanced discharge process.
CAPTION: (Left to right) Breanna Laquay, RN, Linda McClarigan, Adirondack Health CNO, and Noelle Wood, RN, were invited to share Adirondack Health’s success story at the 2015 Press Ganey National Client Conference this November.