When Theresa Green, MSN, and Kristin Pritts, DNP, began noticing gaps in the quality and experience data that ambulatory departments receive, they realized there was an opportunity to collaborate more to find efficiencies.
As the director of Carle Experience and nurse manager of Clinical Outcomes, the two focus on different data while working toward the shared goal of improving Carle patients’ experience and outcomes.
“There were many small projects in pockets of the organization impacting safety, quality and experience,” said Green. “We thought that we could all benefit from an opportunity to pull up and look at the initiatives across the organization to identify opportunities to collaborate or scale successful projects that impact patient outcomes.”
As co-leads of the ambulatory quality committee, they decided to start this work in Primary Care as one of the main entry points of care for community members. Involving the right stakeholders on the committee was a key first step as the co-leads began operationalizing things.
“In getting a core group together, our goal is to evaluate current workflow, areas for improvement, and develop action plans to improve the care delivery in the Primary Care setting,” said Pritts. “We created our group to mimic a committee focused on quality and experience outcomes on the inpatient setting and hope we’ll also find success communicating areas of concern to nursing leadership, increasing transparency of data, and bringing forward concerns from nursing staff that are escalated up for resolution.”
Since beginning, the committee has identified several different initiatives that impact the safety, quality and experience of Carle patients. Throughout each initiative the group works to identify, verify and monitor the available data. From there they are able to establish key metrics that can be prioritized and used to improve patient care.
“The more we find opportunities to engage dialog across departments and across initiatives, the more we’ll be able to not only improve outcomes for patients and members, but the more we’ll be able to reduce frustration for staff,” said Green. “Nurses are masters of improvising to ensure we have what we need for our patients. What nurses don’t realize, and that is this can foster some great innovation. If we reach out across departments and service lines, sometimes we find that solution is easier than we think and often mutually beneficial.”