Quality retreat focuses on patient experience

Quality retreat focuses on patient experience

By Melissa Lutz Blouin

On a rainy Saturday in July, about 340 physicians, nurses, administrators and UF Health leaders attended the fourth annual Quality and Patient Safety Retreat, brainstorming about ways to improve the patient experience.

Before the retreat, 130 people participated in a patient shadowing project. They spent time following patients as they navigated the hospital or satellite clinics. The participants then wrote down their observations, and excerpts from these reports appeared on a giant screen throughout the retreat.

Colleen E. Sweeney, R.N., B.S., founder and owner of Sweeney Healthcare Enterprises, discussed her three-year Patient Empathy Project, which found that 96 percent of patients have serious fears about health care.

After her talk, participants examined and voted on the 110 posters created by UF Health employees to showcase quality measures and improvements. First place went to a surgical safety initiative that encouraged team members to have input on patient safety. Second place went to a poster on a patient-centered approach to access in academic medicine, focusing on management of patient phone calls. Third place was a tie. One poster was about nursing use of a screening tool for sepsis recognition, and the second was on a new curriculum incorporating patient safety and quality care into resident education.

In the afternoon, the participants broke into small groups to develop action items to improve the patient experience. Areas of focus included the relationship between caregivers, patients and their families; teamwork and communication across the continuum; the role of leaders in improving the patient experience; and improving teamwork and communication between caregivers.

After the breakout sessions, Zubin Damania, M.D., director of healthcare development for Downtown Project Las Vegas, spoke about ways to develop patient-centric models of health care delivery.

During the last talk, the ideas from the breakout sessions were compiled. At the end of the day, the ideas were presented to larger group, and participants used their smart phones to vote on the actions they felt would be most effective moving forward in each area.

These initiatives will soon be unveiled to staff.