Huddle up: West Lincoln emergency department launches new system

Huddle up: West Lincoln emergency department launches new system

It’s a new way of managing daily activities in the emergency department at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH).

Staff form a huddle every morning to discuss how they can improve the unit. Everything is on the table as long as it ties to one of Hamilton Health Sciences’ (HHS) four strategic goals of Patients, People, Sustainability, and Research, Innovation and Learning.

This can include resolving issues related to the patient and family experience or providing more learning opportunities to staff. It’s up to individual employees, though, to take the lead on identifying the root cause of the issue and work on the solution with support from leaders and their colleagues.

Continuous Quality Improvement arrives in the ED

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) is a management system designed to standardize processes and empower staff and physicians to solve problems. In essence, it’s about creating a culture of 13,000 problem solvers.

The emergency department at WLMH is the first unit at the site to undergo the change and has seen several visible signs this is a system that works for them.

“We exceeded expectations when we launched CQI,” says Kelly Vaillancourt, clinical manager for the emergency department. “I see a lot of engagement from not only staff in this CQI unit, but from our other units. The huddle board creates opportunities for people to identify issues that affect them and it helps staff see the bigger picture of what’s happening across the entire organization.”

CQI has a big impact throughout the hospital system. More than 1000 improvements have been made since 2016, each one improving the way staff work to deliver patient care.

As a site that recently joined HHS, WLMH sees its share of change. But Vaillancourt says this is a change staff support with great enthusiasm.

A clinical manager posts a CQI opportunity slip on a huddle boardHer team agrees. They’ve waited for something like CQI to come along to help resolve issues.

“CQI gives every single person on our team the opportunity to identify problems and work on the solutions,” says Chelsea Rodriguez, a registered nurse. “We see these issues on the front lines so it’s important for front-line staff to work on the solutions.

“This will help improve patient care.”

Units also take time daily to acknowledge the successes and celebrations of individuals, the team and the hospital.

CQI has rolled out to many clinical and non-clinical units across HHS with the goal of reaching 40 units by 2019.