8 South successfully campaigns for fair treatment – URMC | Directory Mayhem

Efforts to help ESL families adjust to their hospitalizations have yielded far-reaching benefits

Nearly a decade ago, the University of Rochester Medical Center introduced the Unit-Based Performance Plan (UPP), designed to help inpatient units better coordinate their improvement efforts related to patient safety and operational efficiencies.

Now, as hospitals across the country have begun to incorporate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) plans into their standards of care, an inpatient unit at GCH has been doing everything possible to ensure families from historically underrepresented groups receive the highest quality treatment.

Unit 8 South (8S) began this effort in 2021 when the nursing team witnessed families facing additional stress and discomfort during their inpatient stays following surgical procedures.

“Our project started organically. We found that some of our patients and families felt unprepared for their admission and stay at 8 South or had many questions and concerns that our team could have addressed before they came for surgery,” said Amy Keller, Nurse Manager for 8S .

In response, the 8S team developed a comprehensive plan to improve the level of care, including conducting a thorough internal assessment. The assessment included meeting Katherine Greenberg, MD, Associate Director for Equity and Inclusion at URMC, along with Krystle Ellis, DEI Advisor at GCH, to see how they are incorporating best practices to improve health equity and reduce safety disparities be able.

One of the first—and most important—measures the 8S team undertook was to examine the length of stays of patients by race and ethnicity to see if certain demographic groups had different outcomes. This analysis was conducted by Anne Fallon, MD, who leads GCH’s digital health efforts.

“The team found that families with English as a second language had a longer length of stay, which could be due to some delays in sourcing a translator,” said Jan Schriefer, MBA, MSN, Dr.PH, Director of Quality Improvement for GCH and a trainer for multi-unit performance teams.

This data was corroborated by what 8S caregivers were noticing in their interactions with patient families, and the team implemented a comprehensive plan to close this gap in preparation, including inviting a translator to join the team. The 8S care coordinator, members of the care team, and the child’s life specialist also began calling families who planned to stay with 8S in advance after surgery to ensure all their concerns were met. They worked with these families and children to develop strategies and identify cultural preferences and special needs.

“Back then it was more preoperative communication work than usual. This gave the care team much more time to get the interpreter pre-admission and ensure translated patient education materials were in place,” Schriefer said.

Working closely with families to understand their unique needs and preferences in the preoperative period is a prime example of incorporating equity into treatment, Ellis says, because this approach recognizes that not all families come with the same level of comfort in one enter hospital.

Ellis also played a crucial role in building the preoperative toolkit through her questioning and understanding of quality assurance, patient relations and health equity. The toolkit ensures that all families are asked the same questions and the provider is fully informed on how to interpret the answers. “The beauty of this team and their leadership is that they are willing to do whatever they can to create the most equitable environment possible, and before beginning this work they understood that the transformation must first start with the provider. 8 South’s efforts to work with individual families not only help create a great healthcare experience, but also help reduce the level of anxiety and anxiety a family may feel,” said Ellis.

While these efforts initially focused on families who speak English as a second language, universal preoperative collaboration with families helps bridge gaps with underrepresented communities — particularly black families — “due to past mistreatment by health care systems through research experimentation or neglect.” . said Ellis, whose daughter Brooke was a recent 8S surgery patient.

In addition to supporting families through the pre-admission process, 8S also took several additional steps to welcome families from diverse backgrounds. They have integrated a wider selection of personal hygiene hair care products and have worked to ensure that the Spanish translations of existing GCH educational videos are accurate and easy to understand. Catherine Lyndacker, a fourth-year medical student who is fluent in Spanish, was part of the UPP team and helped with the video reviews.

Families have traditionally appreciated going that extra mile. “The feedback we’ve received on this program tailored to 8 South has been extremely positive,” said Keller. “Families have loved the opportunity to be involved in planning and coordinating their care before they come to the hospital.”

The success of these initiatives, Greenberg says, reflects the level of thought and effort that goes into meeting the needs of diverse families.

“The depth of things they noticed as they cared for patients and thought about improving processes—even the more mundane observations—was amazing. They could serve as a model for other units,” she said.

Leave a Comment