Thanks to recent quality improvement initiatives, staff and patient relationships and staff’s ability to solve problems have improved significantly at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center (BLHC), according to recent surveys. The improvements are the result of the Patient-Centered Care (PCC) program the Labor Management Project (LMP) piloted at BLHC, in close partnership with 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the Committee of Interns and Residents, and the New York State Nurses Association. This year, the project’s labor and management sponsors began expanding the PCC program—including its Performance Improvement (PI) component—across BLHC’s 23 ambulatory clinics.
To evaluate the program’s effectiveness, the PI teams have been measuring three things: patient satisfaction ratings, how well clinic staff kept patients informed about delays during their waits, and how long patients typically wait during visits. Teams used CipherHealth patient satisfaction data (retrieved from automated monthly phone calls made to a sample of HealthFirst patients who visited the clinic) to track improvements in their scores. They then adopted best practices aimed at improving those scores.
Despite a number of near-insurmountable challenges that interfered with Bronx-Lebanon’s PCC ambulatory PI work this year, the teams persevered and made progress. Hospital Union and management leaders gathered this month to hear the results of PI initiatives in the three clinics that comprise the second cohorts implementing the program: Health and Wellness Pulmonary, Third Avenue – MLK, and Tiffany Medical Practice – MLK.
To improve the patient experience, these three clinics offered refreshments for patients during their visit, repaired and improved television programming in wait rooms, provided children with hands-on activities and adults with reading materials, increased signage, and assigned registrars to complete patient pre-registration. While CipherHealth scores remained relatively the same across Cohort 2 in the three areas of focus, gains were seen on a clinic effectiveness survey administered by the teams at the beginning and end of the PI work. That survey found notable improvements in the areas of staff and patient relationships and staff’s ability to solve problems (see chart). The clinics also saw improvements in staff’s ability to resolve conflicts, staff communication, and the quality of teamwork.
At the conclusion of a presentation of the survey results last month, Bronx-Lebanon Ambulatory Programs Assistant Vice President Lionel Stewart provided the teams with words of encouragement. “Administration is here to supply you with the resources to do your job, which is taking care of the patients,” he said. “Essentially, administration works for the frontline staff. You all are our bosses. Your charge is to tell us what needs to be done.”
Stay tuned to Partnership Matters for more reports on this initiative after Bronx-Lebanon launches Cohort 3 this month.
Read more about Bronx-Lebanon’s PCC program here.
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