Innovations That Work

    • June 4, 2008

Safe and Reliable Care (Reliability) Care for sick patients who are hospitalized is safe, reliable, effective and equitable.

Safe and reliable care hinges on a culture of safety where people are not just encouraged to work toward change, but to take action whenever necessary. A hospital is able to improve safety only when the leadership is visibly committed to change and when staff is empowered to openly share safety information. Organizations that do not have such an open culture often find staff members unwilling to report adverse events or unsafe conditions because of concerns of reprisal.

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Vitality and Teamwork (Vitality) Effective care teams continually strive for excellence when they work in a joyful and supportive environment that nurtures professional training and career development.

Vitality can be facilitated by formal and informal leadership. Team vitality starts when teams are allowed to work on issues relevant to their success. Effective teams work together and get great results. The mindset of effective teams is that they must act in ways that make excellent work possible, sustainable and satisfying. They are always looking for ways to improve their work. Teams with strong vitality strive to reduce or eliminate blame, name-calling, cynicism, rework, conflict and apathy. Developing and implementing a process for improving care and teamwork greatly increases team vitality by improving how the team acts and interacts.

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Patient-Centered Care (Patient Centeredness) Truly patient-centered care on medical and surgical units honors the whole person and family, respects individual values and choices and ensures continuity of care. Patients will say, "They give me exactly the help I want and need exactly when I want and need it." Patient- and family-centered care is essential to cultivating partnerships at the bedside in decision-making, healing relationships and individual patient/professional interactions. Key aspects of patient- and family-centered care include health care practitioners listening to and honoring patient and family perspectives and choices, including beliefs and cultural backgrounds. Sharing complete, unbiased information between health care providers and patients and families should be affirming and useful. Encouraging patients and families to participate in care and decision-making is important.

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Value-Added Processes (Lean) All care processes are free of waste and promote continuous flow.

Developing lean operations requires distinguishing value-added and nonvalue-added steps in every process. Commitment to a lean organization must begin with leadership and become a part of a culture that is receptive to and rewards lean ideas. Staff should be involved in helping to redesign processes to improve flow and reduce waste.

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