Collierville, Tennessee (PRWEB) September 08, 2013
Patient-centered care, quality, and safety will be the focus of this year’s annual meeting of the American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) to be held in Atlanta in mid-September. With more than 11,000 radiation oncologists and others from around the world expected to attend, the Memorial Cancer Institute has been invited to showcase their success in implementing crew resource management (CRM) principles to improve patient safety and efficiency. To guide this effort which began in autumn 2009, the Memorial Cancer Institute enlisted the support of LifeWings Partners, LLC, a consulting group with considerable experience in helping hospitals implement CRM.
The development of tools emphasizing teamwork and communication, cross-checking, and routinizing specific protocols was central to Memorial Cancer Institute’s successful patient safety efforts. Among the safety tools developed were morning rounds and huddles, an updated LINAC (Linear Accelerator) treatment guide, structured patient handoffs, and a formalized debriefing process. The morning rounds and morning huddle, two communications tools that some have called the “secret sauce” of CRM success at Memorial, are highlighted here.
Angela Babbo, M.D., radiation oncologist explains that each day begins with morning rounds at 8:15. The department leadership team comes together to review the previous day’s patient treatments, discuss today’s cases in terms of planning, authorizations, and dosimetry, and to determine specific care assignments. Dr. Babbo elaborates, “I’ve never seen rounds done exactly this way where everybody gets together. Every discipline is in the room: the doctor, the nurses, someone from physics, someone from dosimetry – even the social workers and dieticians attend the morning rounds. This facilitates communication across the disciplines and reinforces that we are operating as a team. Because we talk together about the patients we’ll see that day, we all get to know all the patients, not just the ones for which we are primarily responsible. This is remarkable, considering how many patients we see here.”
Information from morning rounds is brought forward to the 9:00 staff morning huddle, where treatment planning, equipment and procedure planning, and simulation planning are reviewed. Lead Radiation Therapist Norali Diaz explains, “We note who is out of the office, times when doctors are available, ensure we have coverage for every position needed for a certain procedure. We review the LINAC machine and other equipment to make sure all is ready. We review inpatient cases and the daily schedule and we document patient treatment breaks. Video on integrating LifeWings http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyhbQsPcPDU
Richard Doss of LifeWings notes, “The crew resource tools implemented at Memorial have really changed the culture to emphasize patient safety, and even PRN staff are completely familiar with all standardized procedures and protocols.”
LifeWings Partners, LLC has improved the performance of over 140 hospitals worldwide, creating documented, sustainable improvements in efficiency, reliability, safety, and quality. Visit http://www.saferpatients.com or https://www.facebook.com/LifeWingsSaferPatients or follow on Twitter @LifeWingsLLC.