Round and Round We Go
Today I want to give you an update on Leadership Rounds. I've written about this activity a couple of times. Part of our clinical quality improvement efforts, it's a monthly gathering in which more than 100 leaders fan out in small groups across the organization to check in with staff.
When it began about 18 months ago, Leadership Rounds was on the first Tuesday of each month and was limited to the hospitals. Since then, we've added night and weekend rounds and extended the coverage to ambulatory areas and even to the shuttle buses during peak commute times.
Even in the wee hours of the morning, we've had strong participation from our leaders, who include everyone from chairs of clinical departments to deans to business administrators.
Through my own experience I can confirm that Leadership Rounds has turned into one of our very best forms of communication. As time has passed, staff have become more and more comfortable opening up and sharing their thoughts and experiences.
Key questions we want to answer during these excursions:Â What are the things that may be getting in the way of you doing your job?Â How can we enhance your experience and, by extension, the experience of our patients?Â
As much as anyone else who participates in these rounds, I am acutely aware that we have to be relevant to staff members. We're intruding on your day, and in some cases at the very start of your day. If you tell us about an issue that needs attention, then it's critical that we are responsive within a reasonable amount of time and that change happens.
That's why I'm so encouraged that we are seeing progress in a number of areas that are frequently mentioned by staff as concerns. They include:
- Enhanced security presence in vulnerable areas on the main campus and its perimeter. These measures include placement of panic buttons and security officers in clinical areas.
- More housekeeping support at peak times to speed up room turnover. For example, a new discharge operations manager is overseeing the patient discharge process and new employees have been added to clean discharged patient rooms during busy periods.
- Better support for distribution of supplies and linens, particularly during weekends.
- Improved clinical coverage, especially during non-peak times, to make sure patients receiveÂ tests and proceduresÂ in a timely manner.
We also recognize there's more work to be done. Communication and coordination of care among clinical disciplines, staffing levels in certain areas, and the availability of equipment and instruments continue to be focus areas for improvement.
To read more about Leadership Rounds, visit the clinical intranetÂ and check out the first issue of a quarterly newsletter devoted to this activity. While you're there, explore the latest iteration of our quality and patient safety scores and take the quiz to test your knowledge of our clinical quality.
All in all, I feel we are on the right track and are making progress in our journey to becoming a high reliability organization. I commend our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Michael Henderson, and his staff for organizing Leadership Rounds, which is a big undertaking, as well as all the participants, and all of you who are welcoming us into your world and sharing your experiences in our quest to make A Healthier Mississippi.