Learning Together

I want to make note of something our leadership team is engaged with in order to listen and learn about the ongoing work of our departments and organization.  I received this update from Donna Isgett about her work last week with the ‘bed board’ team.  Donna is our Vice President of Clinical and Operational Effectiveness, supporting the organization’s continuous improvement effort in quality and safety.  Working directly with the team in ‘bed board, Donna was able to listen, learn and gain a better understanding of the daily work in that department.  I asked Donna for an update about her day.  After speaking with her about the experience, I wanted you to hear about her impressions.

Donna & Brain Board

Donna Isgett and the "bed board" team.



I had a fantastic day with the bed board team on Wednesday, September 30th.  I can best relate their work to that of an air traffic controller.  They were controlling the coming and going of patients in and out of intensive care units, the emergency department and the operating room during a time when we started the morning with limited beds and a census of 371 patients.  Both ladies, Sherill Hanna and Mercedes Little, managed with grace and ease the influx of multiple phones ringing and people standing over their shoulders.  It is certainly not the job for the ‘faint at heart .’   You must be able to multitask under conditions of stress and emotions.

What impressed me during my day, second only to the calm efficiency of Sherill and Mercedes, was the incredible teamwork that existed in this work.  For example, at approximately 9 am, the cardiac team (PCS’s from CCU, CVICU, 7 East plus nursing supervisor) came to the bed board for a daily ‘huddle.’  They talked together about how the day was looking, who was waiting for beds, what was happening in surgery and the cath lab, and how they would work to make sure all patients were cared for in a expeditious and expert way.  It made me smile because I remembered that this very huddle was designed by some of these specific staff members during a Rapid Improvement Event of Operational Effectiveness to make sure we could provide access to the regions cardiac patients that desired and deserved our excellent patient care.

I can not thank this team of Sherill and Mercedes enough for sharing of their time and expertise, allowing me to be an ‘official ‘ bed board team member for the day. They even let me answer the phone a couple of times. Thanks also to the staff in the Physician Access Center that have learned to work seamlessly with their ’sister ‘ department in making the transition for patients from other hospitals easy for both the patient and the medical staff.   Finally, thanks to Judith, the nursing supervisor for being the glue for all that we do.

Donna Isgett

2 Responses to “Learning Together”

  1. Kevin Barron says:

    As a new member of the McLeod team, I participated in orientation on Monday. It was truly impressive (and energizing) to see and hear the enthusiasm with which Donna and her team approach coordination of improvements to CE and OE. It seems to be very comprehensive and collaborative – a great combination. Congratulations to all involved on this project and the 45 others in years past.

  2. Rob Colones says:

    Kevin … Thanks for your note. Donna Isgett, Will McLeod, Cathy Frederick and Susan Pickle are clearly leaders in helping our teams to focus on improvement and service. The answers to our process barriers are there among those working on the team. The methodology of Clinical Effectiveness and Operational Effectiveness supports the process of understanding our work and then improving … stabilize, standardize and improve. We are glad to have you on the team and we look forward to working with you.