The Productive Ward is a licensed framework designed by the National Health Service in Britain that has been trialled successfully on two St Vincent’s wards (7 East and Rehab in Fitzroy) over the past two years. It is an initiative that focusses on improving ward processes and environments to help health professionals spend more time with their patients. This year, the Productive Ward has been rolled out to a further 22 inpatient areas across our hospital.
Teams involved in the Productive Ward program are empowered to collect and publicly display data about issues they wish to tackle in the workplace. There is now a culture of openly discussing opportunities for improvement during a weekly “huddle” in front of the ward’s “Knowing How We are Doing” board, with all staff, patients and visitors encouraged to attend and problem-solve together.
Collaborating on a Vision Statement is the first step in the framework. Over the past two months, 5 East’s staff have brainstormed, scripted and, with input from patients, voted upon and designed their team Vision. Using their Vision Statement, 5 East staff can regularly ask each other, “Are we working well as a team?” “Are we being efficient and patient-centred?” They can ask patients, “Is our environment supportive, caring and friendly?” The answers to these questions may help determine where to begin collecting data to inform an improvement activity.
5 East staff are certainly focused on getting productive.