The Productive Ward program is currently being implemented in 24 inpatient areas throughout our hospital. It is a framework that focusses on increasing the amount of time ward staff spend with patients. Its success relies upon front-line staff regularly gathering data and using this information to experiment with new processes and ward layouts. Further data is then analysed to determine if the changes resulted in an improvement.
Wards publicly display information on four distinct domains: patient safety and reliability of care, patient experience, staff wellbeing and efficiency of care. This data is usually located in a high traffic area on the ward so that patients, visitors and staff can be up to date with the latest performance, celebrations and problem-solving efforts.
At the ward’s weekly “huddle,” staff and visitors gather for 15 minutes to discuss survey results, ward safety data and patient feedback. This meeting is the key to understanding opportunities for improvement, deciding on actions and is also a place for celebration.
On 4 East, one of the targets is the number of patients discharged by 10 am. The aim is to reduce patient waiting time, both for those who are ready to leave the ward, as well as for patients elsewhere who are ready for admission. Only a few months ago, 9% of 4 East patients were discharged by 10am. At a recent huddle, 4 East celebrated reaching 62%. This improvement is attributed to weekly problem-solving at the huddle, as well as awarding gold stars to recognise the achievements of the ward and of individuals.
Here, we see 4 East’s Knowing How We are Doing board, filled with current and easily understood data. Sally, the Nurse Unit Manager, is reading aloud a thank you card from a patient. The discussion at this huddle is so valuable – gold stars all around!