The Productive Ward, a program which supports front-line staff to systematically improve their day-to-day processes, has been rolled out across St Vincent’s Hospital inpatient areas in distinct phases. The most recent phase of training was completed in September last year, with staff from seven inpatient areas participating over two full days.
One of the areas in this most recent phase was St Augustine’s, an acute correctional health ward at St Vincent’s Hospital, in Fitzroy.
Staff at St Augustine’s are collecting, displaying and talking about data in four main areas: patient safety, patient experience, staff wellbeing and efficiency of care. Their aim is to improve their everyday processes so that they are able to spend more time caring for their patients.
From the start of their implementation, nursing staff at St Augustine’s identified that one particular incessantly ringing phone was often a time-waster, with a number of calls and messages received in error on this number.
They collected data for 11 days on the type of phone calls received.
They identified that of the 275 phone calls received, 27% were not destined for the nurses answering the phone and needed to be directed elsewhere, a process which can take up to five minutes per call. The data also showed that the vast majority of phone calls were received on a Monday, which also happens to be the busiest workday at St Augustine’s.
Armed with this information, the staff is currently experimenting with solutions to ensure that only the most relevant phone calls come through. They are also considering ways to level the number of incoming phone calls through the week. They will re-audit the incoming calls early this year to see if their changes resulted in improvements.
Good call St Augustine’s.