May 30: Discharge Tool
Today, I was up on the sixth floor and happened to have the opportunity to witness one of our teams engaged in the newly redesigned throughput process at Banner Good Samaritan. Thanks to the expertise of many leaders, including Darren McCollem, Director of Clinical Operations; Dr. Galvi, Medical Director of Care Coordination; Kathy Singleton, Director of Case Management; Ursula Sobas-Gonzales, our CNO, and countless others, Banner Good Samaritan is well into the journey of ensuring that we have the most efficient and effective throughput process possible.
I watched a nurse case manager, a clinical manager and a physician leader all huddling together around a board called the “D.I.R.T” board (Discharge Interdisciplinary Rounding Tool). What I learned is this board is a simple yet effective tool if used appropriately to help coordinate multiple disciplines to rapidly identify what patients are clinically ready for discharge and what barriers need to be removed for a safe transition.
Using a color-coding scheme, this D.I.R.T. board is a stark reminder to all about the focus required by everybody (nurses, pharmacists, transporters, dietitians, physicians, laboratory services, imaging services, EVS, case managers) to meet the ultimate goal of discharging every patient at the right time.
Clearly, in the past short several weeks, you have already demonstrated an ability to implement change very effectively by improving our overall discharge timeliness rates. What is even more impressive than the recent improvements is your commitment to implement a sustainable system that is foundational to how “we do our work here” in managing patients safely and efficiently throughout the hospital.
It is this ability to develop highly reliable systems that is the “secret sauce” of any hospital and the key to Banner Good Samaritan’s continued success. The below figure demonstrates a Future State model that the Throughput PI team is designing that is an example of the newly designed system.
This is just one example of many performance improvement projects I look forward to seeing being developed at Banner Good Samaritan. They will be an example of how Possibilities become transformed into Probabilities and Realities.
As I walked away from the D.I.R.T Board rounding, thinking about the power of having multiple disciplines huddling together sharing ideas of how to safely discharge these patients, I could think of no better example of the power of collaboration, communication and “sharing secrets” in improving patient outcomes.
Steve Narang, MD, is the chief executive officer at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center.