The Admission Department at Washington, DC-based Sibley Memorial is very involved in the hospital’s Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP), a patient safety-focused change model developed by The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Johns Hopkins Hospital has 140 CUSP safety teams in all parts of the organization, including non-clinical areas such as the pharmacy, laboratory, blood bank, and admissions.
“We have made major improvements in the department. Physician and nursing experts on the committee give us the clinical background we need to make changes,” reports Katherine Narbonne-Mirchin, MBA, operations manager for the Admissions Department.
Recently, the department made changes to be sure a patient’s information isn’t mixed up with the next person’s. “We have a checklist where the staff member reviews all the information with the patient to make sure it’s correct in the system. If not, they will correct it right then and there,” says Narbonne-Mirchin.
At registration areas, staff members are required to use hand sanitizer, face masks, and gloves for added protection. Lina Jariri, financial counselor and CUSP unit champion, says, “We make sure staff are aware that if they are sick, they are to put on a mask and apologize to the patient.”
The department creates a matrix each week to track patient safety-related improvements. “From that, we can see what our percentages are, and what we need to work on,” says Jariri.
One area of focus is complimenting clinical departments, so patients expect a good experience.
Narbonne-Mirchin says, “Clinical areas tell us patients are coming in with a positive attitude. We are getting positive feedback from patients as well.’”
Being part of CUSP has greatly improved relationships between patient access and clinical areas. Jariri says, “We are striving to make it a known fact that even though we are nonclinical, we can still work with them. We are all on the same frame: to make sure that the next patient isn’t harmed.”
Admissions was the only non-clinical department to present at a recent Johns Hopkins Medicine Patient Safety Summit. “A lot of nonclinical groups from offices within the Johns Hopkins Network asked us to show them how they can do this at their facility,” Jariri says. “That was a great feeling.”
Join clinical committees
Seattle-based Virginia Mason Health System’s admitting manager plays an active role on the hospital’s stroke team. Michele Tierney, revenue stream manager, says, “A quick admission for a stroke patient is paramount to facilitating quick treatment and better outcomes.”
The admitting manager provides valuable input from the patient access perspective. “Patient access is sometimes left out of the clinical conversations,” notes Tierney. “We have learned to affirm our important place in these conversations.”
This involvement comes into play with the standard process used for all potential stroke patients coming to the hospital’s ED. “[Compliance] is reviewed monthly and reported back to the team members, including patient access staff,” says Tierney.
Admitting is routinely involved in conversations about how processes can be further improved. “This supports quality care, improves patient safety, and enhances the total patient experience,” Tierney says.
At Virginia Mason, a multidisciplinary team, including admitting, security, housekeeping, and emergency department (ED) staff, meets monthly to create processes to improve patients’ experience in the ED. The group, which includes staff members, focuses on privacy, comfort, staff courtesy, and the physical environment. “It advanced more quickly than it might have, had it only been driven by executives or other senior management,” says Tierney.
- Lina Jariri, Financial Counselor/Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program Unit Champion, Admissions Department, Sibley Memorial Hospital, Washington, DC. Phone: (202) 537-4161. Fax: (202) 243-2246. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Katherine Narbonne-Mirchin, MBA, Operations Manager, Admissions Department, Sibley Memorial Hospital, Washington, DC. Telephone: (202) 370-6591. Email: email@example.com.