Michael thank you board
Written by Michael Marchbank, CEO, Fraser Health

Executive team shares the success of Releasing Time to Care implementation.

For about 18 months the executive team has been tracking the success of the Releasing Time to Care implementation. Recently, I was invited to attend the 11 a.m. huddle on 5 West, a 50-bed medicine unit at Surrey Memorial Hospital, so I could see first-hand how this unit is using and tracking their own data to improve care.

What really interests me about seeing our teams at work is how much I learn about our culture. The 11:00 a.m. Releasing Time to Care huddle on 5 West involved a review of their quality data, which they track themselves so they can find their own solutions. This is a team of passionate innovators, working together to take charge of their own daily work experience and the experience patients have in their care.

Releasing Time to Care is a grass-roots type quality-improvement model that comes from the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom and is being supported in the Province by the B.C. Patient Safety and Quality Council. It operates on the recognition that for a provider to improve a patient, client or resident’s experience, the provider’s experience of giving care must also be taken into account.

There is a lot of variation in a caregiver’s day that might take away from the experience of being efficient, for example. If a team finds something they feel they can change for the better, taking charge of the solution will have a positive effect on both the providers and the patients. On 5 West, I learned about something they call an “activity follow.” A teammate uses an app to track the entire shift of a colleague as this person does their day-to-day work. By doing this they were able to show two hours of wasted time over an average nursing shift simply from walking back and forth down a long hallway for Vernicare supplies. A solution could then be discussed and implemented in order to release this two hours of time back towards caring for patients.

This team has also implemented strategies which helped them come off the CDI vulnerable units list for the first time in two years. They are now applying the same strategies to help them better understand and reduce their cases of MRSA. This is unit grown innovation and quality improvement using their own data and their own solutions -- it really is excellent work.

I was very impressed with what I saw: care teams were engaged in conversations about how to provide the very best health care to the patients under their care. They were tracking and reviewing data daily, working together as a team to find solutions and keep things on track. I could tell they were excited about what they were doing.

Thank you to everyone on 5 West for including me this week. I look forward to learning more about our Releasing Time to Care successes in the future.

Releasing Time to Care is currently in use in 16 units across our region. If you’re interested in getting started on local, unit-based quality improvement, our professional practice and quality teams can help you identify where to begin. Visit their FH Pulse page for more information.

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