Human Interactions/Independence, Dignity and Choice
Sharp Coronado Hospital
“TAKING THE STING OUT OF THE LAB”
The Sharp Coronado Hospital laboratory team goes above and beyond their duties by creating exceptional experiences for patients and a uniquely positive culture within the laboratory department. As we know, it is not one of life’s most pleasant experiences to have one’s blood drawn. However, this team has come up with innovative ways to make the process better and less painful for patients, and in so doing improved their work life and team spirit.
When patients enter the lab, they are invited to unwind in a designated patient lounge before their appointments. The team advocated for turning the lounge into a spa-like environment, where soft music, lovely works of art, and the aroma of lavender have a calming effect. As the person is escorted from the lounge to the drawing area, the experience continues to surprise and delight. Phlebotomists begin by providing hand massages to patients during their blood draw as a soothing way to increase blood flow, release tension and help reduce stress and anxiety. With patient-centered care in mind, team members offer gentle encouragement during the procedure because tender touching promotes a deeper sense of connection and a feeling of being cared for. As patients leave to re-enter the lobby they are offered spa-water and fruit as appropriate.
In addition to incorporating human touch and complementary modalities into their practice, the lab technicians went one step further by launching a unique, personalized service called “drive-through phlebotomy. This simple and thoughtful innovation was devised when the lab team realized that many community residents required frequent blood draws but had limited mobility or difficulty getting dressed. After caring for many of these elderly patients, and seeing how inconvenient it was for them and their caregivers to come into the lab, the team devised the new system for the convenience of patients and their families. A call to the laboratory prior to arriving at the hospital allows a phlebotomist to meet eligible patients at the curbside, either in front of the hospital or next to the Emergency department. This service reduces wait times and fall risks, as it appreciably improves comfort.
The laboratory service has been featured in the Coronado Eagle & Journal Newspaper and as a “Story Behind the Story” radio advertisement for the hospital.
A bulletin board boasts notes from grateful patients, and it is updated weekly to display positive feedback. The department’s overall patient satisfaction score from February 2011 to March 2012 is at the 82nd percentile. In addition, lab employee satisfaction is at an all-time high, and turnover is at an all-time low.
Quality results and a commitment to excellence have helped the lab retain substantial outpatient client volume despite the barrage of recruiting efforts from national reference laboratories.
In summary, great things can be achieved when a team works together toward personalizing care. With a “can do” attitude and spirit, there are unlimited possibilities to create a healing environment for all.
2nd Place-VA Northport, “Addressing Emotional Needs of Grieving Families”
3rd Place-Waverly Health Center, “Bedside Reporting
Arts Program/Meaningful Activities and Entertainment
Healing Arts in Creation of Children’s Waiting Space and Resident Indoor Gardening
This project began when the nurse manager on our Palliative Care unit at the VAMC in Northport, New York noticed an increase in young children and teenagers visiting their families. She noted that when the children grew tired of visiting at bedside, unable to cope or understand, they started to run around the hallways with no specific place to go. During this past year, a collaborative team designed and renovated a children’s room, “The Sandbar” and an indoor garden on the unit. The renovations to a sitting room along with one section of the dining room have improved the quality of life for patients who are faced with a catastrophic illness with the focus on a home-like environment.
As staff moved forward with the planning, rooms were cleared out, walls were painted and lists were created. In collaboration with our external stakeholders, presentations were given at Veteran Service Organizations, community and corporate meetings. The response was overwhelming as supporters selected the items that they wanted to sponsor.
The Sand Bar, designed with a nautical/beach theme, was quickly filled with new furniture; two new Adirondack chairs, small table, creative beach wall art, and a flat screen TV, to complete a comfortable area for children’s visits. Further enhancement came from the St. Joseph’s College: Blue Stripes and Yellow Ribbons Initiative. The Child Study Club organized a collection of toys, games, puzzles, etc. making two large donations, valued at over $1,000. These games proved to be commemorative, with children taking them home as a memento and to play with again. This initiative was showcased on Telecare’s Catholic Cable featuring the Sand Bar, highlighting the Veterans, their families, and students in the program. These partnerships remain as many continue to visit and offer to help in any way. Recently, we were offered another piece of furniture to complete the room.
Residents and families enjoy interacting with their children or grandchildren in the “Sand Bar” where they are comfortable and entertained. This additional “quiet” area is where residents can be found sitting, enjoying the relaxing atmosphere, as well.
The indoor garden is complete with various planters filled with an assortment of live green and flowering plants, a raised bed with grow light system, a gardening table for transplanting, and even a glider to relax on within the greenery. On the white corner climbing trellis, is a green philodendra. As the plants outgrow their pots, Veterans are encouraged to assist repotting and maintaining the plants. Veterans are offered to partake in gardening to promote health and wellness. Other uses for this garden include therapeutic health and wellness programs which are implemented by using various forms of relaxation techniques, such as guided images and Reiki.
The children are no longer running in the hallways and there is an increase in positive family interactions. These areas of renovation offer peaceful and positive atmospheres to accommodate the Veterans, their families and significant others and the staff who are dedicated to the health and well-being of the Veterans.
2nd Place—Sharp Metropolitan Medical Campus for “arts for healing”
3rd Place—VA New Jersey for “healing arts program”
Nutrition and Nurturing Aspects of Food
Sharp Coronado Hospital
“THE SCENT OF SUCCESS”
Sharp Coronado Hospital is proud to be promoting the philosophy of person centered care within the Long Term Care setting. Maintaining optimum nutrition for residents is a constant challenge. Decreased food intake leads to weight loss, which can be detrimental to health and well-being. Members of Sharp Coronado Hospital’s Clinical Nutrition Department learned that citrus essential oils stimulate appetite leading to improved food intake practices.
A trial was initiated whereby Amrita’s “Citrus Bliss” blend of essential oils was dabbed on residents’ protective coverings. Residents’ weights and use of appetite stimulant medication was tracked to determine the health benefits of the essential oils. Results showed that 68% of the residents increased their food intake by at least 10%.
The program was expanded to two meals/day and residents reported enjoying the light citrus scent during meals. One resident’s mealtime was a burden for her, rather than a joy and she had difficulty maintaining her weight. After using Citrus Bliss, her appetite increased, she maintained a healthy weight, and her stimulant medication was discontinued. A few months into the program, she stated, “I always look forward to chow time because it makes me feel good.”
Staff members analyzed “significant weight loss” measures from one year before the aromatherapy project and one year after. Findings showed there was 33% less “significant weight loss” reported. The use of essential oils allowed for a decreased need for western allopathic medications.
Sharp Coronado had already implemented aromatherapy to assist residents with pain management and anxiety, so using Citrus Bliss to improve food intake as part of our healing journey was encouraged by the institution. After achieving positive results, the team entered the project into the 7th Annual Supplements Research Competition and won 1st prize in the original clinical research category, which included U.S. and international entries. The abstract of the poster, The Use of Essential Oil to Stimulate Appetite was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Volume 16, Number 8, 2010, pp.921-927, and the head of the clinical nutrition team presented the initial trial and early results as a highlight during the 2010 Planetree Conference in Denver, CO.
This program is low cost and highly sustainable with minimal staff time required. Results measured in the 2nd year of the program have indicated the same decreases to significant weight as well as appetite stimulant medications.
• The one-year results were presented as a poster session at the American Dietetic Association Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in September 2011.
• The abstract of the poster, The Use of Essential Oil at Meals Decreases Significant Weight Loss in Long Term Care Residents was published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association September 2011 supplement 2-Abstracts Volume 11,Number 9, pg A-30.
• One of Sharp Coronado’s dietitians will discuss this program as part of a panel on Planetree at the 2012 California Dietetic Association Conference in Ontario, CA.
2-VA San Diego, “Cooking Live with Nutrition and Food Service”
3-VA Battle Creek, “Culinary Health on Wheels
Spirituality and Diversity
Sharp Coronado Hospital
Workday Meditation Respites
Meditation is the practice of stilling one’s mind in order to achieve a sense of calm and relaxation that lingers even after the meditation is complete. During periods of restful alertness, the brain functions with significantly greater clarity, bringing emotional and psychological benefits. Positive effects of meditation are immediate and increase over time.
After researching these benefits, a Sharp Coronado Hospital Registered Clinical Nutritionist determined that team members would benefit tremendously from meditation sessions during the work day. The guided meditation sessions were designed to fit within a 10 minute work break and times were identified that would allow for day and evening shift team members to participate. The hospital chapel was selected as an ideal spot to provide a calm and restful non–denominational meditation experience. Many stakeholders were involved initially to ensure the program’s success: the Executive Team approved the concept, the Spiritual Services Department supported the use of the chapel, and managers agreed to work with staff to support their attendance during break periods.
Creating the right environment was also an important component. To provide a sensory experience for participants, the trained meditation leader dims the chapel lights, plays soft music and diffuses lavender aromatherapy into the air. Participants are greeted and directed to soft blankets on the chapel pews to help with proper body alignment and comfort. The leader asks participants to close their eyes and ease their minds, and then begins guided meditation.
To measure the program’s effectiveness, participants were asked to complete a short lavender-scented survey before each session, capturing their gender, whether they were a first-time or returning participant, and the level of stress they felt on a 1-5 scale #1= no stress and 5= extreme stress#. Each survey was numbered for anonymity. At the end of the session, participants filled out a numbered paper that rated their current stress level. Some comments received from participants included “It’s like a fog was lifted and set my spirit free and opened my heart to love again,” and “I feel very relaxed. This is wonderful.”
The survey data collected was analyzed to determine program effectiveness.
• 60 participants
• 7 male, 53 female
• 28 #46.6%# first time 32 #53.3%# return participants
Decrease in participant-rated stress level after session
No change 1 level 2 levels 3 levels
9 #15%# 36 #60%# 12 #20%# 3 #5%#
These results indicate that meditation in the work place can provide a meaningful respite for caregivers. After reviewing this data, organizers began offering a second weekly meditation session to reach a larger audience.
Care for the Caregiver is a concept that can take many forms to ease workplace stressors. Guided break time meditations are a new way to achieve our goal of creating a workplace that supports and comforts teams as they provide care and caring to our patients.
2nd Place-VA San Diego, “Veteran Tribute Ceremony”
3rd Place-VA Battle Creek, “Code Pink”
Importance of Family, Friends and Social Support
VA San Diego:
Warrior to Soul Mate Marriage Enrichment Retreats
Relationships as intimate as marriage can be destroyed by Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome deeply affecting Veterans and significant relationships in their lives. The Veteran population experiences increased marital discord, social isolation, significantly higher divorce rates, and “self-medicating” behaviors including alcohol and drug abuse. VASDHS assembled a team of helping professionals to offer healing tools to these damaged relationships and the From Warrior to Soul Mate marriage enrichment retreats were born.
Weekend retreats equip Veteran couples with interpersonal relationship skill building in four areas: communication, emotional literacy, conflict resolution, and bonding. Based on the well-researched, outcomes-based PAIRS Foundation model (www.pairs.com), chaplains, social workers, nurses and psychologist facilitators focus on affective, behavioral and cognitive skills that are taught, modeled, and coached to participating couples.
Retreats serve couples from all services and ages, with no restrictions on denomination, spirituality or ethnicity. Those with physical disabilities or unique dietary needs are accommodated. Retreats are advertised throughout the Veteran community via:
- Video shown at Faith Community meetings and available online
- Local news media
- VA San Diego electronic news
- Clinical fliers & brochures
- Regional Military Bases
Input from registered participants is solicited for retreat design and improvement. A formal pre-and-post survey gathers data to evaluate retreat design and impact on relationships. Participant comments provide qualitative data used to improve successive retreats. Additionally, feedback during retreats facilitates content improvement in real time.
PAIRS retreats have demonstrated an increased perception of positive communication skills of one’s partner from 32% pre-retreat to 78% post-retreat. Participants’ scores for the “retreats overall” and for “instructors” rated 4.5 to 4.6 on a 5-point scale. At every retreat at least one couple, and usually more, announces to the group they are no longer pursuing divorce after learning and practicing these skills.
Comments below exemplify the retreat’s profound impact of teaching couples’ relational skill building:
“The exercises between wife and husband (is what I liked best). It allowed us to learn a new approach to solve our differences and to recognize each others’ needs and wants.”
“These skills will improve our communication by volumes. We will be able to approach every situation as they arise and be open and discuss them instead of shutting each other out.”
“I loved the instructors. They were amazing and really are in-tune with helping people.”
“We can talk about our problems before we start screaming at each other.”
“I will always remember the fair fighting skills and the difference between listening and hearing what my partner has to say. Having to repeat after him with empathy will definitely keep me from planning my instant defense strategy…Why haven’t I heard of doing this before and what heartache and headache it could have saved me!!”
VA Patient-Centered Care grant-funded retreats have served more than 350 couples. VA San Diego was asked by the National Office of Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Transformation to expand this best practice program nationally and recently received a $1.6 million dollar grant to conduct 25 additional VA workshops nationwide.
2nd Place-Spectrum Health, “Family Care Bag”
3rd Place-VA Los Angeles, “Caregiver Support Program”
Integrative Therapies/Paths to Well-Being
VA Greater Los Angeles (VAGLA)
Healing Programs/Healing Spaces
In 2011, VAGLA launched “Healing Programs/Healing Spaces” as a way to provide holistic opportunities to our Veterans. In “Voice of the Veteran” focus groups, an overwhelming desire was expressed for more complementary approaches to facilitate healing and reduce narcotic use. The focus of this program was a Train the Trainer approach for clinicians, giving them empowering tools for Veterans and for self care. The three main programs were Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Tai Chi and Breathing Stretching Relaxation (BSR).
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Train the Trainer consisted of an 8 week intensive MBSR Training, Departmental drop-ins, and The Mindful Clinician series including chronic pain, end-of-life, PTSD/trauma and depression/anxiety. A SharePoint intranet website included extensive research lists for clinical themes, worksheets on mindfulness topics and practices, guided audios and class announcements. Outcomes included increased self-care, improvement in ability to care for patients, increased compassion towards self and patients, improved job satisfaction and morale, and improved patient satisfaction.
Tai Chi Train the Trainer was a 6 week course teaching the basic fundamentals of Tai Chi. 28 GLA staff members participated. Deliverables included training videos, brochures and manuals for participants. Clinicians use these techniques with patients for balance, improved functionality and overall wellness, linking mind, body and spirit. Staff also uses the techniques learned for self care. One clinician stated “I used the techniques of weight shifting and lunge positions of Tai Chi with 2 of my patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, and they felt steadier after the first session.” One patient stated “Tai Chi rescued me from a life of destruction; it literally saved my life.” Tai Chi moves and principles are now being used by class participants in several clinical areas. Students who completed the Tai Chi Train the Trainer sessions are now leading or participating in Tai Chi classes for patients.
Breathing Stretching Relaxation (BSR) Train the Trainer was also a 6 week course teaching therapeutic applications of YOGA specifically developed for Veterans, their caregivers and staff. 18 GLA staff members completed the training, and over 1,000 GLA staff members participated in demonstrations of the 10 minute technique. Deliverables included training videos, brochures and manuals for participants. Clinicians use these techniques with patients to encourage mindful breathing, stretching and body movements, weaving it into patients’ Personal Wellness Plans when appropriate. Two day long teacher training sessions included the 10 minute technique, 30 minute seated practice and a 50 minute seated protocol. 100% of the participants felt better emotionally, reported positive changes and experienced a calming effect with use of focused breathing. 95% felt better after the class.
A Train the Trainer Aromatherapy workshop was also given to 40 nurses, which included a competency checklist. To date, 5 inpatient units and 4 CLC units now use lavender and peppermint. Additionally, GLA offered Transformative Nurse Training to 93 Registered Nurses given by trainers from the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing. Modalities included: Holistic Nursing Foundations, Relaxation Response, Stress Management/Meditation, Comfort Massage, Relationship to the Environment, Self-care and Guided Imagery.
2nd Place-Sharp Memorial Hospital, “Integrative Healing”
3rd Place-VA New Jersey, “Complementary Yoga Therapy for Veterans”
Healthy Communities/Enhancement of Life’s Journey
VA New Jersey
Sustainable Landscape and Storm Water Management
Through a partnership between Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Essex County and VA New Jersey Health Care System (VANJHCS), unemployed Veterans participated in a rapidly growing green job skills program focused on sustainable landscaping and storm water management at the East Orange Campus of VANJHCS. Storm water occurs when rain water runs off hard surfaces like asphalt and rooftops. This storm water collects pollutants on its way to the storm drain system, which discharges directly to local waterways. The Sustainable Landscape and Storm water Management program provided didactic sessions reinforced with hands-on installations of rain gardens, rain barrel construction/installation, organic gardening techniques, and planting of native plants around the campus. Participants practice their newly-acquired skills in the local community through demonstration projects, which may lead to industry connections and job opportunities. The class will be working with a community non-profit group in Newark to install a cistern that will provide water for the neighborhood garden. This project has received state and federal funding.
The landscape at the East Orange Campus was redefined as an opportunity to teach Veterans about the natural world and provide them with the therapeutic value of practicing horticulture. These changes have led to managing the existing landscape organically, incorporating native plants that can tolerate insects and diseases without chemical intervention, and encouraging Veterans and staff to enjoy their surroundings. Peer mentoring also occurred with class participants introducing other Veterans to gardening.
Many aspects of the training program are sustainable low-cost techniques that could easily be replicated at different community levels. Rain barrels and rain gardens can easily be installed in the managed landscapes of both public and private organizations. These installations can lead to improved storm water management, which can help mitigate the effects of impermeable surfaces in densely-populated urban communities. Organic community gardens are also easy to design and install in small spaces and yield local sustainable crop production.
Outcomes of the class involved installation of storm water management controls that will reduce storm water generated onsite by 37,000 gallons per year. The demand for drinking water at the facility has been reduced by 12,000 gallons per year, with more savings expected as additional rain barrels are installed. During 2011, community gardens at the East Orange Campus produced more than 2,000 pounds of local, sustainably-grown vegetables. Veterans enrolled in the class have increased their awareness of storm water management, sustainable landscaping, and environmental issues. Class participants have expanded environmental stewardship to local neighborhoods and communities, as well as the sharing of knowledge with others. These landscape and storm water initiatives have been presented to VA administrators in New England and researchers from the Region 1 Environmental Protection Agency. This program won Honorable Mention from the 2011 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards in the Healthy and Sustainable Communities Category; and 2010 and 2011 Practice Greenhealth Partner Recognition.
Photo 1. Rain Garden – decreases storm water runoff that usually floods the sidewalk
Photo 2. Rain Barrels from recycled plastic drums provide water for irrigation of plants.
2nd Place-Good Samaritan, “Feetloose with Sam the Moose”
3rd Place-Longmont United, “Global to Local: Bringing the Mission Home”
Patient/Resident Education and Community Access to Information
Kadlec Regional Medical Center
My Surgery Roadmap
In the Fall of 2010, our hospital began the Lean journey with a two-year Peri-Op Value Stream to improve care for adult elective surgery patients. The primary focus is our patients’ experience of care, spanning from decision to have surgery through hospital discharge and follow-up. The goal is to improve quality, increase efficiency, and eliminate waste, while optimizing all that is “value-added” for the patient. Included in this two-year plan of continuous improvement events was a weeklong rapid process design in April 2011 to address patient education and expectations.
A multi-stakeholder team convened, including a patient advisory panel, surgeons and office staff, an anesthesiologist, pre-admission, peri-operative, and post-operative unit nursing staff, representatives from clinical education, community relations, executive team, and our Planetree Coordinator and Lean coaches. As the team physically walked the process from physician office to hospital admission and discharge (interviewing patients and staff along the way), we realized our well-intended “patient education” was not coordinated or necessarily helpful. Patients were overloaded with a deluge of handouts and brochures with medical jargon that feels intimidating, confusing, and insensitive to literacy levels. They reported “not knowing what’s really important, not knowing what I don’t know, or even what questions to ask.”
Patient perspectives guided our purpose: “to provide standard and timely education to patients, families and staff that clearly and concisely communicates the patient’s expected experience during all phases of their surgical journey, incorporates Planetree concepts, and highlights general goals and plan of care.” This is built on the premise that patients want and deserve to know what to expect and what is most important in their surgery care. The information must be thoughtfully timed, easy to understand, and consistently reinforced by the entire health care team throughout the patient’s surgery experience.
From this event, My Surgery Roadmap was created – a 9 by 12-inch folder provided to the patient in the surgeon’s office when the surgery decision is made. This visually graphic and simple folder highlights and walks the patient through all the major steps of their anticipated hospital experience, from preadmission to their safe transition leaving the hospital. The Roadmap is referenced by staff at each step of the journey, guiding and prompting patient questions and dialogue. It also has targeted fill-in areas for individualized information, with links to high quality health web-sites should the patient seek additional procedure-specific education. Only one “After Surgery” informational sheet is included, replacing nearly a dozen handouts, pamphlets and booklets routinely handed to patients before the Roadmap was implemented!
In our most recent 2012 patient satisfaction surveys, 81% elective surgery patients report receiving the Roadmap, with 89% rating the usefulness of information as very good or excellent. We attribute the success of My Surgery Roadmap to being created by patients for patients, as led by our Patient Advisory Council, a dedicated multi-disciplinary team, and Lean coaches. We believe well-informed patients and their care partners are better equipped and empowered to team with their healthcare providers for highest quality care and best outcomes.
2nd Place-Good Samaritan, “Tag ur it”
3rd Place-Barton County Hospital, “Childhood Asthma Resources”
Sharp Memorial Hospital
Excellence in patient care relies on organizations providing the right care at the right time by the right people. Through implementation of patient-centered lean methodologies in the Emergency Department, our organization has been able to reduce delays in patient care, improve the patient satisfaction, and enhance hospital-wide teamwork and collaboration. Many emergency departments (ED) struggle with patient satisfaction because of long wait times, poor provider communication, and inadequate pain management. Patient-centered lean methodologies, borrowed from the manufacturing industry, allow hospitals to improve the quality of care for patients by reducing errors and waiting times.
At our organization, frontline nurses led by an internal expert and the Chief Nursing Officer, implemented patient-centered lean concepts to create a culture of patient safety and continuous improvement. Because success would only be judged by the patient’s perception, patient satisfaction was the primary endpoint for this endeavor. The team systematically analyzed available data including patient satisfaction, length-of-stay, throughput delays, and turnaround times for diagnostic tests. In Phase I, operational changes were made in the ED which included: bringing supplies to the point of service; creating a pull-to-full mentality in the nurse and physician staff; and reallocating resources to better match the patient care needs. Phase II of the initiative focused on the interdisciplinary team and the establishment of expectations for collaboration, communication, and accountability. In Phase III, the focus was on hardwiring all processes and kaizen improvements beyond the walls of the ED.
After 2 full years of implementation, ED length of stay was reduced by 1.6 hours; patient satisfaction improved by 40 percentile points and into top-decile nationally. Admission time from ED to inpatient unit was reduced by 50%. Financially, record increases in patient volume have occurred, and lean enhanced operational efficiencies made nursing workload more manageable despite the volume increase.
Our success in implementing this program has gained national appeal. Sharp Memorial was honored to present at the 2011 Planetree Annual Conference, 2011 Magnet Conference (as a virtual presentation), and in May 2012, at the California Team Excellence Awards (as an award recipient). The strength of our organization has been in sharing openly with other organizations wishing to learn from our successes. Our results show that patient centered lean concepts have a place in healthcare and provide useful tools for clinicians to understand the needs of patients. Ultimately, patient centered lean has set the stage for the best possible ED experience for our community, our staff, and our physicians.
2nd Place-Good Samaritan Hospital
Architecture and Interior Design-Large Design
Elmhurst Memorial Hospital
Elmhurst Memorial Hospital opened a replacement hospital in June, 2011. We took the opportunity to not only replace an outdated building, we also redefined how we care for our patients by applying our Planetree philosophy to the design of the building and the new processes we developed.
Our six- year journey began with focus groups of hundreds of staff members, patients and physicians to create the ideal place to deliver and receive health care. Staff and physicians groups met with contractors throughout the design, building, and relocation process. They continue to meet to review the outcomes and to plan future expansion.
The Planetree Healing Environment standards guided our design and process. We worked with Albert Kahn Associates to create a physical environment which would enhance healing and well-being. The project cost was $450 million.
Our brick Prairie style building is adorned with concrete molds of the Planetree leaf to symbolize our patient centered philosophy of care. The leaf is also integrated into our railings, windows and artwork. An expansive tree lined promenade welcomes guests to the campus. Gardens and outdoor seating areas span the front of the building.
As you enter the building we engaged all the senses to create a home like experience. Tall water features and soft overhead music sets a calming tone to the first and second floors. Oversized windows fill the public spaces with natural light. Midwest art work adorns the walls and is displayed throughout the guest and patient areas.
All patient rooms are private, including prep, recovery and treatment areas in the Emergency Department. The on-stage/off stage concept separates clinical operations from public corridors and spaces for patient privacy and efficient workflow. The 90/5 rule ensures that 90% of what caregivers need for patient care is within 5 seconds. Overhead patient lifts are installed in every inpatient room for staff and patient safety.
Welcoming spaces for families were a high priority. Every patient room has a caregiver, patient and family zone. The family zone includes a couch that converts to a bed, and two tables. Additionally, there are three family lounges and kitchens on each patient floor. The entire campus is WiFi and cell phone friendly. Balconies and atriums are accessible to patients, families and staff. A retail strip within the hospital features convenient services such as Starbucks and Walgreens. The retail vendors were selected from suggestions from our staff and patients.
Nursing units and outpatient departments are barrier free to accommodate open communication with caregivers and patients. The building is fully handicap accessible. Parking lots are color coded to assist guests in parking adjacent to their destination. Complimentary valet is available at two entrances. Guest services associates greet visitors and assist with wayfinding. Volunteer guest assistants escort patients to their destination. Large touch screen way finding kiosks are located at the four main entrances.
Green approaches for construction focused on sustainability as well as impact during construction. Some examples include the use of recycled crushed concrete as base for sidewalks, 100% low flow plumbing fixtures, and lighting occupancy sensors in all non-direct patient care areas.
Overall, every aspect of Elmhurst Memorial Hospital was designed to be a welcoming and healing place for our community.
2nd Place-VA Los Angeles, “Rose Garden”
3rd Place-VA Battle Creek, “Mental Health Recovery”
Architecture and Interior Design-Small Design
In New York, we have youthful memories of good times shared with friends and families at the local diner. These memories are often evoked by the sights and smells common to the diner scene: favorite tunes lifting from the juke box, comfy leather booths, and the great smells and tastes of perfectly grilled burgers and ice cold milk shakes.
Since we know that reminiscence of good times with family and friends is helpful to those who have experienced memory loss, capturing that diner experience for America’s Veterans on Northport VA Medical Center’s dementia unit was one of the primary goals of the interdisciplinary.
In an effort to get the residents “out” of their routine environment, the nurse manager of Northport’s dementia care unit arranged for Veterans to use an ordinary, underutilized recreation space, with kitchen and seating for all. A short elevator ride to the basement level brought residents to a whole new place. The Veterans started eating two breakfasts each week in their new “hang-out.” They loved the smells of freshly cooked breakfast foods reminiscent of the “diner days.”
Since the veterans seemed to enjoy “eating out” in this new space, the effort was expanded to include other meals and programs. Within three weeks, the unit physician noted that the use of ‘as needed’ medications for agitation was markedly lower on days the Veterans went out to their “diner.” The nurse manager observed that they “seemed happy the rest of the day” following visits to this new space.
The increased satisfaction of the residents, coupled with the decrease in the need for medication for agitation, sparked the interest of the interdisciplinary team, who brainstormed ideas to transform the ordinary Recreation Room into a real New York diner with plenty of space for meals and recreational activities.
The team met to solicit the feedback of the Veterans, evaluate the space, plan new décor, secure funding, and get things rolling. The result of the team’s efforts included upgrades to the kitchen area – new cabinets, stainless steel appliances and a wheelchair level counter. The Chief, Fire Department provided guidance about the fire regulations and procuring a custom made range hood. The custom-built counter allows Veterans to watch as meals and milk shakes are prepared. Donations by community groups funded the big screen TV, juke box, pool table with overhead billiard lighting, pinball machine and cabinetry. Woodplank non-skid flooring, diner booths and tables were installed in the room. Condiment caddies, napkin dispensers, sugar shakers, Coke glasses, common to the diner scene were also purchased. Four lounge chairs and a 40” TV with a blue ray DVD player were added to create a media lounge. A project of this magnitude required human interaction of the highest caliber. Cooking School has started, where several services teach young Veterans basic cooking skills, readying for discharge; “Friday Night at the Movies” is a hit. This room has proven to be a wonderful healing environment, where Veterans come to have fun and reminisce about days gone by!
2nd Place-VA Ann Arbor, Mental Health Renovation
3rd Place-Loma Linda University Medical Center, “I Am Hallway”
Laura Gilpin Kindness Award
Sharp Coronado Hospital: “Health Rounds for Caregivers”
We are proud of the compassionate, dedicated team members that create an experience balanced by quality practice and compassionate service. In 2010, the Motion Center Team designed Health Rounds to bring wellness initiatives to staff and contribute to their health. The team of personal trainers realized after developing a variety of fitness classes in our gym, it was still difficult for staff to step away from their work day to exercise. Based on this feedback, and taking a proactive approach, our trainers and massage therapists decided if staff were unable to leave their departments to work out in our gym, attend a class, or get a massage, then we needed to bring health, wellness, and stress reduction activities to them!
The Concept of Health Rounds- Each Month a trainer develops a health related topic incorporating an educational and an exercise component. Topics have included stress management, body mechanics, proper lifting techniques, hydration, and dance fitness. One of our trainers rounds to hospital departments Monday –Friday for 30 minutes. Its an informal experience, and staff that are available to participate are encouraged to complete the selected exercises while listening to the educational information.
To kick off the monthly Health Rounds topic a personal trainer attends the monthly Planetree Workgroup meeting and presents the topic to the committee members. Workgroup members are asked to communicate when the trainer is coming to their department and encourage their colleagues to participate.
“Health Rounds After Dark” addresses the well-being of our night staff. During our 2011 Planetree Expo, a night shift medical-surgical nurse, who is passionate about health and wellness, volunteered to teach Health Rounds at night. This individual meets with a trainer to review the new program and provides health tips to other team members.
Health Rounds also includes Friday massages. Our massage therapist visits various deparatments in the hospital and provides employees a chair massage. It’s a great way to end the work day, bring stress relief to our staff, and help care for our caregivers.
Health Rounds has shown to have several benefits and aligns with many of our hospital stragetic goals. First, it aligns with our system-wide Best Health initiative by supporting health, wellness and stress reduction for all team members. Second, Health Rounds aligns with our commitment to Healthy Communities. When we support our employees and provide activities that help develop their sense of wellbeing they in turn are better able to care for their patients. Lastly, through the daily interactions with a trainer during Health Rounds we find that staff are more educated on the many services that the Motion Center provides that are free of charge or at a discounted rate such as gym membership, fitness classes, personal training, massage and acupuncture services. Since the initiation of Health Rounds, the Motion Center is also seeing a larger percentage of staff take advantage of these services and joining our gym.
2nd Place-Griffin Hospital, “Win Fit”
3rd Place-VA Long Beach