Highlight your commitment to quality: Submit your Quality Month poster today!

April 16, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

Michigan Medicine is already gearing up for the 2018 Quality Month celebration! Today marks the first day that posters will be accepted for the Quality Month poster session to take place later this year.

Quality Month — held every October — is a yearly celebration of the hard work that Michigan Medicine faculty and staff demonstrate every day toward continuous improvement and enhancing the quality and safety of care provided to patients.

Thinking about submitting a poster for this year’s event but have some questions? Don’t worry, Headlines recently caught up with two teams who presented posters last year to get their take on Quality Month and find out why they encourage other teams to submit their projects.

What project did you showcase at last year’s Quality Month event?

Members of the laundry team played an integral role in upgrading the gowns worn by patients requiring breast imaging.

P1: “Our project sought to improve the gowns used by patients requiring breast imaging (mammogram),” said Susan Fisher, an administrative specialist with the Department of Radiology. “Changing the gown is not as easy as just swapping out one for the other — it required a lot of coordination with laundry services, transport services and breast imaging units both on the main medical campus and at ambulatory clinics across the area.”

P2: “The poster we submitted showcased a provider-oriented intervention cycle we lead in support of the Priority Discharge program, which is an on ongoing institutional initiative,” said Josh Thielker, a senior project manager who helps lead the project. “The goal of the program is to identify patients who are good candidates for discharge by 11 a.m. so we can get patients home quicker and make more beds available earlier in the day. Through this structured intervention cycle, providers at University Hospital and the Frankel Cardiovascular Center were able to significantly increase the volume of discharge orders submitted in the morning, which led to an increase in the number of patients discharged prior to 11 a.m.”

Why did you choose to submit this project to Quality Month?

P1: “We really wanted to highlight the work being done by the laundry team because they were integral to the success of this project,” said Fisher. “Without their coordination, we wouldn’t have been able to upgrade the gowns, which has had a tremendous impact on the overall satisfaction of our patients.”

P2: “Priority Discharge is an institutional priority for Michigan Medicine, but it was also a project that lent itself well to the continuous improvement principles highlighted during Quality Month,” said Thielker. “Bottlenecks in our processes had prevented us from accessing beds for patients in a timely manner each morning, so we set goals accordingly. In order to meet these goals, we engaged multidisciplinary teams to work together to streamline the discharge process and help patients get home faster. It has been a long journey of incremental improvement over time.”

Why would you encourage others to participate in Quality Month?

The multidisciplinary team behind a project to improve the rate of early discharges at Michigan Medicine.

P1: “Quality Month is a great way to showcase improvement projects that might not otherwise receive the credit they deserve,” said Fisher. “Our project probably wouldn’t have received much recognition outside of radiology — but because of our participation in Quality Month, we were able to reach a much wider audience. I know of at least one other department that is now considering using the same robes we now use, meaning our work may impact even more patients at Michigan Medicine.”

P2: “Participating in the Quality Month poster session was great because you get to meet a lot of people who are working on other quality improvement projects,” said Thielker. “A lot of the work we do is similar, so it’s great to meet people and share ideas with other teams. You can learn a lot and gain some insights that may benefit you on another project.”

What advice would you give to teams thinking about submitting a poster to Quality Month?

P1: “I would tell people not to be afraid to submit a poster, even if your project isn’t based around a rigorous scientific improvement project,” said Fisher. “Our work really focused on improving the patient experience, and engaging all of the teams needed to make that happen. We didn’t run a complex scientific experiment but we were able to make an impact on our patients in a measurable way.”

P2: “If you’ve never submitted a poster to Quality Month before, I would recommend reaching out to someone on the Quality Month committee and talk to them about your project before submitting your poster,” said Thielker. “They can provide insights and suggestions to make your poster stand out and really tell your story in a way that resonates with colleagues across the organization.”

Quality Month is open to any team working on continuous improvement projects across the health system. If you are thinking about submitting a poster, be sure that your project submission demonstrates the following:

  • Connections between improvement objectives and organizational goals of safety, quality, timeliness, financial stewardship and people engagement;
  • A clear relationship between root cause and countermeasures;
  • Measurable assessment of the outcomes of experiments;
  • At least one completed Plan-Do-Check-Adjust cycle of improvement.

Click here to download a poster template and to learn more information about Quality Month. If you have questions, please email Quality-Month@med.umich.edu. Submissions are due by June 22 and no late submissions will be accepted.

Thank you for all you do to improve the quality and safety of care at Michigan Medicine!