Teamwork pays off for faculty, staff and patients on 8 East

April 11, 2019  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

Some members of the team on 8E.

The team on 8 East is exactly that — a team — and their ability to work together, rely on each other and provide immediate response to patient needs is paying off.

Last month, the faculty and staff who care for oncology, hematology and surgery patients on 8E earned their seventh 365 Days of Safety award, making them the top earning unit across the health system. The award was presented by Jeffrey Desmond, M.D., chief medical officer for the U-M Health System; and Devin Carr, D.N.P., R.N., ACNS-BC, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer for University Hospital and Frankel Cardiovascular Center.

The 365 Days of Safety program is administered by the Office of Clinical Affairs, which has been presenting the awards since 2015. It recognizes outstanding practice within a patient care unit, area, clinic or department resulting in the avoidance of patient harm and health care-acquired conditions for 365 consecutive days. Awards also demonstrate the sustainability of the associated patient safety practice.

To date, OCA has presented 67 safety awards.

The most recent award for 8E, for going 365 days without a pressure ulcer, is the second such award the unit has received — meaning it’s been two full years with no pressure ulcers among 8E patients.

The team, led by MPLAN partners Carol Kristofik, M.B.A., B.S.N, R.N., and John Magenau, M.D., has been recognized twice for going 365 days without a Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI), and for two years without a Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI). Plus, they’ve received an award for 12 consecutive months of exemplary hand hygiene compliance.

“We’re very proud of our unit as a whole,” said Kristofik, clinical nursing director of 8E. “The mantra of the unit is teamwork and these quality awards are a nice side effect of that.”

Depending on one another

The unit has won seven 365 Days of Safety Awards.

According to Kristofik, teamwork is one of the top priorities for ensuring patient safety.

In addition to earning safety awards, she reported that 8E achieved a teamwork score of 100 percent on the 2018 Employee Engagement Survey.

“The score is testament to the fact that everyone in the unit is dedicated to working together, and that employees appreciate the efforts of their colleagues to support each other in providing patients with the best possible care. This team knows they can depend on each other,” Kristofik said. “Everybody takes pride in what they do and I think it shows.”

Avoiding patient harm

Kristofik said all faculty and staff must be engaged and invested to provide the best care — and that the importance of teamwork is engrained in new team members as part of their orientation to the unit.

One example of teamwork is the belief that, while each nurse on the unit has specific patient assignments, every patient on the floor belongs to every staff member.

“Our call light response time is 40 seconds,” Kristofik said. “Whoever is there first takes care of the patient’s needs.”

Asked what advice she might have for other units in terms of making safety No. 1, Kristofik said to make sure that everyone is on the same page with the same mindset: it’s all about the patients.

“Our team appreciates the recognition,” Kristofik said of the unit receiving its seventh safety award. “But the ultimate reward for our efforts is the avoidance of patient harm. Our patients count on us, and we’ve been able to come through and ensure positive outcomes. That feels great.”

To learn more about the 365 Days of Safety Award, to see past winners or to submit a nomination, click here.