Re-thinking Models of Patient Care
Tracy Kitch is focused on leadership. As Senior Vice President, Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive, Tracy knows that front line staff at Mount Sinai are thirsty to move away from individualized thinking and find team-based solutions that deliver better health care. “Clinical leadership centered around communities of practice is what will transform health care”, says Tracy. That’s why she and her nursing leadership team are championing an innovative initiative from the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) called Releasing Time To Care (RTC). By introducing improvement principals and clinical process redesigns to individual unit needs, the resulting efficiencies translate into increased time for nurses to spend on direct patient care. Mount Sinai was one of the first hospitals in Canada to roll out the program throughout multiple units based on significantly positive results.
First piloted on 17 North in 2010, RTC quickly proved itself. By making small yet significant changes to their working areas, such as rearranging their environment to make equipment more accessible and reducing process duplication, nurses’ direct time spent with patients increased by almost 10% in just three months.
But that was just the beginning. The units are seeing unprecedented levels of collaboration between clinicians towards the common goal of continually building on the hospital’s strong models of patient and family-centred care. “The results from our pilot program were transformational in terms of the way our staff approached their work” said Jocelyn Bennett, Senior Director, Daryl A. Katz Centre for Urgent and Critical Care. ‘Our clinical teams quickly became completely engaged and inspired to use real-time data to problem solve. We began seeing a positive impact that transcends all our Quality Improvement metrics, such as infection control, patient safety and patient and staff satisfaction”.
Today 7 units have significantly increased their productivity by using RTC methodology and have incorporated smart solutions into their daily routines that include more visual management through color coding, daily safety huddles and accelerated team rounds, and increased transparency by posting unit-specific quality and safety results for all patients and families to see. More units are schedule to follow suit in the coming year.
RTC is just one of the ways Tracy is building a bright future for her team of more than 2,000 nurses and allied health professionals. For her, these kinds of innovative programs create a direct line of sight for her team to Mount Sinai’s vision to deliver the best medicine. “We are building leaders for tomorrow by empowering our clinical teams to apply new methodologies to the practice environment that will result in new, smarter models of care. Ultimately, at Mount Sinai we are creating a stronger link from the boardroom to the bedside”.