In her role, Vicki is responsible for clinical reviews of complaints and grievances and collaborative relationships with Risk and Quality Departments. She serves as a member on the system-wide Ethics Committee, the Educational Committee and the Emergency Preparedness Committee. She strongly believes that ethics education should become a focus of providing quality healthcare.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENT IN YOUR ROLE?
In 2013, a program designated as "SRT” for Service Recovery Team was launched. Based on the medical rapid response team or "RRT,” the SRT responds to complex patient issues or complaints for timely resolution. Problems that cannot be solved by the Care Team are brought forward using an algorithm. This process clarifies which experts are needed from within the hospital community to enact an expedited response whether for the patient, staff, or organization. Once identified, the expert is contacted for input or comes to the unit/bedside. The "experts” who form the team, are a VP from hospital administration, Risk Manager, Social Work Manager, Concierge Services Manager, Nursing VP and Hospitalist leadership. Any or all can be contacted for immediate response. An ad hoc membership includes ED management and other department managers to be contacted when needed. To date since inception in March of 2013, the SRT has been called for 11 very complex issues. All were resolved prior to discharge. This process is now available at the other three system hospitals.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU ARE CURRENTLY FACING?
The volume of complaints/grievances dealing with separating the patient experience from the cost of individually contracted healthcare. Patients may be thrilled with their care and outcomes and the actual in-house experience but once home have difficulty recognizing or understanding the value/cost of the services provided. This educational deficit has increased our obligation to inform or explain the impact of a person’s individual choice of health coverage. i.e. the patient with a large deductible having not understood what that means financially for them when a health issue does arise.
WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON THE FUTURE OF PATIENT EXPERIENCE?
I envision a larger role for the educational component and standardization of the patient experience, elevating the understanding of the care team who control it as well as creating certifications for those of us who are front line liaisons/problem solvers. My hope is that a certification program will identify and promote our unique role and contributions and create a pool of experts and expectations for our role in improving the overall quality of healthcare. I also believe strongly that some form of ethics education should be a focus of what we provide. We have to walk a careful line to manage potential conflicts of interest in representing both hospital and patient. Beyond that, our interactions with patients and staff make us potential conduits for medical ethical intervention.
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN WHEN NOT WORKING?
I enjoy a wide variety of interests including biking (in good weather), volunteering with the fundraising arm of the local high school and band/choir and organizing events/trips for them, love all things Disney, ballet, gardening (working on a butterfly garden), crochet, write children’s stories for my family.
WHY DID YOU JOIN THE BERYL INSTITUTE?
As SHCA was absorbed into the Institute, I had an option of remaining independent of an organization or seeking out a network where I could contribute and learn. After review and discussion with colleagues, I see membership as a means to do both. The patient experience has been a part of most of my life as a Nurse, Manager, Educator, Author and more. Now as an identified entity, both measurable and impacted by single individuals, it is all the more important that those of us who work specifically towards the best of experiences for patients marry the staff perceptions and goals with the patient’s expectations and goals in a supportive environment.