February 2013 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Maria Kulma, DNP, RN
Vice President Patient Services
East Texas Medical Center
As a patient experience and satisfaction champion, Maria is responsible for the delivery of quality patient care and the practice of nursing at East Texas Medical Center, a 500 bed tertiary care center. With Maria’s continued commitment to improving patient experience, she led all department directors in the development of patient satisfaction action plans that address specific HCAHPS questions.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENT IN YOUR ROLE?
Getting the administrative team to accept that patient experience and satisfaction does not belong solely to inpatient nursing. In June, I led all department directors in the development of patient satisfaction action plans that address specific HCAHPS questions. We have seen significant improvement on percentile ranking from single digits to greater than 50th percentile in most domains.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU ARE CURRENTLY FACING?
The biggest challenge is sustaining momentum and inspiring continued commitment for patient experience versus satisfaction score focus from department leaders.
WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON THE FUTURE OF PATIENT EXPERIENCE?
I have used Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to drive staffing and skill mix. I want to expand the use and introduce the Institute's exemplars for achieving "PEAK” patient experiences. I am concerned that the present and future economic realities will threaten resources so it is most important to have that strong inspired workforce versus dozens of disconnected tactics.
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN WHEN NOT WORKING?
I love to travel with friends anywhere from small towns in East Texas to the greater US and Europe. I spend as much time as I can with my 5 grandchildren and I workout at least 4 days a week. I love to read, garden and challenge myself to do things myself around my 85 year old house.
WHY DID YOU JOIN THE BERYL INSTITUTE?
I am an academic at heart and am not satisfied with following one way or some ones way of achieving success. I am always searching for ways to stimulate creativity.