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'Unleashing the Power of Quality Tools!' - A UMR Student Experience at the Midwest Regional Conference

By IHI Open School | Friday, November 23, 2012

This post originally appeared on University of Minnesota, Rochester blog My UMR Story on November 2, 2012.


This month we had our first Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School Conference. It was held at Mayo Medical School and there were about 25 people from UMR that attended.


The Institute for Health Care Improvement group is a group that is dedicated to improving health care through patient interactions and departments throughout the clinic.


Last semester our group shadowed patients to see where they were spending the most time waiting when they came in for their appointments. We chose to examine waiting times because it is the single most predictor of how a person is satisfied in the clinic. To figure out the waiting times we would record the time at each station, expanded upon below, and we would give a survey to see how satisfied the patient was.


Our procedure was that a member would approach the patient before they went to the reception desk, then we would ask them if we were able to shadow them during their visit. After that if they said yes then we would begin timing. The timer would let us record in seconds how long the entire visit took, and how long each individual section of the visit took.


We would record:

- The amount of time it took for the reception desk

- The amount of time it took filling out the papers in the waiting room

- The amount of time it took to call them back to the consultation room

- The amount of time the nurse spent in the room

- The amount of time it took for the doctor to enter the room

- The amount of time it took for the doctor to examine the patient

- The amount of time it took to get back to the reception area


Then we would give the patient a survey to fill out regarding the care they received at the clinic.


During the summer I stayed in Rochester to continue with the shadowing, we were then able to shadow physicians and to see how they spent their time.


At the IHI Open School conference we were able to listen to different speakers and they talked about some of the teams they had in place at the clinic to continuously improve the way that health care is administered. It was very interesting! We learned about the Root Cause Analysis, which is used to analyze serious events. This process identifies errors in machines or other systems to help to improve the function. We also learned about the "PDSA cycle" or the plan, do, study, act cycle. This is a method that is used to examine current practices and to improve them for future use. We also learned about Boston Medical Center and their Project RED, which is a system put in place to monitor when patients come back to the clinic after being discharged.


Our plans for this year is to continue improving healthcare through doing some new activities at the clinic. We are hoping to meet during this week to begin talking about IHI this semester. We are also all working on becoming certified through the IHI Open School online which we will continue to do throughout the year.


Have a Great Week!




Note: Students receive HIPPA Compliance training and sign letters of confidentiality prior to interactions with patients.

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