News & Media

Quality Improvement in Action!

April 05, 2024

Cross training nurses at HPHA has many benefits including enhanced team collaboration and efficiency. Cross-trained nurses can communicate with colleagues and coordinate their job functions in patient care because they have experience working flexibly outside their original teams. They can also share personal experiences and suggest improvements about certain specialties they've covered during training.

Connor Robertson is an exceptional Registered Practical Nurse (RPN). His primary unit is Inpatient Surgery at our Stratford General Hospital site, but he is also trained to work in the Emergency Department, Integrated Stroke and Telemetry Units. Connor is highly skilled and a great team member to work with. On a recent shift on the Inpatient Surgery Unit, a patient had a witnessed stroke. Alissa Daum, RPN quickly initiated a code stroke, demonstrating her excellent assessment and communication skills. Connor, along with the rest of the surgery team, responded immediately to the patient to ensure they received the best care possible. Connor, with his knowledge of the Emergency Department and the Integrated Stroke Unit, was able to excel in leading the response and ensure the team followed the correct steps.

After the patient received care and was transferred to another unit, Connor brought forward an idea. He noted that in the Emergency Department there are Order Sets that can be entered with one key word and multiple orders auto-populate. It makes it really simple for staff in an emergency to enter multiple orders at once, without forgetting any. Connor suggested that in future stroke events, a simplified order entry like the ones in the Emergency Department would be helpful. This idea was passed forward to our Clinical Educators, Information Technology and Huron Perth District Stroke teams who agreed that the idea was excellent. Within two weeks, the idea became reality for all patient care units to have a simplified order entry for all the emergency bloodwork and CT scans required for a stroke.

Katelyn Reid, the Unit Clerk on the Inpatient Surgery Unit, along with Sarah Barber, Team Leader also noted that having an algorithm or ‘cheat sheet’ for the team to identify the immediate steps and communication needed in an emergency, such as a stroke, would be helpful. In this event, they had lots of support from the other departments but felt that the more resources the better. Again, the Clinical Educators and Huron Perth District Stroke Team took this idea and made it a reality within a short time frame. Algorithm posters and resources were updated on each unit.

This was a small but mighty quality improvement process that came from front-line staff bringing forward ideas of how we could be more efficient and effective as a team, which in turn leads to better patient outcomes. A big thank you to all the team members that made these ideas possible!

Alissa, Phil and Connor  

L to R: Alissa, RPN; Phil, RN, Team Leader & Connor, RPN