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Involve employees in quality efforts
Ask for input, oversight to improve acceptance
No one wants to feel as if they are being given busy work, but if a performance improvement study isn't presented correctly to staff members, the data collection tool will feel like busy work. If this happens, you might not collect the information you need for the study.
There are several ways to ensure that you get the data you need in a timely, accurate manner, says Lynda Laff, BSN, principal with Laff Associates, a home health and hospice consulting firm in Hilton Head, SC. "Work the questions you need answered into a normal assessment so that it is a part of the overall visit, not something extra," Laff suggests. Test your tool carefully, she says. Make sure that it collects the information you need, but also make sure it is easy for the nurses to include in their assessment, she adds.
Staff input into the development of tools and performance improvement activities is critical to success, says Susan E. Saxon, RN, administrator and principal of Tidewater Hospice in Bluffton, SC. "I suggest using as many different employees as possible on different performance improvement teams," she says. When employees have a chance to see why different projects are selected, how the data are analyzed, and how plans for improvement are developed, they are more likely to be supportive of the effort, Saxon explains.
When Saxon had an employee come to her with some information and say, "This has to do with your study," she knew that she had to improve communication with staff members, Saxon says. "Be sure you explain that these are the agency's studies, and they benefit everyone," she adds.
Also, when selecting measures to study, be sure to pick measures that are relevant to your employees, Saxon suggests. "Explain how improvement of the outcome will improve patients' quality of life, improve family satisfaction, and improve employee satisfaction," she says.