News from Eisenhower Medical Center
AWARDED TO: Sue Hill
RECOGNIZED BY: Tabitha Davies
SITUATION/TASK: My father was a patient at EMC. He passed away while I was holding his hand on Saturday, March 19, 2011. He had a long battle with health problems. He had dialysis almost every day. When Ms.Hill found out that my father had passed away, she took the time out of her day to come up to his room and introduce herself. She was upset by his passing and told us how much she loved taking care of my father and the conversations and jokes they shared together. She spoke so fondly of him. At the time of his passing I was crushed. My father passed at age 46. Leaving me and my brother ages 23 and 22 behind with our two small children ages 3 and 2. To know that my father had meant something to another person, who never truly had to take the time to care or bond with him, was touching.
ACTION: If ever there was an employee at Eisenhower that I have met so far that exceeds our performance standards....Sue Hill is that woman. She waited for him to be brought down to dialysis as she had so many times before. The transporter informed her that he wouldn’t be coming and when she called up to his room the RN and found out he had passed. Sue needed his family to know what they all knew about him. That he was a kind and wonderful man who was cared about by the staff at EMC. He wasn’t just a patient filling a bed; bring in money to the hospital, but a patient she enjoyed caring for. In the brief time she was able to speak with us we were all able to smile a little through our tears and heartache.
RESULT: I was proud to be an EMC employee and was very comforted by her presence and her words. My family was very touched that she took the time out of her more than busy day to come and give us her condolences. It was clear she truly did care about my father as a patient in her care. In the brief time she was able to speak with us we were all able to smile a little through our tears and heartache, knowing that he was out of pain and that his memory lived on in one of his caretakers means so much to us that words just can not express our thankfulness that he had someone like her to care for him for the many months before his passing.
AWARDED TO: Alonzo Burgen
RECOGNIZED BY: Dante Francisco
SITUATION/TASK: For over a year we have been trying to find an appliance or tool to facilitate the transfer of patient for surgery to and/or from the gurney/bed to the OR table and vice versa. None met our standard of safety. Being the creative and concerned person that he is, Alonzo went on the Internet to find the right tool. He recommended to the department what he found.
ACTION: The tool selected was tried and received excellent reviews and was eventually procured for department use.
RESULT: Since we started using the tool complaints of discomfort from patient and injuries to the team members during the transfer has been eliminated.
AWARDED TO: Dean Demir and Zack Miller
RECOGNIZED BY: Andrew Hendrian
SITUATION/TASK: Managing our network infrastructure is a never ending set of tasks that often go unseen, can be under appreciated, and yet are critically central to the overall functioning of the Medical Center. Just keeping the systems running and responding to the demands of customers on a daily basis is a full time job...and then some. What can often be left undone at other organizations are the little managerial tasks and monitoring tasks that can give great insight into problems when they occur. However these tasks rarely get the attention they deserve due to other competing priorities. They are quadrant II items of high importance but low urgency. It is just so easy to let those low urgency items slide. As I said, I have seen these tasks ignored or left undone for years at other organizations. Our network team takes it upon themselves to work the hours needed in order to make sure our network is not only functioning, but also is well maintained and monitored. What that means is that key roles in IS know within 60 seconds when some network device is not functioning as it should. We may often know before a computer user knows that a problem has occurred. Dean Demir and Zack Miller have made sure that we have the highest visibility into our network...in real time.
ACTION: What was done was that they did their duty and tackled the urgent as well as the non-urgent but very important parts of their job. On March 2nd, at 11:26 PM the hospital campus experienced a major power event that knocked out power to many, many places on campus. I think the only things running were items that were on emergency power. For me, as Director of Information Systems, I would have been oblivious to this event had it not been for Dean and Zack’s efforts. Within 60 seconds I was the recipient of 56 automated emails from all over the campus letting me know that "something big" had occurred and I better call-in and go see what was happening.
RESULT: Because of the immediacy of the warnings I received via email, I was able to scramble our network and data center team out of their beds and start trying to figure out what was happening. I was also able to immediately alert ELT members. After arriving at the hospital it was clear that we were without power at many locations and I could hear all the emergency diesel generators running. The data center had lost power and was running on emergency and battery backup power. The air conditioners in the room were running but had no chilled water. The room had risen 15 degrees in the 15 minutes it took me to get to the hospital and actually peaked at about 98 degrees. Because of the early warning system setup by Dean and Zack, we were able to save at least 30 minutes of reaction time which could have put many servers and systems (and as a result our patients) in jeopardy due to either high heat damage or loss of battery power due to exhausted backup batteries. The quick response by the team meant that within 10 minutes we had folks responding to the event, which meant shutting down low criticality servers. This means less heat gets generated in the room and less power from the batteries is used, which extends the time we have to respond. Instead of 40-50 minutes to make that decision we were able to decide our course of action within 10 minutes and have people working the solution, because we knew right away... This could have been an even more difficult night to all of us. More systems could have been impacted and resolution times could have stretched into many, many more hours than what actually occurred, potentially impacting all staff and many patients. Thank you Dean and Zack. Well done.
AWARDED TO: Terry Nault
RECOGNIZED BY: Sue Effinger
SITUATION/TASK: One of our very nice elderly patients on 3 North was trying to call 911 from his bedroom phone. The operator notified the nurse, Terry of this event. The patient stated his wife who is 90 and has mild dementia was very distraught because she locked herself out of her bedroom where her medication is kept. She was unable to do anything for herself other than call him due to her being so hysterical. The patient is the caregiver for his wife and she had been home alone since he was taken to the hospital.
ACTION: Terry being the very caring and conscientious nurse she is, spent considerable time calling various law enforcement agencies. She also attempted to look up a neighbor’s phone number by their name and street they live on, with no avail. Eventually contacting the fire department (the police wouldn’t go) she also made a consult for social services due to the safety of the wife at home.
RESULT: The patient’s wife was helped at home by the fire department and the husband (our patient) was happy and able to relax knowing his wife was taken care of. Many times the care of our patients extends far beyond the hospital bed and it is nurses like Terry who make sure that all of our patients even the families at home are safe.
AWARDED TO: Rebeka Oviedo and Robyn Fuller
RECOGNIZED BY: Kim Ullrich
SITUATION/TASK: Since the urgent care moved from the Cathedral City location, the Occupational Health Dept has had patients presenting for urgent care services. In most of these cases the patients are politely and professionally advised that the urgent care has relocated to Palm Springs and are redirected, with maps, for care and treatment. On a particular day in February, a gentleman presented at the Occ. Health clinic in physical distress looking for the urgent care. As is always the case in matters of emergent situations with patients, he was quickly brought back to a room, triaged, cared for. Paramedics were called to take him to the hospital. He ultimately refused to go to the hospital and instead had a friend take him.
ACTION: From a safety perspective this man needed immediate attention regardless whether he was a work comp patient or urgent care patient and both of these ladies quickly stepped up to make sure he was take care of.
The Director received the following letter (excerpts) from the patient:
“Dear Ladies, a syringe and two vials of insulin left to my own devices in nothing more than one recipe for disaster! Well at least I recognize my ridiculous error! Not being aware of the internal clinic changes you have made, I raced to the clinic for assistance after feeling extremely shaky. You were all GREAT! You corrected my “foolishness”, fed me some old Christmas candy and basically saved my life! All of you were so pleasant, and not one of you yelled….DumbA@$! Because I certainly would have said that or something similar to anyone who pulled a stunt of medication error. And all….AT NO CHARGE! Thank you so very much for your recent help – in my absolute ‘time of need’ you were so appreciated! It is especially good to know that you’re out there!”
RESULT: As described above the quick actions and time spent with this patient even though he was not the typical patient we see in Occ Health, perhaps saved his life. If the actions of these two EMC employees isn’t reflective of our slogan “Healthcare As It Should Be”, I don’t know what is! Employees totally doing the right and safe thing!