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Elevate Team Award

Children’s Hospital PACU Prescription Workflow Team improves patient experience, wins Elevate Team Award

A combination of "incredible service and safer medication delivery"

by July 16, 2018

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt’s Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) Prescription Workflow Team. Photo by Steve Green

The Elevate Team Award, which recognizes efforts by two or more people to improve a process, solve a problem or advance organizational culture at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), was recently awarded to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt’s Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) Prescription Workflow Team.

The multidisciplinary team — led LeighAnn Chadwell, RN, BSN, manager of the PACU, and Priscilla Mooney, manager of Outpatient Pharmacy at Children’s Hospital — includes pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses and doctors/surgeon for the Children’s Hospital Departments of Pharmacy and Perioperative and Procedure Services.

In the nomination letter for the PACU Prescription Workflow Team, nurses, surgeons and staff repeatedly note how happy patients and families are with the process and how it has increased employee satisfaction as well.

Pediatric patients have unique prescription needs sometimes not met at community pharmacies. Often, medication dosage forms (liquids, compounds, etc.) are not available, dosing tools such as syringes are not provided, and there can be variances in available concentration — all issues which can result in dosing errors and compliance concerns for pediatric patients.

For these reasons, many children rely on Children’s Hospital to get prescriptions following operations. To reduce significant delays in processing and filling prescriptions for these patients, the team worked to implement a new post-op prescription workflow that improved prescription turnaround time, capture rate and patient/family satisfaction.

With processes put in place, the team steadily reduced the turnaround time from 60 minutes in the second quarter of fiscal year 2016 to 37 minutes in February of this year.

“The PACU Prescription Workflow Team has put a process in place that has proven to be invaluable to our patients and their families. Not only does the bedside delivery of prescriptions enable the family to remain with their child in recovery immediately after surgery, it also ensures that they fully prepared to take care of their child at home,” said Elizabeth Humphreys, PharmD, director of Pharmacy at Children’s Hospital. “Families have repeatedly stated how thankful they are to have all of the necessary medicines before leaving the hospital. This team has developed and implemented a process that epitomizes what Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital is all about — delivering the highest quality medical care to children.”

In the nomination letter for the PACU Prescription Workflow Team, nurses, surgeons and staff repeatedly note how happy patients and families are with the process and how it has increased employee satisfaction as well.

“The PACU pharmacy service has been very helpful for both families and nurses. Families continually express how convenient it is to have their prescriptions filled at our pharmacy, eliminating an extra stop on their way home. They are very appreciative of the bedside delivery service and again, not having to stop on their way out, not getting lost trying to find pharmacy, etc. The PACU pharmacy service has strengthened the nurse/pharmacy relationships. For nurses, the pharmacy service is very helpful because we have a pharmacy person easily accessible and able to update us on potential delays and status of the prescriptions being filled,” wrote one nurse in the PACU on the nomination form.

John W. Brock III, MD, surgeon-in-chief of Children’s Hospital, director of the Division of Pediatric Urology and Monroe Carell Jr. Professor, noted that the team is a shining example of a project done well where people bring their expertise together with a shared goal of providing the highest quality services for patients and families.

“This initiative meets each of our pillar goals for the organization and provides outstanding service. This program is the largest one of its kind across all of the Children’s Hospital, and the team should be recognized for an innovative approach that did not require a large number of full-time employees or new space. The multidisciplinary team members each brought forth ideas to serve our patients and families with existing resources, and the product of that is incredible service and safer medication delivery.”

To place a nomination for an Elevate Credo Award, Five Pillar Leader Award, or Team Award, visit the Elevate website to fill out a nomination form. Employees demonstrate credo behaviors when: they make those they serve the highest priority; respect privacy and confidentiality; communicate effectively; conduct themselves professionally; have a sense of ownership; and are committed to their colleagues. Elevate award nominations are accepted year round. If a nomination is received after the cut off for an award selection period, the nomination will be considered for the next period. VUMC Voice will post stories on each of the award winners in the weeks following their announcement.

John Brock III, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, Elizabeth Humphreys, Pharmacy, PACU, LeighAnn Chadwell, Priscilla Mooney, Elevate