MGSHC Launches Program to Engage Nurses in Leading Efforts to Improve Quality

Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center in Merrill is pleased to announce its selection and participation in the Aligning Forces for Quality Transforming Care at the Bedside (AF4Q TCAB). Bringing together hospital teams from across the state to lead improvements in the quality and safety of patient care, it is a part of an innovative nationwide program led by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated to improving the health and health care of all Americans.

AF4Q TCAB is a new nurse-led hospital program that engaged frontline staff to work together to identify, pilot, test and adopt new practices over an 18-month period. Participating nurses will then share their successes and lessons learned with other hospitals across the country.

“As Wisconsin and the nation look at improving care, it is important that we provide local models of reforms that are good for everyone,” said Kris McGarigle, president, Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center. “Our participation in this program shows that we are committed to being a leader in improving patient care and increasing efficiency to produce better outcomes.”

It’s all part of Aligning Forces for Quality, the Foundation’s signature effort to lift the overall quality of health care in targeted communities, as well as reduce racial and ethnic disparities and provide models for national reform. The AF4Q TCAB program in Wisconsin is being led by the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) and is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, through a grant to the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality.

“By participating in AF4Q TCAB, nurses at Ministry Good Samaritan will be on the frontlines, working together with others across Wisconsin to formulate innovations and improve the care they deliver,” said Jacquelyn Nefstead RN, ONC, inpatient manager, Patient Care Services, Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center. “This program will empower our staff to reduce adverse events and unanticipated deaths, reduce harm from falls and implement evidence-based care.”

“The beauty of TCAB is that quality becomes practical in the hands of bedside nurses who are given the tools to conduct small tests of change, then adapt, adopt, or abandon those tests until an innovation becomes a new way of doing things,” according to Judy Warmuth, RN, WHA vice president, workforce. The 18 TCAB hospital units participating in the project are also charged with spreading their improvement strategies to the entire hospital.

WHA’s TCAB Project Manager Stephanie Sobczak said, “We are looking forward to seeing what innovative approaches our teams come up with through the TCAB experience. This project will help Wisconsin, which is already known as a national leader in both patient safety and quality, attain an even higher standard of care.”

In Wisconsin, Aligning Forces for Quality is a joint project by the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality, Wisconsin Hospital Association, and other organizations. Funded by RWJF, AF4Q and all of the regional TCAB efforts are coordinated by The Center for Health Care Quality at The George Washington University Medical Center School of Public Health and Health Services, which serves as the national program office for the Aligning Forces for Quality initiative. Local hospitals were recently asked to apply to participate in this hospital-based quality improvement component of the initiative.

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