Pillars of Excellence Awards
2015 Pillars of Excellence Award Winners
Our 2015 Pillars of Excellence Award winners represent the spirit and aspirations of The Sharp Experience.
Quality Pillar winners
Bridget Olson, Sharp Coronado Hospital
With a goal to minimize antibiotic resistance and overexposure, Bridget led the team at Sharp Coronado Hospital to decrease the days of antibiotic therapy. Under her leadership, the team improved patient outcomes, increased quality of care and had zero cases of hospital-acquired C. Diff. Bridget shares these best practices with other Sharp hospitals and in international conferences — helping to preserve the impact of antibiotics for generations to come.
Extended Care, Sharp HealthCare Multi-Entity
To provide a more positive experience for patients in contracted skilled nursing facilities, the Sharp Extended Care team was created to provide system oversight and define metrics. Team members provide daily, on-site support and oversee care for Sharp patients in seven skilled nursing facilities across the county. Through their integrated efforts, the team has decreased readmission rates, improved direct admissions and enhanced collaboration with patients, families, hospitals and the skilled nursing facilities. The team's efforts benefit Sharp patients and their families.
Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Sharp Memorial Hospital
Recognizing that proper blood sugar management decreases length of stay, infections and mortality for intensive care patients, this department addressed multiple challenges to better control blood glucose for their patients. As a result of their efforts, 97 percent of diabetic patients and 99.5 percent of cardiac-surgery patients had blood sugars within appropriate ranges in the last year. The department also increased the percent of perfectly controlled diabetes days by 23 percent.
Safety Pillar winners
Suzi Topalian, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center
As a medical physicist, Suzi assists with treatment planning and monitors the accuracy of radiation treatments for patients with cancer. On her own initiative, Suzi studied 6,700 images for six treatment areas and analyzed the subtle variations in how radiation beams are aimed at cancerous tumors. Her analysis confirmed an overall improvement in the accuracy of radiation therapies over the past three years — instilling physician and staff confidence that training and new techniques are increasing the efficacy of radiation therapy.
Medication Administration Error Reduction, Sharp Metropolitan Medical Campus
To reduce medication errors — the most common type of sentinel events — this team undertook a comprehensive initiative to create a culture of mindfulness and reduce environmental and behavioral barriers to safe medication administration. Through frequent rounding by nurse leaders and the use of a daily management system to visually track and resolve issues, the team was able to achieve a widespread cultural transformation and reduce medication-related sentinel events by 500 percent.
Child and Adolescent Inpatient Services, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital
To ensure the safety and quality of treatment for patients, this department provided staff with evidence-based training in behavioral management to deter patients from engaging in unsafe behaviors toward themselves and others. As a result of their comprehensive efforts, the department reduced seclusion and restraint incidents by 40 percent and created an environment in which team members feel more competent and patients feel safe and respected.
Service Pillar winners
Catherine Chappell, Sharp Memorial Hospital
As the sole pre-transplant kidney/pancreas social worker, Catherine ensures that potential transplant recipients and living kidney donors have sufficient social support for a safe and successful transplant. She even goes above and beyond by personally helping to complete financial assistance applications — many times following up to secure funding — and ensures patients have adequate help before and after the transplant. Her efforts provide peace of mind to families who know that both the living donor and the organ recipient are being well cared for.
Physician Satisfaction Action Team, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center
This team developed and coordinated multiple strategies to increase physician engagement and satisfaction. By listening and partnering with physicians and closely reviewing patient and physician surveys, the team engaged physicians in multiple ways, including hosting ping-pong tournaments and installing a Keurig coffee maker in the physician lounge. Their actions supported Sharp Chula Vista achieving the 93rd percentile in overall medical staff satisfaction.
5 North Acute Care, Sharp Memorial Hospital
This department initiated multiple projects to improve the quality of patient care and increase patient satisfaction. Their many projects included streamlining admission throughput; creating a buddy system to better meet patient safety and care needs; developing easy-to-understand home care guidelines; and increasing advanced certification by 160 percent. These efforts improved pain and anxiety scores, increased patient satisfaction and resulted in multiple recognitions for team members — demonstrating that the department is creating exceptional experiences for those they serve.
People Pillar winners
Dr. Alisha Carpenter, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital
Truly dedicated to those she serves — both team members and patients — Dr. Carpenter has initiated and overseen numerous program improvement and department enhancement projects for Sharp Mesa Vista's Child and Adolescent Programs. Her leadership has resulted in increased attendance at staff meetings, positively impacted the Culture of Patient Safety survey and increased employee engagement. Her daily commitment to her role inspires those around her on a continuous basis.
Patient Contact Center Training and Staffing, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers
To offset the increased volume of calls while also decreasing wait times for over two million calls per year, the Patient Contact Center recruited and trained 93 high-caliber agents — nearly doubling the size of the contact center in less than a year. The team's training and staffing efforts made it possible for the department to meet their goal of answering 80 percent of calls in less than 30 seconds, while maintaining high-quality standards.
Emergency Department, Sharp Memorial Hospital
To keep staff members engaged, informed, recognized, rewarded and celebrated, and to provide everyone a voice to share opportunities for improvement, the Emergency Department created an innovative means of allowing staff to participate in staff meetings remotely. The project has enabled frontline staff to stay connected and be involved from anywhere in the world. Due to the ease of joining the monthly meeting, staff participation has increased by up to 50 percent.
Finance Pillar winners
Bushra Flores, Sharp HealthCare, System Services
During a time of staff transition in Sharp HealthCare's Pharmacy division, Bushra led an in-depth investigation into the 340B federal drug discount program. She audited and identified opportunities to improve the program and trained another team member on 340B requirements. Her tireless efforts and leadership resulted in an increase of more than $5 million in drug savings over the last year.
SICU Equipment Team, Sharp Memorial Hospital
Dedicated to providing the highest quality care possible, this team embarked on a project to ensure that equipment is fully functional when it is urgently needed for critically ill patients in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. By using a Daily Management System and training all team members, they developed a process to manage, locate, identify and inventory the department's highly specialized equipment. In just four months, their efforts saved more than $11,000 in equipment repairs and replacement parts.
NICU Length of Stay Collaborative, Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns
Reducing the length of stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit provides many benefits — including overall improved outcomes, increased patient satisfaction and increased cost savings. By participating in a national collaborative, this department created a standardized approach to feeding, discharge planning and apnea/bradycardia management for these critically ill babies. As a result of their innovative efforts, the department reduced the average length of stay by seven days — equaling an estimated annual savings of more than $2.2 million — not to mention, uniting these newborns with their families sooner.
Growth Pillar winners
Vanjie Garcia, Sharp Coronado Hospital
In a time of exponential growth for Sharp Laboratory Services, the Outreach Department was created to meet the needs for approximately 90,000 new patients. In a six-week time frame, Vanjie trained 15 new hires on the lab registration system, workflows and procedures, and in a six-month period, she led the opening of eight Laboratory Patient Service Centers around the county. In addition to her team at Sharp Coronado, Vanjie currently manages all 18 Laboratory Patient Service Centers, which serve 14,000 patients per month.
Modernization and Expansion, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital
To improve the delivery of care and enhance safety and security, this team led the project to transform Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital. Through detailed planning, dedication and innovation, the team increased overall hospital capacity by 10 percent, increased annual occupancy to 79 percent and increased capacity for the Senior Behavioral Health Unit, Electro-Convulsive Therapy, Outpatient Programs and the pharmacy. The team's creation of beautiful and modernized healing spaces has allowed Sharp Mesa Vista to better serve the growing needs of specialized patient populations.
Out of Network, Sharp HealthCare, System Services
This department, which works to limit lost revenue as a result of Sharp patients receiving care in non-Sharp hospitals, has generated revenue systemwide using an innovative approach to expand services while maintaining the number of department personnel and keeping expenses to a minimum. A contracted partnership with Palomar Health has increased the number of out-of-network notifications by 141 percent — which has required the team to rapidly redesign their hospital assignments and coverage and learn additional managed care contracts and requirements.
Community Pillar winners
Chesney Hoagland-Fuchs, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers
Chesney's passion for diabetes health extends far beyond her role as diabetes care manager at Sharp Rees-Stealy. Each week, she dedicates 25 hours of her personal time to work as a community leader in the fight to stop diabetes. Her contributions are wide-reaching: Chesney has introduced proven diabetes prevention strategies at state and local levels and has even personally advocated to Congress. Her passion and dedication to diabetes health is improving the lives of countless individuals across the nation.
Sharp Rees-Stealy South Bay, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers
Team members at Sharp Rees-Stealy Chula Vista and Otay Ranch organized 12 months of community service projects, in which they donated their time and inspired coworkers to get involved for the betterment of the community. The team undertook multiple projects, including distributing hygiene packets to the homeless, playing Bingo at a retirement home on Valentine's Day and donating candy-filled Easter eggs to the Polinsky Children's Center. Their selfless acts have touched countless lives in the community.
Patient Relations, Sharp Memorial Hospital
Compassionate volunteers in the Community Care Partner Program serve as companions to patients who do not have family or friends available to provide comfort and support during their hospital stay. These volunteers give patients personalized attention — including accompanying them to the pre-operative surgical area, requesting music therapy and providing comforting hand massages. Their work enables all members of our internal community to benefit from Sharp's patient-and-family centered model of care.