Pillars of Excellence Awards
2017 Pillars of Excellence Award Winners
Our 2017 Pillars of Excellence Award winners represent the spirit and aspirations of The Sharp Experience.
Quality Pillar winners
Hera Dore, Sharp Coronado Hospital
Hera has a passion for improving patient outcomes. To reduce in-hospital mortality due to sepsis, Hera worked collaboratively with leaders and frontline team members to promote early recognition of sepsis, followed by early diagnostic testing and interventions of patients admitted through the Emergency Department. Following one year of dedicated effort, techniques, assessments and analysis, Hera and her team led Sharp Coronado from a sepsis mortality rate of 21 percent to an impressive top decile rate of 5 percent.
AFib Stroke Prophylaxis, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center
This multidisciplinary team reduced the risk of stroke among patients with atrial fibrillation discharged from the Emergency Department by significantly increasing clinical guideline compliance. A review of at-risk patients confirmed that many were not receiving appropriate oral anticoagulant therapy. The team implemented a standardized risk assessment, validated appropriate levels of therapy, and developed a referral process for post-discharge follow-up. Following implementation, compliance with therapy increased from 62 percent to nearly 88 percent, higher than national registry levels.
Emergency Department, Sharp Coronado Hospital
Sepsis and septic shock continue to be the leading cause of patient mortality in hospitals. Early detection and timely intervention can reduce mortality, morbidity and total cost of patient care. Team members set goals of early sepsis bundle compliance and timely treatment. The department created a "60-Day Sepsis Challenge," rewarding nurses for identifying potential sepsis cases. This put early recognition of symptoms at the forefront. Compliance with the early sepsis bundle increased from 39 percent to over 70 percent.
Safety Pillar winners
Jill Limberg, Sharp Grossmont Hospital
As the leader of Sharp Grossmont's Choice of Sedation bundle, Jill worked to align hospital sedation practices with the Society of Critical Care Medicine guidelines. Under her direction, the intensive care units achieved a culture change in the approach to sedation of mechanically ventilated patients resulting in a 23 percent increase of patients never comatose during their ICU stay, and a decrease in average ventilator days from 6.2 to 3.7, the lowest in hospital history.
Combating Combative Injuries to Employees, Sharp Grossmont Hospital
Challenged with more Code Greens in the past year than all Sharp HealthCare facilities combined, the Sharp Grossmont Security Department, Safety Team and Nursing leaders collaborated to develop strategies to reduce the escalation of security events. Together they developed a thorough security screening exam for all entrants, a certification of staff in de-escalation techniques, and the creation of an assaultive patient algorithm to guide staff. Since implementation, combative patient recordable injuries have been reduced by 69 percent.
5 West Progressive Care Unit, Sharp Grossmont Hospital
Through a daily awareness and standardized interdisciplinary approach, this unit attained zero falls for 11 months, achieving outstanding patient safety standards as outlined by The Joint Commission, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Their process of 5 West 5 Checks, No Falls Protocol and CNA Change of Shift Start Times successfully prevented falls and fall-related injuries for patients with major cardiovascular co-morbidities.
Service Pillar winners
Dr. Roxanne Hon, Sharp Grossmont Hospital
As the former medical director of Rehab, Dr. Hon provided medical and administrative oversight of patient care and served as a role model to create the best experience for team members, patients and their families. Dr. Hon treats everyone with respect, supports team decision making and engages staff to "paint a picture" in their documentation to ensure patients' needs are understood and appropriate care is provided. Under her leadership, patient satisfaction and employee engagement continue to be in the top decile.
6 North Pain Management, Sharp Memorial Hospital
This team engaged staff and patients to develop a patient-centered approach to improving pain management. Utilizing the "voice of the customer" and Lean methodology, the team developed a visual pain management plan of care that includes the patient and family, and aids open communication, which has improved pain management and patient satisfaction. These efforts led to an increase in patient satisfaction on the HCAHPS pain management questions from 76 percent to 96 percent.
Pulmonary Services, Sharp Memorial Hospital
This department developed a four-phase "Patient Empowerment" program, which provides proactive chronic case management and coaching support for inpatients experiencing respiratory impairment related to COPD. The program has an interprofessional team approach and is integrated with the American Lung Association's Better Breathers Club. Coaches provide individually tailored, evidence-based plans to build rapport, engage patient and facilitate patient activation and empowerment. This program helped reduce readmissions for Medicare COPD patients from 27 percent to 11 percent.
People Pillar winners
Amanda Gastelum Munoz, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital
Amanda is a senior nursing specialist who inspires others to achieve their full potential. In 2016, she supported nursing education activities for seven inpatient units, including an initiative to increase the number of psychiatric mental health certified nurses. She engaged the Sharp Mesa Vista Education Council to create 10 two-hour certification review study sessions over a five-week period. As a result, the number of board-certified registered nurses at Sharp Mesa Vista increased from 25 to 43.
Grossmont Experience, Sharp Grossmont Hospital
With a strong focus on improving employee and physician engagement, communication and recognition, this team developed employee forums, improved CEO communications, enhanced leadership forums, organized new employee onboarding, supported daily huddles, launched an annual Grossmont celebration and created an Art Walk contest to display team talent. As a result, Sharp Grossmont's employee engagement increased from the 78th percentile to the 90th percentile, and physician engagement increased from the 58th percentile to the 73rd percentile.
M.I.S. Stories, Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns
Recognizing that reflective learning through storytelling is a meaningful way of transferring knowledge, inspiring critical thinking and improving performance, this team created a platform to encourage team members to share clinical experiences in story format that would be valuable to others. Chosen stories are presented at both day and night shift huddles. Since the beginning of the program, story submissions have nearly doubled and 100 percent of nurses surveyed agree that the stories are relevant and helpful to their practice.
Finance Pillar winners
Dianna White, Sharp HealthCare - System Services
Dianna led a cross-functional initiative to secure substantial sales tax refunds for Sharp. The initiative centered around a new interpretation of California sales tax regulations, which holds that providers should be exempt from sales tax related to certain supplies used on Medicare beneficiaries. Dianna's project was the first in the country to apply this concept to medical supplies. To date, the initiative has resulted in $1.4 million of savings with another $1.7 million in the pipeline and these savings are likely to continue into the foreseeable future.
Denials and Appeals, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital
Recognizing that Medicare denials were disproportionately higher due to complexities related to how California delegates financial responsibility, this team worked to develop and implement a Lean approach to all-MediCal utilization review and appeals. Thinking outside of the box, pushing back on barriers, streamlining processes, empowering team members and exhausting all opportunities has proven quite successful with a significant decrease in denial rates and denied days, providing a combined increase in net revenue of approximately $2.3 million.
Patient Access Services, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center
This department improved cash collections by hardwiring payment discussions into all payor and point-of-service patient contacts. The Patient Access Services (PAS) Department's primary focus was on increasing cash collections in the Emergency Department. Cash collections from the ED improved from $380,000 to over $946,000 annually. Overall, the PAS Department increased cash collections from all eligible patients by 64 percent, representing more than $3.6 million.
Growth Pillar winners
Shayna Kelleher, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital
Shayna secured a two-year commitment from Janssen Healthcare Innovations to provide an entirely new level of care for young people within the first five years of receiving a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. This project delivers educational and technology interventions that continue the development of this cutting-edge new program and expands the hospital's revenue and capacity. In addition, this represents the largest contract on an annual basis ever awarded to Sharp HealthCare Foundation.
Emergency Department Lean Team, Sharp Memorial Hospital
After the opening of nine additional beds in the Emergency Department, this team recognized the need to sustain excellence in throughput while accommodating the increase in volume. Sustainment actions included increased process education, auditing for compliance, real-time peer feedback and using Lean tools to make improvements. In one year, the ED accommodated an additional 3,600 patients while maintaining the length of stay at 180 minutes, well below the state benchmark. In this time frame, the ED achieved their highest quarter for patient satisfaction since 2014.
Dual Veterans Program, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital
This department coordinates a program that focuses on the reduction of various mental health symptoms in veterans, including those related to combat post-traumatic stress disorder, complex trauma, grief and loss, substance abuse, relationship conflict and risk of suicide. The program collaborated extensively with the Veterans Administration, CHOICE and TriWest processing agents to develop a multi-faceted referral and service tracking system. Total referrals to the program increased from 276 to 643 in just one year.
Community Pillar winners
Van Tran, Sharp Grossmont Hospital
Van's passion for helping those in need led her to start a nonprofit organization to bring volunteer medical services to communities with limited access. In January 2017, Van led a team of 26 volunteers, including 10 Sharp employees, on a medical mission to the Philippines. They set up mobile clinics, and provided free medical screenings and extensive health education to over 1,200 impoverished people. Without Van's vision and committed efforts, many of those served would otherwise live shortened lives.
Public Resource Specialists Food Assistance, Sharp Grossmont Hospital
In addition to assisting patients with access to health care, this team recognized the need to also help patients secure food assistance. They strategized to incorporate CalFresh into the MediCal process and launched a pilot program to integrate food security and health care. The program has now been replicated across Sharp hospitals and other local health care systems. As of March 2017, Sharp HealthCare has successfully enrolled 209 patients and eligible family members in the CalFresh program.
Social Services, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center
This department frequently encounters economically disadvantaged mothers. To provide better care to these patients, team members developed a relationship with Gently Hugged, a local nonprofit organization that supplies free clothing for newborns. Team members pick up donated clothing, store it on site, and deliver enough clothing for the first year of life to families in need. Since implementation, 40 mothers have received a bag of new or gently used clothing for their newborn's first year of life.