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Adm. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 32; doi:10.3390/admsci7030032

The Synergy Tool: Making Important Quality Gains within One Healthcare Organization

1
Quality and Performance, Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, ON L8V 1C3, Canada
2
School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 2B5, Canada
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 3 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Work Environments)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [696 KB, uploaded 12 September 2017]   |  

Abstract

Background: Evidence-based clinical care delivery begins with comprehensive assessments of patients’ priority needs. A Canadian health sciences corporation conducted a quality improvement initiative to enhance clinical care delivery, beginning with one acute care site. A real-time staffing tool, the synergy tool, was used by direct care providers and leadership to design and implement patient-centered care delivery. The synergy tool is the patient characteristics component of the Synergy Model™, developed by an expert panel of nurses in the 1990s. Since then, the tool has been effectively used to assess a variety of patient populations on eight important characteristics, informing real-time staffing decisions. Methods: Plan-Do-Study Act cycles were managed by department-based project teams with assistance from business analytics and a quality/safety officer. Results: Initial findings demonstrate reductions in nurse missed breaks, improved workload management, and significant increases in staff engagement. Conclusions: The synergy tool is an easy-to-use tool that can be used to highlight priority care needs for individual patients or specific patient populations. The tool informs real-time staffing decisions, ensuring a better fit between patient needs and nurse staffing assignments. Although this initiative began with nurses, project work is expanding to include inter-professional teams. View Full-Text
Keywords: synergy tool; patient-centred care; PDSA cycles; quality improvement collaboratives synergy tool; patient-centred care; PDSA cycles; quality improvement collaboratives
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ho, E.; Principi, E.; Cordon, C.P.; Amenudzie, Y.; Kotwa, K.; Holt, S.; MacPhee, M. The Synergy Tool: Making Important Quality Gains within One Healthcare Organization. Adm. Sci. 2017, 7, 32.

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