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Adm. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 32;

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

Quality and Performance, Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, ON L8V 1C3, Canada
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)
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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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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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