By: USC Keck Medical Center Pulmonary Team, Los Angeles, CA
Taking the first “step” on a new project is always hard, especially when it involves implementing changes to current processes that are routine. Change is hard! After attending the Community Conference last month, we came back to our Center overwhelmed and excited at the same time. For instance, our care team firmly believes that patient partnering is essential to the CF care delivery we provide, but now we needed to include them in pre-visit planning to determine their main health concerns, issues they felt were priorities to discuss, and team members they would want to spend more time with. It was expected that this would take time and worse, who on our team would have the time to add this into their already busy workday. Our current practice involves all care team members to participate in visits and moving forward this would change everything we were familiar with. Where do we begin? Start small was a resounding theme at the conference, so that is where we started.
Two patients were contacted via phone prior to their next scheduled clinic visit. Time was spent discussing our purpose for the call (pre-visit planning aim) and then each CF person was asked what they felt they needed out of their appointment. We learned early on in this small PDSA that calls were not optimal due to the amount of time it took. Several PDSA cycles (keep it small) later, we have learned so much; people with CF want to be active participants in care, using our electronic patient portal was much easier than calling, creating a template for portal messages for consistency was needed, our clinic flow needed to change, and the list goes on. We hope our story will encourage you to start small, educate your care team staff and providers, educate your people with CF, learn from your mistakes, and implement your successes.