Highlights from the Fall 2017 Community Conference

By: Glenda Drake, Clinical Program Manager, Banner University Medical Center Tucson

As members of the LLC, quality improvement is not new to my team. We’ve performed many global aims, PDSA cycles, fishbones, run charts, and driver diagrams but the CFLN allowed me to see the impact of our efforts more clearly than in prior years. It could be that I was finally “getting” the process, since repetition breeds understanding. However, something else was different this time: seeing this process thru the eyes of our Parent and Family Advisory Committee made me more passionate than ever.

The QI 101 session was a valuable review of QI basics for the care team, but new to most family members—hearing what other care centers are doing prompted them to ask questions about our own clinic and how it works; the beginnings of co-production. At the end of day, we all were tired—but not defeated—as we viewed the tasks to come.

The break-out sessions and skill practices over the next two days reinforced basic concepts. Breaking our team up into different groups with the Cohorts from 2016 let us hear what has and hasn’t worked for other programs, forced our families out of their comfort zones, and clarified their contributions to the projects ahead. As a parent member stated,

"It was incredibly inspirational and uplifting to learn…what clinics are doing nationally to help advance the care of people with cystic fibrosis…As a Parent Partner, I am excited to apply what I’ve learned at the conference to help further enhance the treatment experience for our local families.”

As we rejoined our care teams, ideas flourished, questions were asked and answered, and we felt the revitalization of our commitment to our families and patients—to continue imagining new concepts and co-produce an environment that strives for perfection. PDSA cycles were brainstormed, refined and enhanced on-the-spot as we engaged other members of the team regarding the processes we were considering. Socializing as a team—looking past “medical staff” and “families” and finding people—was equally helpful, further enhancing co-production.

The format of the CFLN this cycle increased its impact and effectiveness as much as the content. By splitting up, sharing ideas and experiences and getting out of our comfort zones, all members of our team were shaken loose from some of the old, ingrained paradigms, and ready for productive, open-minded discussion about the changes and challenges ahead.