November Quality Corner

November 25, 2014 by


Meet Steve Simmers!

Welcome to Steve Simmers!
My name is Stephen Simmers (“Steve“ is fine). My career with UVA started October 27th of this year as the Children’s Hospital new Performance Improvement Project Management Coordinator. The first 28 years of my work history was spent in the manufacturing environment with roles relating to quality control and process improvement within Fortune 500 companies. For the last almost 7 years I was employed by Sentara RMH as a Data Analyst, reporting to the Heart and Vascular Department. I am a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and my tool set includes statistical data analysis, team facilitation, project management, SQL programming and very strong Excel skills. My new role with the Children’s Hospital is to provide a resource for both longer-term improvement projects and help with smaller, short-term issues that hold us back. Please feel free to contact me ( to help guide and/or develop future quality improvement projects in your unit, division, or clinic!

Supplies in the NICU
Tina Davis, RN and Shanika Lewis, PCA recently completed a review of supplies in the NICU. The origin of this initiative originated as a key issue on an AONE and Gallup Pulse Survey. As a Magnet Champion for the NICU, Ms. Davis volunteered to be on the Medical Center Committee looking at Supply Chain. Although this is a hospital wide committee that concentrated on two test floors, she was able to find and use resources to investigate issues in the NICU.

Tina’s rationale was that every team member needs to have the supplies to perform their job effectively and efficiently. She pulled in Shanika to assist due to her knowledge with the NICU stock room and supplies. They started with a survey monkey to the staff to determine their problem areas. Staff identified that the time looking for supplies, as well as having the right amount of supplies, were the main issues.

Working together, they noticed that the NICU supply room was overstocked. In addition, the NICU Supply Usage Report had inconsistencies resulting in supplies being sent to the NICU (with their associated charges) when they were not needed. Tina and Shanika worked with the Supply Chain to reduce supply PAR amounts to appropriate levels and also improved delivery services so that supply was consistent. In addition, they also restructured the storeroom with input from nursing to make it more user friendly and efficient, decreasing the time nurses spend looking for the right supplies. With changes in delivery and elimination of unnecessary supplies, the NICU has saved $12,000 in the first month after the change. Great Job!

New Stethoscopes Coming!
A team member recently cut themselves while attempting to put together one of the disposable stethoscopes. This was reported to the UBL, brought up the help chain, and now we are looking for your input on the type of stethoscope that is both safe and usable. Speak to your unit manager to provide feedback, please!

Nursing Shift Summary Pilot on 7 Acute
Recently, a survey was sent to care providers on 7 Acute. Approximately 45% of nurses and 60% of attendings and residents felt that it is difficult or very difficult to figure out from the medical record what problems had arisen in their patients during the previous shift. Over 80% of care providers sometimes or often realize a patient had an issue or problem in a previous shift that was not readily apparent when reviewing Epic.

To combat this problem, Steve Borowitz, MD, Susan Steck RN Clin IV, and Jonathan Swanson, MD, MSc have implemented a pilot on 7 Acute to have nurses write a brief “shift summary” narrative that summarizes changes in a patient’s status, staff, or family concerns or even a review of what happened over the previous shift. Providers can view these narratives in the Pediatric Rounding Report, the Daily Interventions Flowsheet or can even insert them into their Patient Lists. This pilot will start in early December and we hope to have additional data on its effect in 2-3 months. Please see Steve, Susan or Jon if you have any questions.

Filed Under: Features