The pharmacists appreciate the change in hours at least as much as the patients. “There has been a definite positive shift in our staff’s morale, which has translated to an increase in patient care satisfaction,” said Guntherberg. “Taking care of our staff is the pharmacy leadership’s first priority. This was a win-win for us. It benefits both our staff and our patients.”
For other pharmacy teams who might consider making similar changes, Guntherberg has some advice. “Prior to making any major changes within your services, I would recommend implementing the use of an established performance improvement management plan. Our quality management leadership endorses FOCUS-PDCA.”
The FOCUS-PDCA acronym summarizes a process improvement model first developed by the Hospital Corporation of America:
- Find a process to improve.
- Organize an effort to work on improvement.
- Clarify current knowledge of the process.
- Understand process variation and capability.
- Select a strategy for continued improvement.
Guntherberg recommends the model because it provides a framework for the continual improvement of processes. She also noted that education and management of expectations are also critical for successful implementation of significant changes.
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