Katlyn M. Heidenthal, Physician Practice Coordinator (Practice Facilitator) with Health Quality Innovators, Viriginia Cooperative
“If you are trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” -Michael Jordan
Staff turnover could be viewed as a barrier to quality improvement, but one practice that I work with in EvidenceNOW chose to use it as an opportunity to re-engage staff in the importance of the quality improvement work being done. When working with this practice, I reviewed their reports and workflows to see what the practice staff had already improved on and where work was still needed for improvements. For example, I worked with the practice staff to look at how they were working to improve pre-visit calls. Previously, we had trained and worked with one individual who mainly worked the front desk and needed a lot of coaching around how to ask certain clinical questions. Recently, this individual decided to move on from the practice. There are many times when staff turnover becomes a roadblock, especially with the need to train a new staff member. However, the office manager used this as an opportunity to transfer the pre-visit calls to the nursing staff, who already knew how to ask these clinical questions. We were able to use what most would see as a “setback” to actually accelerate our quality improvement work forward. Sometimes, a potential setback or roadblock is an opportunity to think creatively and re-engage with quality improvement goals.