Vice President, Nursing
Community Health Network
Poor communication leads to medical errors and dissatisfied patients. Eleanore Wilson, vice president of nursing for Indianapolis-based Community Health Network, explains how a simple phone call helps rectify communication breakdowns before they lead to bigger problems.
Wilson: Call FIRST (Family-Initiated Rapid Screening Team) is an initiative for all five hospitals in the Community Network. It was designed for the patients, but it is not an emergency response.
Say I'm a patient on the med-surg unit. And maybe my nurse isn't quite listening to me, and I'm not happy with my physician. I can call this number, and we have 24-7 leadership coverage in the hospital. It goes directly to them. Then that person's response time is 10 to 15 minutes to the patient's bedside to say, "How can I help you? What's the issue?" They are troubleshooters. It's not for emergency conditions, but it could lead to that.
We did have training with all of our managers. Additionally, all of our staff is required to go through relationship training, so we reiterate some of the key points of that training with our supervisors who answer the calls.
The staff pushed back a little initially, thinking patients were going to use this if they wanted a spoon, for example. But they don't. I don't think we've ever had real abuse of it. We keep a log every month, and we go back and review it in terms of the issues.