Jess Whitney is the clinical quality coordinator for Monument Health Custer and Lead-Deadwood Hospitals. Jess has two young daughters, which means her day starts early rushing them to school before beginning her busy workday. Jess starts each day by looking at her quality boards for new patient admissions and checking if admissions assessments are completed. One of her responsibilities is to ensure there is no missing information within the patient charts. If there are pieces missing, she will contact the nurse working that day to have them complete each section. Those of us working in quality know we need this data to best abstract quality data from charts.
Mornings for Jess consist of various meetings and huddles that are held in Custer, Lead/Deadwood, and Rapid City, which she attends virtually. She also has a daily department huddle and safety huddle. These meetings keep her informed of things happening at a system level but also within her own hospitals. One of her strongest skill sets includes taking data and interpreting into a chart or graph. This allows Jess and her team to visually see the quality work taking place every day and analyze the success or where more attention is needed. These graphs are also tools that help keep herself and her team organized. She has created trauma dashboards, transfer charts, ED visit graphs, and length of stay documents. She has made graphs on readmissions, pain and documentation. She will often print the graphs and put them on bulletin boards in break rooms. She brings this information to leadership meetings, medical staff and to the hospital board.
We all know quality work is not easy but is very rewarding, the various charts and graphs allow quality professionals to see their numbers improve while working on various projects. Quality staff is essential to a facility to help learn quickly and more efficiently ways of doing things, but those skills can also be used to teach staff and leadership important facts about patients.
My name is Loretta Bryan, and I am a Clinical Improvement Consultant with SDAHO. When I first met Jess in person last summer, I was immediately impressed with the standard she sets for herself, but also for the detailed work she does for her facilities. She is a dedicated and very talented employee. This article only outlines a very small portion of quality work done each day. We have many wonderful and talented quality staff across our state that work tirelessly for their facilities.