Facing off against ‘dragons’ in the ED

We recently celebrated a number of professional practice days at Osler but there is one special shout out I need to make. May 19 was Personal Support Worker (PSW) day and it was a remarkable one for Osler PSW Carolynne Haynes. She received the inaugural PSW of the Year award by the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE (OCHU). As a person who is a “passionate and loving care provider with an infectious and warm personality [who] goes that extra mile on a daily basis” she is a deserving honouree. Congratulations on this incredible achievement!

Recently, Osler’s Emergency Department (ED) came up with a new name for their unit: the Dragon’s Den.

Based on the popular television show, the ED team created a “Dragon’s Den” and invited frontline staff from Brampton Civic’s ED to pitch their ideas on how to improve and enhance their department. They invited me to join two clinical leaders, Kim Maas-O’Hearn, Clinical Services Manager of Emergency Medicine and Dr. Tamara Wallington, Corporate Medical Director of Quality and Safety, to channel our inner dragons on the judging panel.

The teams with the top five pitches – as voted on by ED staff and physicians – will each receive $5,000 to implement their ideas from the physicians in the BCH ED.

Sixteen teams presented their ideas before an encouraging and vocal crowd of ED nurses, physicians and support staff – some coming off night shifts and others coming in on their days off – in Brampton Civic’s Auditorium. The pitches covered all aspects of the department – from improving the experience of the ED’s hallway patients to streamlining processes in different areas of the ED, and from new methods of combatting burnout to innovative team training and simulation sessions.

After each presentation, the dragons fired questions at the teams to learn more about how they will spend the money, how feasible it is to maintain the idea once implemented, and what other organizations have successfully used similar ideas.

The voice of Osler’s staff is powerful. They are the people who work in these environments every day and know the challenges of their departments better than anyone else. Our Dragon’s Den was a fun, innovative and simple way of challenging staff to think outside the box and really engage them in shaping the future of ED operations.

Sonam Bhojani, an RN in the ED, agrees: “I think we’re probably the best resource [we] have, being frontline staff. It’s great that [we] are asked to bring forward our thoughts about how we feel the department can function better.”

In the coming weeks, we’ll turn it back to the ED staff and physicians and ask them to vote for their favourite pitches. Winning ideas will be announced later this month.

While this event was exclusive to Brampton Civic, improvements are also happening at Etobicoke General. The Ambulatory Treatment Centre (ATC) has been redesigned into “see and treat” zones to create a more orderly process for patient flow and two new treatment rooms have been added to the Fast Track zone to expedite care. Osler will also be piloting ED Wait Time Cards in the coming months among patients requiring non-urgent care.

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