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Improve care quality: here’s how consulting with another clinical expert can help

Protect patients from skin breakdown by closing the gaps in care.

When it comes to preventing skin breakdown, it’s important to empower staff to follow evidence-based best practices. Your quality improvement initiatives and Skin Champion teams help you do that. But maybe you’re not quite where you want to be and moving that needle can be tricky.

Top challenges to achieving quality initiatives:

1 | Competing priorities, such as time constraints and multiple responsibilities.

2 | Staffing challenges including burnout and an increased reliance on traveling staff.

3 | Lack of standardization in products and practice, both across and within units.

How do you overcome those obstacles? For starters, you don’t need to do it alone. You can ask for help. Specifically, help from a skin health clinical expert.

Quality improvement changes are easier with a guide

There are many so-called “change theories” that organizations may employ to implement staff behavior adjustments. They all have their pros and cons, and can be difficult to master.

That’s why the right partner is so valuable. The right clinical partner will help you standardize product and practice, as well as provide ongoing education to ultimately improve patient outcomes.

“A clinician is an extra resource for you, someone you can count on to help with quality initiatives,” says Angela Zuick, Medline Director of Clinical Services-Acute Care. “A partner who has a background or expertise in that area or has worked with other facilities will have a unique perspective.”

“A clinician is an extra resource for you, someone you can count on to help with quality initiatives.”

—Angela Zuick, Medline Director of Clinical Services-Acute Care

Board Certified WOC nurses who have worked in the field can relate to your day-to-day challenges and can also view the bigger picture. “With a neutral eye, they can see what’s working really well and what’s not,” Zuick says.

What can you expect from working with a clinician partner?

First, what not to expect: troublemakers. Some facilities may be hesitant to have a clinician come in to “air their dirty laundry.” That’s understandable, but that’s not the goal.

The purpose of a clinician partner is to help you collect data, analyze what it means, determine gaps in patient care—and develop a plan to improve.

Our experts are your experts

Medline’s Clinical Services Team makes it easier for caregivers to do the right thing. Watch this video to learn more about their approach.

What’s a Skin Health Discovery Assessment all about?

  • A Medline Discovery Assessment is a customized analysis of your current practices, processes, utilization and outcomes.
  • They include surveys, observations and staff interviews of focusing on clinical knowledge and practices.
  • Our findings help us identify areas that might need attention, based on your clinical and financial needs.
  • We provide educational resources, measure progress and support your ongoing efforts.

Interested in finding out how a Discovery Assessment might help you improve efficiencies and outcomes? Request your free assessment.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your partnership with an outside clinician:

Designate a sponsor
Throughout every step of a Discovery Assessment, the clinician should work with a point-person from your team. “That person will see what we’re seeing, when we’re seeing it and also allow us to deep-dive into an issue if something comes up that leads to another question,” Zuick explains.

Share insights
Don’t keep the results to yourself. There will be data to celebrate and some that will need attention. Communicate all of that within your unit and even beyond. It’s meant as a learning experience, as well as inspiration toward change.

Take baby steps
“You can’t make 20 changes at once,” Zuick stresses. “It’s like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.” Because success needs to be measured, your variables need to be simple. “A true partner works through each issue and tackles each separately,” she says.

Trust your guide
“It’s not Medline saying we think you should do this or that,” Zuick says. “Everything recommended is backed by evidence-based guidelines.” Your clinician partner will help you navigate down the right path to help empower frontline staff to follow evidence-based best practices.

Expect support
While data is enlightening, the right partner goes beyond the numbers and into the analysis, problem-solving, tools and strategies to make the change happen. We want to see you succeed, so after the discovery assessment, we’ll continue to support your efforts with education and connection for as long as you need.

Sample discovery assessment data

Your assessment results are unique to you, but we know you’re curious. So, check out the 5 insights into pressure injury prevention protocols we gained from 48 Skin Health Solution discovery assessments in 2019.

Key takeaway

Improving patient care quality starts with an assessment of what needs improving. Set yourself up for success by partnering with a clinical expert. A formal discovery assessment helps identify opportunities for standardization in your pressure injury prevention program. Working with your clinician partner, you can help empower frontline staff to help make skin health second nature.

Learn more about how to help support quality improvement initiatives:
Standardize care to prevent skin breakdown
Get customized insights with a Discovery Assessment
Pressure injury prevention strategies: refocus on the basics to improve outcomes
Watch the webinar: Building a pressure injury prevention program that works
Build a strong team to achieve better results