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Vision and Voice

Champions of Change: Excellence Driven on the Path to Success

Excellence Driven ED Group Photo

Last month, we introduced and piloted the Excellence Driven Initiative in our Emergency Department (ED). This scoping project reimagined how our patient care is delivered in the ED to optimize patient greeting, arrival and assessment processes. The ED has re-engineered its operations and streamlined procedures to deliver timely, efficient care for our patients and their families. This is no small feat! The early results of the pilot showed promising results.

In the pilot phase, positive indicators of success included:

  1. An increase in the number of patients arriving by ambulance that were promptly treated.
  2. A decrease in the rate of patients who walked away from care or “left without being seen”.
  3. An increase in ED efficiency. Data revealed that patients were seen and discharged an hour sooner with the new processes.
  4. A visible indicator of success: One evening during the pilot, our ED waiting room — which would typically hold 25 to 35 waiting patients most evenings — was completely empty.  

These results have been encouraging and the ED initiative shows great potential. However, we acknowledge that change presents unique challenges as we all learn and adapt to a new care delivery model. Since going live on July 6, Monday-Friday, we have experienced some highs and lows as we roll out our new processes. Change of this magnitude takes time and perseverance and I’m confident that together we can achieve great success!

As the “front door” of the medical center, the ED touches and connects most areas of our organization. It will take all of us to make the Excellence Driven initiative as consistently successful as we know is possible from the pilot days. This requires systemwide patient progression support including efforts like timely consults and limiting additional diagnostics that do not impact admission/discharge decisions. It also includes early inpatient discharges and timely outpatient appointments.

If you have the opportunity, please take a moment to acknowledge and cheer on our exceptional ED team. The attending physicians, residents, nurses, specialists, pharmacists, respiratory therapists and other team members are all working hard to ensure the success of this project. Their commitment, flexibility and determination throughout the journey make them true champions of change.

We greatly appreciate everyone’s support as we embark on this worthwhile endeavor. Our goal is to bolster our ED to facilitate lasting and positive change. We aim to positively impact the University Medical Center to benefit our patients and team members alike. Thank you for your resilience, hard work and unwavering commitment to high-quality care. By championing change at UVA Health, we transform patient care and embrace excellence.

Learn more about the Excellence Driven initiative in Connect.

Share your experiences or ideas for championing change with me through the Be Heard Suggestion Box.

Take care and be well,