Physician and nurse leaders collaborate to improve the patient experience

Liz O'Mara, RN (left), Maternity and Well Newborn unit, and Jaspreet Loyal, MD, Newborn Nursery, were among more than 100 physician and nurse leaders at a recent forum for members of the hospital's new MD-PSM partnerships.
Liz O'Mara, RN (left), Maternity and Well Newborn unit, and Jaspreet Loyal, MD, Newborn Nursery, were among more than 100 physician and nurse leaders at a recent forum for members of the hospital's new MD-PSM partnerships.

Yale-New Haven Hospital has created a new program to encourage the leadership partnership of medical directors and patient service managers in jointly overseeing their units and departments.

The program was launched in late 2013 as a hospital-wide initiative to invest in the leaders responsible for helping YNHH meet its patient experience goals and establish a collaborative leadership model throughout the organization.

"This effort is designed to ensure that our leadership teams are developed and supported in their roles," Cynthia Sparer, senior vice president, YNHH, and executive director, Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, told more than 100 partnership participants at a recent forum. "It builds on the achievements of our nursing leaders as a Magnet Hospital and the important advances in developing our medical directors.

"You are the face of leadership for the vast majority of people who work in our institution," she told the group.

"The hospital is very good at creating global expectations about safety, quality and the patient experience," said Jeannette Hodge, executive director, Patient Experience. "But when it comes to caring for patients, it's the employees and physicians on each unit who play key roles in ensuring we meet those expectations."

Physician involvement is critical, and physician leaders must work closely with patient service managers (PSMs) and assistant patient service managers (APSMs), added Michael Bennick, MD, associate chief of Medicine and medical director, Patient Experience.

"In developing these MD-PSM partnerships, we realized there was a significant gap between the hospital's investment in a common vision, mission and values for employees, and a corresponding investment in getting medical staff involved in delivering the vision, mission and values," he said.

To help close that gap, the hospital has asked each MD-PSM partnership to work with their unit staff and physicians on two projects that will improve the patient experience. One project will focus on quiet; the other on a topic unit leaders feel is most relevant to their area.

Liz O'Mara, RN, patient service manager, Maternity and Well Newborn unit, said the MD-PSM partnership initiative has enhanced her collaboration with Jaspreet Loyal, MD, medical director, Newborn Nursery.

"Our leadership collaboration is based on a shared passion and vision about the patient experience. The patient and family are at the center of any decision we make," O'Mara said. "Together we share that passion and vision with the residents and staff on our unit, and as a result, a strong patient- and family-centered culture is developing that not only benefits patients and families, but the staff who serve them."