I-80 Trailblazer Challenge: Discharge team

OSF Innovation is developing hospital-based Innovation Hubs where anyone across the Ministry can learn to engage in improvement, creative thinking and executing solutions.

The first hub launched at OSF HealthCare Saint Paul Medical Center in Mendota, Illinois. This included the kickoff of an OSF Trailblazer Challenge, where Mission Partners could win the chance to develop solutions that can improve the hospital discharge process.

The competition resulted in 39 ideas, with four being selected to go before leaders for either further development or implementation. This is the second blog in a series highlighting the finalists.

Transitioning patients from the hospital to home 

Getting discharged from the hospital can be a vulnerable and confusing experience for patients. As long-time nurses, Hope Turigliatti and Katie Burdette have seen it all. But instead of keeping the status quo, they’ve come up with ideas on how to better prepare patients to leave the hospital.

“With the fast-pace of nursing and staff shortages across the nation, we often see that nurses get about five to 15 minutes to sit and teach a patient about their discharge instructions,” said Katie, a manager of Professional Practice for In-Service Education at OSF HealthCare Saint Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa, Illinois. “For someone who’s been in the hospital for three to 10 days and has to go home with a new diagnosis, new diet, new medications and follow-up orders – that can be a big change for people.”

As a Trailblazer group, Hope, Katie and Jessica Barringer proposed the creation of a Care Transitions team made up of nurses that provide patients a robust discharge experience. This would include having one-on-one time with the patient and their support person(s) to go over their diagnosis, care plan and medications and help them with anything else needed to transition back home.

The team would follow up with and support the patient for 30 days after hospital discharge. The goal is to ensure a smooth, successful transition back to their home environment.

“What brought me the most joy when I served at the bedside was just spending time with patients and ensuring they fully understood their care and treatment plans,” said Hope, who is the manager of Quality and Safety at OSF Saint Elizabeth. “I think it would be amazing to be able to implement such a process here.”

Working with the OSF Innovation Studio during the challenge, the team learned there is a similar program being offered virtually through OSF OnCall Digital Health. As a result, they are working with OSF OnCall to determine how to get those services in Ottawa.

“We were excited to learn about this program OSF OnCall is using; we hope to create awareness among our Mission Partners so they know that this is an option for our patients here in Ottawa,” said Katie. “I think it’s a service that could really help our patients and help us live our Mission of serving patients with the greatest love and care.”

We are all innovators

The development of Innovation Hubs and Trailblazer Challenges is just one way OSF Innovation is working to dispel the idea that innovation only happens in Peoria, and that everyone can harness their gifts toward creating solutions to transform health care.

“Getting the chance to turn our idea into reality has been such a learning experience,” said Hope and Katie. “And now we, as leaders at our facilities, have the tools to help others advance their ideas into concrete solutions that can be implemented to make a real difference for our patients.”

Mission Partners like Hope and Katie are critical to the Mission of OSF. They have firsthand knowledge of problems at the frontlines of care and operations and can courageously make their voice heard, impacting health care delivery for patients across the organization.