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Community Relations Blog : Around Every Corner
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I am the director of Community Relations at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. In my rounds at the hospital and in my travels around the state I meet patients, families, physicians, and members of the community who share stories with me and give me reasons to smile every day. My 23 years working in children’s hospitals give me a deep appreciation for the miracles and moments that happen here. I look forward to sharing these stories and connecting with you.

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photo Tom Hanley, APR
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Turning the Corner
by Tom Hanley, APR at 03:34 PM

After writing this “Around Every Corner” blog about Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital for the past several months, I now have a new role as Director, System Community Relations for Spectrum Health.  It is time to move my blog over there and take the opportunity to share my expanded perspective from that vantage point. You can follow me at: . Be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed.

My new location will be a place to discuss more new developments and greater possibilities I find “around every corner” across the Spectrum Health system. You will still meet patients and families who consent to let me share their stories. You will meet extraordinary doctors and nurses and other health care providers on the front lines. There will be times I turn a “corner” and discover something I can’t wait to tell you about.

You will gain a “ringside seat” for the advances and the initiatives that are transforming health care in West Michigan and beyond. Come back later to learn about the incredible changes in technology I discovered at a Spectrum Health Leadership conference today. Here is a sneak peak: featuring Daniel Kraft, MD who is also speaking to the Spectrum Health Perspectives conference conducted by our Patient Family Advisory Committee.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog about the children’s hospital as much as I have writing it. As one of the more highly visible Spectrum Health entities, the big blue building atop the Medical Mile will continue to be a major source of my stories so stay tuned.

I am interested in hearing from you and creating a dialogue in this space. Let me know what you think.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2012
The Impact of "R2 Rounding for Results"
by Tom Hanley, APR at 04:58 PM

Here is a new wrinkle for “Around Every Corner.” I learned something new about Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital while attending a conference more than 450 miles from home.  It was pretty cool to hear a presentation by my nursing and physician colleagues entitled: “R2, Rounding for Results, An Innovative Approach to Family Centered Rounds,”   at the Children’s Hospital Association “Creating Connections” conference in St. Louis in March.

 If you have been a patient yourself, or the parent of a hospitalized child, you would appreciate the training video my colleagues showed to begin their presentation. The “parents” stand by their child’s bedside as a clinical team parades into the room. The medical student presents on the un-named  4-week old “patient,” using a jumble of jargon and medical terms no parent could understand. The attending physician asks for differential diagnoses, and the shocked and bewildered parents react viscerally to the last word in a string of possible diseases:  “herpes.”

The nurse is left to pick up the pieces with the stunned parents while the medical team proceeds to the next patient.

This video is probably an extreme example, developed for teaching purposes. But it represents the need for a new approach to better engaging families and the medical team in discussing their patients.

“R2” was developed out of frustration by Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital nursing staff, physicians, medical students, residents and families with the “old” method of rounding.  In advance of  the move into the new children’s hospital on 1-11-11, nursing staff surveyed clinical teams and families about the rounding process. 

Results indicated that there was room to improve to better engage the families, to ensure nursing participation at the bedside rounds, and to provide a better model for clinical discussions and teaching of the medical students and residents.

The team developed a new model as demonstrated in the second video, which you can see below.“Pre-rounding” takes place at 10 a.m. each day in a conference room setting. The agenda includes discussion of new patients admitted, the needs of patients on the floor with complex conditions, and social issues.  A multidisciplinary team of nurses, doctors, medical students, residents, and allied health professionals such as pharmacists, nutritionists and respiratory therapists review the patient record, imaging studies and lab results. A medical student presents the case. Questions are asked, and the “pre-rounding” is a safe place for the hospitalist physician to challenge, teach, correct or seek a “differential diagnosis.”

Then the team discusses how best to share the information in terms the patient and family will understand. The results have been dramatic. As the” bedside rounding” video demonstrates, the presenting medical student refers to the child by name, outlines the plan of care, and the goals for discharge home.  The follow up discussion with the child’s nurse and the family is much more engaging and all involved are more satisfied with the process.

I was proud to watch our staff conduct such a professional presentation to clinical teams from children’s hospitals across the country and to hear the dialogue that followed. There was sincere interest in learning how this new best practice can be implemented at other children’s hospitals. Congratulations to our nurses and hospitalists, and the residents and medical students who made this new process possible. A special thanks to the presenting team at the conference: Martina Keeler, MD, a hospitalist physician; Jodi Meinke, RN, MSN, CPNP/PC/AC,  a member of the hospitalist nursing team and Jennifer Liedke, BSN, RN, CPN, nursing supervisor.

What do you think of this new model of engaging patient families in rounding?





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