Improving Communication: Bundling Non-Emergent Organizational Change via a Blog

Tuesday, 13 July 2010: 2:05 PM

Barbara Rickabaugh, RN, MS
Center for Nursing Research, University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA
Gail Easter, RN, MS
Patient Care Services, The University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA

Learning Objective 1: To identify a means to bundle organizational change monthly and consistently communicate the multidisciplinary patient care improvements to nurses.

Learning Objective 2: To describe an effective communication strategy using information technology.

Purpose: To organize, bundle and consistently communicate non-emergent organizational change monthly within Patient Care Services (PCS) at a large university medical center in northern California.  The literature search did not provide information on a mechanism such as this to organize change within a division of nursing in a healthcare system. 
Action: An intranet Web site, “First Tuesday” is designed to communicate organizational change, 24/7, consistently within PCS (2071 member workforce).  The concept is simple; change agents bundle non-emergent change items and implement them on the first Tuesday of every month.  The rest of the month essentially remains unchanged with the exception of emergent issues determined by upper management personnel.
Management staff has time to plan and interact with each other to work out important details prior to the launch of First Tuesday TM.  As a project is defined and modified all stakeholders are consulted and informed of the impending change, negotiations occur and agreements finalized prior to instruction of the change.
Change notices and pertinent Joint Commission-related items of interest are posted on the first Tuesday of the month on an intranet Web page while being simultaneously educated by managers.  The website serves as a multidisciplinary resource and reference. Staff knows where to look for information regarding the latest changes.
Results:  Communication consistency throughout PCS and a cross referenced, archived depository of information now exists.  A positive trend has been identified in the following performance measures: Admission and weekly weight compliance, Braden scale usage now at 98%, PRN medication response improved 31%, PCS Vacancy:  4.6%, PCS Turnover:  0.24%. A staff satisfaction survey will be shared and anecdotal comments.
First Tuesday has been found to be an effective, embraced, communication method for multidisciplinary and multi-department change within a large organization.