One Referral, So Much Time: Maximizing Efficiency in the Nurse Family Support Services and Oregon MothersCare Referral Process

Summary

Impact Statement: 
Deschutes County Health Services (DCHS) streamlined the referral process for its Nurse Family Support Services(NFSS) and Oregon MothersCare (OMC) programs. Staff satisfaction with the process has improved and program clients are now more efficiently being served.
Summary: 

Neither the NFSS nor the OMC program had a consistent or standardized process to accept referrals from internal or external sources, leading to inefficiencies and confusion. For this reason, the Public Health Quality Council of DCHS identified improvement of the NFSS and OMC referral process as a 2016 quality improvement (QI) initiative. A DCHS workgroup, using QI methods, decreased the number of steps and the amount of time necessary to process referrals to Nurse Home Visiting by decreasing the number of systems used and moving from a manual referral process to an effective workflow in the electronic health record (EHR) system.

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
DCHS
Citation: 

Olson, A. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. One Referral, So Much Time: Maximizing Efficiency in the Nurse Family Support Services and Oregon MothersCare Referral Process. Thu, 06/01/2017 - 13:10. Available at https://www.phqix.org/content/one-referral-so-much-time-maximizing-efficiency-nurse-family-support-services-and-oregon. Accessed October 16, 2018.

Submission Status: 
Completed
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Comments

Submitted by tkane on

Not long ago I was part of a project team that was working to improve the community referral process. A big challenge was staff that did not want to change. Did you have resistance from staff that didn't want to change from "the way they've always done things"? If so, how did you overcome that challege?

 

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Submitted by Channa Lindsay on

In this group, there was not much resistance. The QI process allowed the team to be part of decision-making.
In other cases, we have also dealt with resistance. I'm not sure there is a perfect solution. In these cases, we try to educate staff on the value of the new process, be transparent, and solicit feedback. In addition, allowing staff to participate in the QI/ decision-making process may help generate great ideas that will make the process more usable for them, while also showing why the change is needed.

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Channa Lindsay