We caught up with Ed Jimenez and asked him several questions for this edition of News+Notes. See how to submit your question at the bottom of the page.
Are we focused on emergency response at UF Health Shands?
Yes. We are a complex health system and a first-responder in local and regional emergencies. We have a responsibility to ensure staff members are knowledgeable and empowered to react appropriately when faced with any type of incident that could impact patient and staff safety and hospital operations. We have response plans for weather-related emergencies, mass-casualty accidents and even a bioterrorism plan. We’ve recently introduced a new response plan for an active shooter scenario on any UF Health Shands campus. We hope we won’t face a dangerous situation, but we need to be prepared. Think of when you get on an airplane. When the flight attendant runs through the safety instructions, you know what to do — how to put on your oxygen mask and follow the lights on the floor and where the emergency exits are located. It’s good to be informed and alert. Our emergency plans help us teach ourselves, in a non-alarmist way, what we need to know in case of an emergency. The best time for crisis preparation is now, when you’re not in a crisis. It’s each person’s responsibility to know his or her department or unit’s response roles and plans. Please talk with your managers, follow up on emails about this and learn about the resources available on the Bridge and in your department.
How are we doing when it comes to clinical quality and patient safety?
Late fall, we updated our hospital board of directors about where we are on our quality journey. Our ultimate goal is to be one of the top-10 hospitals nationally ranked by the University Healthsystem Consortium, which now uses the name Vizient, for quality outcomes. We can make this happen! Our faculty and staff are extraordinarily talented. Each year, we get confirmation of the things we do well and we should build on these practices. However, the UHC (Vizient) scorecard methodology changed this past year and we received a three-star rating, and a clear picture of where to focus our attention. In some areas, we are head and shoulders above most academic health center hospitals; in other areas, we have to make changes to reach our goals. I appreciate everyone’s attention to quality and safety, and your commitment to being the best. In March, please participate in Patient Safety and Quality Week to learn more and help us on this journey.
You’ve worked in health care your entire career. What has kept you in this field?
I was born into this lifestyle. When your mom is a nurse, you can’t help but live it. Like many hospital employees, my mom worked every other weekend and had to share the load of working holidays — it was the norm in my house. As a child, I spent a lot of time roaming around hospitals and meeting her colleagues. It was natural for me to think of health care as what I was supposed to do, but as I grew up I became driven to do it. I look back now and I wouldn’t rewrite any of this. In this field, each day we all have a chance to create a family environment, do worthwhile work and make a difference. That makes a full day for anybody — and a rewarding career.