Happy birthday, iCARE! November marked one year since the implementation of the iCARE program, which we introduced to establish clean and quiet behaviors for patients, visitors and staff at UF Health. iCARE stands for a ‘Clean And Restful Environment,’ aimed to improve the overall experience for not only our patients but also our visitors and colleagues.
A dedicated rounding program, with champions and adopters from four UF Health hospitals, has focused on hospital cleanliness and quietness. These staff serve as ambassadors to peers by promoting a sense of ownership, accountability and a consistent practice of expected behaviors. They ensure high-traffic common areas and patient care areas are clean and tidy and they submit monthly rounding reports to document improvement efforts.
“Part of what has made iCARE successful is the development of the rounding teams on each unit,” said Shelley Wells Collins, M.D., UF Health Shands associate chief medical officer and UF College of Medicine associate professor of pediatrics. “The staff on each unit perform iCARE rounds with a hospital executive leader, an Environmental Services supervisor, the nurse manager and at least one or two staff champions. The teams are working toward a common goal of creating a healing environment.”
In collaboration with our ambassadors, the iCARE committee worked diligently behind the scenes to create and implement resources — such as spill stations, an iCARE hotline and signage — that helped advance our goals.
At UF Health, we aim to provide quality care and we use feedback to help us deliver the best possible patient experience. Following hospital visits, our patients complete satisfaction surveys and their feedback is consistent: They score their experience heavily based on the cleanliness and quietness of our patient care areas.
The good news: All of our iCARE milestones have helped significantly improve our patient experience scores. Since the launch of iCARE, UF Health Shands Hospital moved from the lowest 10th percentile to the top 45th percentile in hospital cleanliness. We have also improved from the 42nd to the 51st percentile in hospital quietness.
The overall goal is to serve as a place of healing and comfort for every person who walks through the doors of UF Health Shands. Our leaders want you to know that with your help, we are making that happen.
“The iCARE experience has been transformative for neurology and neuromedicine,” said Michael Okun, M.D., UF College of Medicine neurology chair and iCARE adopter for the UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital Medical/Surgical Unit 56. “Thanks to the iCARE program, the environment for our patients, caregivers, faculty and staff has transformed from a hospital to a place where we can all focus on healing our minds and souls.”
Together, we are working to maintain and improve the healing environment our patients deserve.
“We all get busy with our own job and responsibilities, and I value and look forward to iCARE rounding on the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital Medical Oncology Unit 8 East with unit leaders Helen Welsh, M.S.N., R.N., NE-BC, nurse manager, and Ann Charles, unit assistant,” said Janet Christie, UF Health Shands Human Resources senior vice president. “I have learned so much about all that goes into making a quiet, clean and patient-friendly environment by listening to the staff from that unit.”
Christie added, “I feel that iCARE rounding has made a difference to our patients as well as the leaders who round.”
Collins emphasized, “Never has it been clearer that each staff member and physician is as critical to our mission as the next. This journey is a long one. Daily devotion to improvement and a sense of responsibility to the most vulnerable in our community is why we will continue to improve. It has been exciting to watch as our efforts translate into tangible improvements in our environment.”
iCARE ACHIEVEMENTS AND MILESTONES SINCE NOVEMBER 2017:
- 25+ spill stations installed throughout UF Health Shands Hospital, UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital and UF Health Heart & Vascular and Neuromedicine hospitals
- 1,800+ calls to the iCARE hotline for Environmental Services and Facilities response
- 2,200+ patient welcome kits distributed to improve patient satisfaction
- 500+ iCARE campaign promotional signs posted throughout our hospitals
- 700+ iCARE rounds reported by champions and adopters
- 140+ new “quiet” wheels installed on linen, Environmental Services and Food and Nutrition Services carts to reduce noise
- Implemented standardized iCARE-related duties and responsibilities for volunteers on nursing units