PRHI recognizes that improvements at the point of patient care depend on a team leader/champion, a change method that works, performance measurement, and shared passion for excellence. Our Champions programs are a series of professional development programs and demonstrations that the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) initiated to bring process engineering principles, systems thinking and other quality improvement tools into the hands of the region’s healthcare professionals. Those trained in the programs are linked in learning networks to further develop and spread understanding of these methods.

A flexible template developed for the programs calls for participants to receive training in PRHI’s flagship process improvement methodology known as Perfecting Patient CareSM (PPC). In addition, Champions are to conduct demonstrations using the method, receive on-site coaching in process improvement from PRHI, meet periodically with peers as a means of sharing experience, and publish and present findings as a means of disseminating replicable models for improvement. Champions test our methods in hospitals, ICUs, pathology labs, skilled nursing facilities, and community practices. They expose the weaknesses of the status quo, showing what waste, error, inefficiencies, and substandard practices are doing to patient outcomes and worker satisfaction. They document how systems fail both workers and patients, and they show that it can be fixed. They show the value of redesigned work.

Working with physicians, nurses, pharmacists, emergency medical services personnel, medical assistants, community health workers, and managers across the spectrum of healthcare settings, PRHI helps prove the value of PPC in demonstrations targeting both clinical and operational problems.

Current Champions

Community Health Workers

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Launched in September of 2016, the Community Health Workers (CHW) Champions program will provide training and coaching to twenty staffers from Community LIFE (Living Independently for Elders) and LIFE Pittsburgh (Living Independence for the Elderly) who provide support in seniors’ homes.

The goal of the program is to develop and trial a curriculum with these Champions to strengthen organizational and family communication strategies, improve CHW skills in health monitoring and early identification of problems, interact compassionately with seniors experiencing cognitive or mental health issues, and to create connections and implement interventions that promote optimum health and maximize independence for seniors.

PRHI and JHF plan to use the curriculum developed during the Champions program to train larger groups of CHWs in our region, beginning with those who can serve seniors enrolled in Community HealthChoices (Pennsylvania’s managed long-term services and supports system).

The Champions will participate in collaborative learning sessions, webinars, and between-session exercises designed to strengthen their ability to monitor seniors’ health, communicate effectively when cognitive and mental health issues are present, and become part of a larger, coordinated senior care team. Each Champion will design and implement an improvement project that aligns with their organization’s priorities, and helps seniors remain well in community settings.

Contact: Nancy Zionts