Posted by Sarah Myers on October 27, 2015
Engagement is one of those things that just seems to come naturally to some people. If you believe in something and are excited about it, how can you not share your enthusiasm with others? That’s all engagement is really; sharing stories, passions and successes, and working together toward a mission.
My name is Cori and this is my story of working with ImproveCareNow (ICN) – engaging many different people in an effort to improve care & health for kids with IBD.
I’ve been a quality improvement (QI) coordinator for the pediatric IBD program at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan for almost 4 years now. I came into the role by chance. I was working as an administrative assistant in our GI office and not feeling very fulfilled within my day to day responsibilities. When the coordinator job came around I was actively looking for something, anything, to reignite my passion for my career. So, I thought to myself, why not? I knew little about IBD, even less about QI, and nothing about ImproveCareNow. But here I am, more than 3 years later, and I couldn’t be happier or more excited about my choice!
One of the first projects I worked on with our team was to figure out ways to engage a variety of care providers in our collective mission to improve the care and health of children with IBD. The problem was that there were a fair amount of providers that found it difficult or too time-consuming to complete the tasks that were required to really make improvements – like entering data into the ICN2 registry. When I took my QI Fundamentals course I knew my focus needed to be on testing ways to get these providers invested in completing the tasks that ICN knows help raise remission rates for kids with IBD. Engaging providers can still be a challenge for me but is something that I have grown comfortable with as I’ve developed a toolbox of approaches that I can dip into when I need.
So when I found myself faced with my most recent challenge - engaging parents and patients in supporting the mission of ICN and in our local efforts to improve care and health within our pediatric GI division at Michigan - I found myself using many of the same approaches in my toolbox for physician engagement. Experience aside, I will be the first to admit that engaging parents and patients is not an easy task. Our team is still trying to tweak our own “right way” for patient and family engagement but we have made significant progress.
I'll post more about our progress next week! Stay tuned!
[Author's note: One of my favorite parts of leading improvement work in the ImproveCareNow community is watching the quality improvement (QI) interest, skills, and indeed careers of the Networks’ local improvement coordinators flourish as they catch the improvement “bug.” Far from fitting into the traditional research coordinator mold, these professionals now are becoming improvement experts and leaders in their own right. They apply QI skills to their own work and processes, they help make sure that their local QI teams’ efforts are grounded in high-quality data that can tell them whether the changes they are making are leading to improvement, and they help ensure that the whole community keeps its focus on its key goal—improving care and outcomes for kids with IBD. And over the past year as we have increased our community focus on co-production and engagement, they are helping to lead the charge, often times serving as the key points of contact for parent and patient partners. We will be highlighting the stories of a number of these individuals over the coming months and are starting with a three-part installment by the Network’s lead improvement coordinator Cori Davis. I know you will enjoy reading about her journey as much as I have enjoyed watching it unfold.]