‘The Way We Work Together’ Copper Ridge Surgery Center shares its patient care initiative story BY ROBERT KURTZ


alk around Copper Ridge Sur- gery Center in Traverse City,

Michigan, and you will soon spot the “infinity loop.” Looking like an angled 8 with multi-colored dots on and around it, the infinity loop identifies every man- ner—direct or indirect—in which the ASC and its team members interact with patients. “When staff see the infinity loop,

it serves as an important reminder of their specific role in driving the entire patient experience and that they are part of a much larger puzzle,” says Stefany Comeaux, the center’s endos- copy team leader. “This is about creat- ing excellence at every touch point we have with patients.”

The origins of the infinity loop

date back to around 2016, says Gayle Bultsma, RN, Copper Ridge’s peri- procedural director, when members of the ASC became involved with The Beryl Institute, a community focused on improving the patient experience. “We were motivated to start looking more closely at how we could improve our patients’ experience and better set their expectations for their time with our ASC,” Bultsma says. “This time extends from before they arrive here through after they leave and the stories they tell about their experiences with us.” The infinity loop is a component

of “The Way We Work Together,” the ASC’s broader initiative focused on patient care, Bultsma says. “When we looked at the patient experience, we realized that to succeed in improving this experience, we needed stronger relationships and a culture of caring within our organization. Within an orga- nization, it is easy to compartmentalize yourself within your department. The whole initiative is about breaking down barriers between departments.”

When staff see the infinity loop, it serves as an important reminder of their specific role in driving the entire patient experience and that they are part of a much larger puzzle.”

—Stefany Comeaux, Copper Ridge Surgery Center

One way this is accomplished is by encouraging job shadowing, Bultsma says. “This allows someone from preop to see firsthand the work of someone in the endoscopy room or someone from the operating room to better understand the work of a teammate who wraps instruments all day. The shadowing helps staff develop a greater respect for the work of their colleagues.” Such appreciation is vital to the ini-

tiative’s success, Comeaux says, which is why every member of the Copper Ridge team is required to take a pledge. Speaking to matters including account- ability, mutual respect, compassion, teamwork and safety, the pledge must be signed by all employees.

“The pledge is essentially a promise

staff and leadership make to the ASC and one another,” Comeaux says. “We use it as part of our annual staff review and during interviews with prospective staff to show them what they will be held accountable to and how they can expect to be treated by others here. We


put the pledge up in our break rooms as a reminder of the expectations for behavior, communication and culture at the center.” Staff members receive regular reminders about the importance of their role and teamwork through the shar- ing of ASC performance data. “We set goals so that we could report on what we were trying to accomplish and where we stood in those efforts,” Comeaux says. “These goals are in areas such as staff turnover, patient satisfaction sur- vey results and case volume. “By measuring and sharing this infor- mation, we are telling our people that no matter the role they are in, each person can move the needle on those goals” she adds. “When you are empowered in that way, you feel more valued and encour- aged to contribute to the organization’s greater goals. Whatever we can do to create excellence at every interaction a patient experiences is the ultimate goal of all these efforts.”

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