Continuous improvement in Oxford

Richelle Jorgensen, woman sitting at desk in front of continuous improvement certificate

The Oxford Community Health Centre has been transformed over the last three years as part of its Continuous Quality Improvement Plan – a core element of Pegasus Health’s Hikitia / Strengthening Family Practice framework.

Business Manager Richelle Jorgensen was appointed to identify and improve multiple aspects of the practice, from capacity to technology, and ultimately providing patients and practitioners with a structure that allows for clear communication and exact processes to deliver the highest quality care.

Richelle has a construction background, bringing strong project management skills to the team. The transformation required linear process thinking to plan timelines from commencement to completion.

While healthcare requirements and emergency situations can be difficult to predict, the practice needed the support and capability mechanisms to define roles and protocols, to ensure it can best meet the needs of its rural community.

Richelle was sure that a rural practice shouldn’t be any less capable on the technology front than its city counterparts, so first and foremost, the focus was on the nerve centre of the practice’s technology – the patient management system.

“One surprising finding about patient management systems was that some practices have been using the same facility for more than 20 years,” says Richelle.

The change was made to implement a new system which then resulted in the unearthing of valuable information to help further build the system structure based on the quality of the new data.

The Centre turned the corner in efficiency as a result. Combined with an open-door policy of management allowing staff to bring their own ideas, the nursing staff now has capacity for more nurse-led consultations. This has resulted in exact amounts of time being used by exact practitioners for exact purposes, while still leaving capacity to manage unscheduled presentations.

The outcome is a practice that has the business and administration tools that enable them to anticipate and understand systematic workflow, which they can then apply an exact action to. In short, everyone knows their role and how it fits within a team process.

In the future, there is the prospect of new facilities which will involve consultation with the community, including patients, to help deliver the best outcomes for patients and practitioners.

Cover image: Oxford Community Health Business Manager Richelle Jorgensen comes from a construction background.

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