A member of MemorialCare, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center is a not-for-profit, 218-bed hospital located in Fountain Valley, CA. The organization serves the community with more than 12,000 hospital admissions and 23,000 visits annually. Both the hospital and the health system have a long history of focusing on quality and safety and were early adopters of an electronic medical record (EMR) system to improve clinical communications.
Although Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center had implemented lean management techniques for several years, leaders saw additional areas in which to remove excess waste, including the clinical communication process. As part of an ongoing commitment to performance improvement and reliability, leaders focused on improving clinical communication in two key realms: between nurses and physicians and between emergency department (ED) staff and physicians. The organization’s specific goals were to reduce variation in time to call back, reduce time wastage for “phone tag,” increase nurses’ time in direct care and improve nurse satisfaction.