Betsy Nabel surprises the A/V team with the announcement that its cost-savings idea was the first winner of a Bold Ideas, Big Savings award.

Betsy Nabel surprises the A/V team with the announcement that its cost-savings idea was the first winner of a Bold Ideas, Big Savings award.

Updates on Partners eCare, a new hospital-wide cost-savings program and Cafeteria construction were among the many topics discussed during Town Meeting: An Open Forum for BWHers on Dec. 1. About 200 BWHers gathered in Bornstein Amphitheater and more than 250 joined via webcast to hear about top-of-mind issues from BWHC President Betsy Nabel, MD, and other hospital leaders. Here are some of the highlights from the meeting. You can also view a recording of the webcast and fill out a Town Meeting survey.

Partners eCare

Since Partners eCare (PeC) launched at the end of May, BWHC has resolved more than 600 issues that users have experienced with the new system and currently has fewer than 200 to address, said Shelly Anderson, vice president of Strategy Implementation. PeC analysts, Epic experts and BWHC clinical business analysts began making on-site visits to practices in November for training and to determine opportunities to make workflow improvements. These visits will be ongoing. The Service Desk team has increased its staffing to shorten call wait times and resolve issues with the system as soon as possible. New training courses have been developed for providers that are specialty- and function-specific. They will be piloted this month for further rollout next year.

“What our organization has done to really pull together and move forward with the new system has been incredible, and we still have a long way to go,” said Anderson.

Anderson also talked briefly about recent visits that Epic President Carl Dvorak and Epic staff made to BWHC, where they met with many PeC users and observed what is going well with the system and what improvements still need to be made.

Bold Ideas, Big Savings Program

Nabel discussed the hospital’s budget, emphasizing the importance of identifying cost-savings opportunities as BWH and hospitals around the country face great financial challenges. She announced the launch of BWH’s Bold Ideas, Big Savings program, which rewards staff for creative cost-savings ideas, and surprised the Audiovisual (A/V) team with the program’s first award. The A/V team received a $2,000 check for an idea that is set to save the Brigham about $60,000 in the next year.

Nabel encouraged attendees to participate in the program: “I’m really looking forward to hearing your ideas about how we can achieve cost savings in different areas. Often, our frontline staff are in the best position to help identify new ways to do this.”

Cafeteria Renovation and Traffic Flow

John Pierro, BWHC senior vice president of Facilities and Operations, updated colleagues about two top-of-mind issues: traffic flow on Francis Street and Cafeteria renovations. Cafeteria construction is expected to begin in January, requiring the temporary closure of the Cafeteria. The renovation will feature upgrades to the food preparation and serving areas and will expand and improve the seating area, incorporating natural light and greenery.

A grand reopening is tentatively scheduled for mid-May. During the closure, additional dining options will be available at BWH, including “pop-up” food stations.

Pierro also addressed the ongoing issue of traffic flow on Francis Street. His team is working with a traffic consulting company to help reduce the congestion around BWH. The company is currently collecting data that will guide our improvement efforts, including conducting car and turn counts and surveying traffic.

Fragrance control

During the open forum portion of the meeting, Nabel answered questions from attendees about a number of topics, including one about compliance with the hospital’s fragrance control policy (HR-108). She reminded BWHers that it is the responsibility of every employee to follow the policy and refrain from using fragrant products, such as perfumes and soaps. Fragrances can cause great discomfort, and severe reactions in some cases, for staff and patients with sensitivities, allergies or other medical conditions.