Healthcare organizations have learned to quickly adapt during the pandemic — the HILNNY conference has too. We’ve updated our format to an innovative, Lean approach to allow easier, more flexible access to programming relevant to your everyday life. This year’s conference will be broken up into bite-size sessions over three months to maximize impact and minimize waste.

Day 1: Friday, Nov. 5

Noon - 12:15 p.m.

Poster highlights

Poster 1

Leveraging a whole-of-organization approach to increase organizational resilience amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

Cindy Becker, RN, MS, MBA, FACHE, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, UR Medicine–Highland Hospital

Amy Gallina, Chief Human Resources Officer, UR Medicine–Highland Hospital

Sharon Johnson, MBA, CPHQ, Director, Quality Management, Performance Improvement and Patient Experience, UR Medicine–Highland Hospital

Allison Norenberg, MSc, Manager, Performance Improvement, UR Medicine–Highland Hospital

Poster description

The COVID-19 virus is an emergent property of a highly complex system, thus warranting systems thinking and whole systems approaches to facilitate resilience.

After the second wave of COVID-19, the quality performance improvement team at Highland Hospital led a post-crisis reflection and review, engaging employees and providers across the whole-of-organization.

A brief, anonymous survey was sent to employees and providers at UR Medicine–Highland Hospital. The survey results were synthesized and informed semi-structured focus groups. Our survey saw a 24% response rate. We conducted 11 semi-structured focus groups, engaging a total of 43 individuals of varying roles, employment levels and overall perspectives across the organization to further understand their perspectives. We developed narrative syntheses around themes that emerged and saturated. Data suggests vast differences in perspectives between location of work, level of role and profession. Key findings suggest a general feeling of positivity across the organization regarding our response to COVID-19.

Opportunity areas include exploring systems-based solutions to fill gaps in knowledge translation and transfer vertically and horizontally within the organization. This knowledge is informing organizational improvement priorities as well as our after-action report.

Poster 2

Increasing echo capacity in a COVID-19 world

Elizabeth Aikman, RN, MBA, Clinical Systems Engineer, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

Brad Goodman, Clinical Systems Engineer, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

Poster description

Due to COVID-19, a pediatric cardiology clinic adjusted their patient rooming model to better adhere to infection control measures. Pre-COVID-19, a patient would have services performed across two to three rooms per visit. The clinic now performs all services for a patient in one room per visit. This has led to a decrease in capacity and subsequent decrease in daily patient volume. Implementing several changes, including visual management, drastically increased the clinic’s capacity.


12:15 - 1 p.m.

Concurrent sessions

Session 1

Refreshing our space to recover our joy in work

0.75 hours for CPHQ credits

Shelcy Kamrud, MBA, Manager, Process Improvement, Mount Sinai Morningside

Kim Keller, Senior Manager, Process Improvement, Mount Sinai Morningside

Session description

An organized workspace is respectful to the people who use the space. It reduces burden on staff who spend time searching for items and creates a safe environment for patient care. Clean and tidy environments have also been proven to reduce stress.

After more than a year of managing waves of COVID-19 and the related changes to department functions and supplies, Mount Sinai Morningside felt physically disorganized and staff felt overwhelmed and overburdened. A core element of organizational resiliency is the ability to bounce back to routine and normalcy. In order to return the departments and units to work environments that felt respectful for all staff working in them, the Lean team facilitated a hospital-wide “Refresh Week.” At a time when staff generally felt tired and disengaged, we used the Sort step of 6S to make it easy and fun to participate in cleaning house as a team.

In this session, we’ll share how the Lean team empowered and engaged frontline staff and leaders across the campus to sort out and get rid of waste in our spaces, including the tools used to engage our teams and transform the working environment such as daily challenges and a flea market.

Learning objectives

  • Identify example activities for targeting what and how to sort unnecessary supplies and equipment, including daily challenges and prizes.
  • Describe best practices for engaging with staff in making cleaning and organization fun and competitive.
  • Compare reflections from leaders and frontline staff on the connection between how our external space affects our internal morale as well as lessons learned for our next iteration of this well-received initiative.

Session 2

Discrete event simulation to revamp a procedural suite

0.75 hours for CME/CNE/CPHQ credits

Mohammed Al-Mashraie, PhD, Senior Innovation Specialist, Center for Innovation, Albany Medical Center

Session description

The effective operation of systems during challenging times such as the COVID-19 pandemic requires resilience, flexibility and efficiency. Since the start of the pandemic, surgical sites had to adapt and comply with constantly changing operating conditions like allowable capacity. This created a backlog of surgical cases.

This session will describe the use of discrete event simulation to assess the performance of a gastrointestinal procedural area and rapidly test the impact of various proposed changes related to operations, staffing, physical layout and caseload. Furthermore, it will demonstrate how discrete event simulation enabled faster unit recovery to be achieved.

Learning objectives

  • Describe effective decision-making processes clinicians and staff should employ in situations of uncertainty.
  • Identify discrete event simulation application objectives for same-day surgeries.
  • Discuss how to investigate and identify operational challenges related to operations, staffing, physical layout and caseload.
  • Review how to identify and test proposed improvements effectively and efficiently.
  • Demonstrate how discrete event simulation improves efficiency and patient experience.

Session 3

Using a daily critical care huddle to improve situational awareness of the interdisciplinary team

0.75 hours for CNE/CPHQ credits

Michele Baker, MS, RN, CNL, NEA-BC, CCRN-K, Senior Nurse Manager, Adult Critical Care, UR Medicine‐Strong Memorial Hospital

David Lent, DNP, MS, RN, CNL, NEA-BC, CCRN-K, PCCN-K, Outcomes Manager, Adult Critical Care, UR Medicine‐Strong Memorial Hospital

E. Kate Valcin, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CNL, CCRN, Director, Adult Critical Care, UR Medicine–Strong Memorial Hospital

Session description

In November 2020, we initiated a daily situational awareness huddle specific to adult critical care. The huddle was initially attended by team members from each of the adult critical care units including nursing leaders and attending physicians as well as a member of the admitting management team. A second iteration included the unit-based charge nurses.

As the census of COVID-19 patients increased at our facility, the huddle was expanded to include other areas where adult critically ill patients were being cared for including the pediatric ICU and post-anesthesia care unit. A standardized reporting template was developed and used by each team member to share current information including census, acuity, planned admissions/discharges/transfers and staffing needs. Each team also reported out a plan for doubling patients if needed and identified potential patients for late transfers to a different level of care.

This session will look at the effects of these changes, including increased situational awareness that supports team resiliency, increased ability for participants to see beyond their own experience, resource sharing and effective prioritization of patient movement.

Learning objectives

  • Illustrate how situational awareness principles can be applied to the management of adult critical care beds.
  • Describe the impact of a situational awareness huddle on the resiliency of adult critical care team members like charge nurses, nurse managers or covering providers.
  • Describe the facilitators and barriers to implementing a daily huddle in the adult critical care setting.