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With persistently poor cardiac arrest outcomes and updated resuscitation standards from The Joint Commission, it’s clear that resuscitation is an area ripe for improvement in most hospitals today.

But identifying areas in need of improvement — and the resuscitation innovations that can help — is just the beginning. Next you’ll need to translate that knowledge into action, which means gaining the support of hospital administrators for implementation, resources, and funding. This is where resuscitation advocates often run into roadblocks.

So how do you get resuscitation innovations on the radar of administration in the first place? And once you do, how do you convince them it’s worth the cost of the initial investment? Keep reading to find out.

1. Brainstorm with other clinicians

For many clinicians, finding like-minded colleagues is an easier starting point than getting the attention of hospital administrators. Maybe your hospital already has a designated resuscitation champion you can reach out to. Or maybe a conversation happens naturally when you notice a colleague voicing similar frustrations after an emergency resuscitation event, or you bounce ideas off a manager in another department who is passionate about resuscitation.

Whatever the route, reaching out to other clinicians can help you generate new ideas and clarifying existing ones, get other staff members on board, and brainstorm ways to highlight how resuscitation innovations will benefit the hospital. These are details you’ll want to nail down and be able to communicate clearly before involving a hospital administrator.

2. Identify the right administrator

Getting a proposal in front of an administrator can seem daunting. Your first goal is to identify the right person. It’s less about targeting a particular role in administration — since this can vary across hospitals and individuals — and more about finding someone who is open to change and innovation. Not all administrators will be equally inclined toward innovation, and you’re more likely to get support from someone with a strong track record in this area. Here are a few examples to look out for:

  • Has the person recently rolled out a new technology? Try looking at any recent practice alerts and reaching out to the contact person listed.
  • Are they a leader in informatics? If they love anything technology-related and want to drive practice forward, they may be more receptive to your proposal.
  • Do they have a reputation as a change agent? You’re looking for someone who is open-minded and thoughtful with good situational awareness. They might not know why in-hospital cardiac arrest is worth focusing on, but they’re open to learning about it.

Once you identify the right person to contact, determine the best way to reach out to them based on your hospital’s culture, your relationship with the person (if one exists), and all parties involved. For example, you might schedule a meeting directly, send a well-organized email, or possibly reach out to a manager first. The important thing to remember is to be persistent and try different approaches if needed.

3. Align the proposal to hospital goals

Administrators know that there’s a finite amount of money in the budget to work with, and they have to make decisions that align with the hospital’s goals for the year. The better your ability to demonstrate how your proposal will help them do this, the more likely you are to gain their support.

Focus on 2 areas:

  1. Aligning the proposal to a hospital goal (or goals)
  2. Pointing to a long-term financial benefit for the hospital

Here’s an example of what this could look like:

If your hospital’s goals include:

  • Increasing employee engagement
  • Improving Press Ganey survey scores for patient satisfaction

Then your proposal should focus on emergency response as a source of stress for staff. This can lead to dissatisfaction, burnout, and potentially turnover — which is expensive for hospitals. If your initiative will help alleviate these stressors by replacing outdated processes and improving patient outcomes, it can translate into increased staff engagement and a higher retention rate (and the associated cost savings that come with it). And since patients can sense when clinicians are disengaged or frustrated, the benefits extend to patient satisfaction and care as well.

Not sure about the financial angle?

While you won’t be expected to provide a detailed financial analysis, pointing out the likelihood of long-term savings can help administrators wrap their minds around the cost of the initial investment. If this doesn’t come easily, think about the time savings involved (will the innovation save valuable clinical time and reduce time away from patients?) and emphasize those benefits instead.

4. Draft a plan

Any proposal that requires a system change or funding support calls for a project plan, and administrators shouldn’t be expected to create one from scratch for you. Including even a rough draft or outline of the plan will help your potential sponsor understand what implementation realistically looks like. Focus on the following areas:

  • Logistics: How will the initiative be rolled out to staff? How long will it take, and what resources will be needed?
  • Staffing: What departments will be involved?
  • Impact: How do the hospital, patients, and staff benefit?

Lastly, persistence is key. Don’t be discouraged if the first proposal is unsuccessful. Be receptive to feedback wherever you receive it — from other clinicians or from administration — and use it to sharpen and clarify your proposal before trying again.

Nuvara® can help

Looking to bring innovations in emergency resuscitation to your hospital, but not sure where to start? Nuvara’s resuscitation documentation and reporting software can help your hospital improve emergency response processes and comply with new resuscitation standards from The Joint Commission.

Sources

  1. Alagoz, E., Chih, M.-Y., Hitchcock, M., Brown, R., & Quanbeck, A. (2018). The use of external change agents to promote quality improvement and organizational change in healthcare organizations: A systematic review. BMC Health Services Research, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-2856-9
  2. Olanrewaju, O., & Okorie, V. (2019). Exploring the qualities of a good leader using principal component analysis. Journal of Engineering, Project, and Production Management, 9(2), 142–150. https://doi.org/10.2478/jeppm-2019-0016
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