Working with my colleagues at The Maplewood, I’m continuously impressed with the depth of The Maplewood Way, and all the tangible ways that it manifests itself. Not only is The Maplewood Way a framework that helps define employee culture and how we go about delivering care each and every day, it is a collection of beliefs that is fully informed by three generations of commitment to caring for our seniors.

What’s even more fascinating is realizing how The Maplewood Way can serve those that are tasked with following its five dimensions. Many times, a dimension actually becomes a strategy to help fulfill another dimension’s primary objective. To me, this means that The Maplewood Way not only states what we should do in our work and why we should perform in such manners, but it provides a roadmap for getting to where we need to be with that performance. In other words, it’s a prescribed way of doing things, as well as a commitment from The Maplewood to support its employees along the way. One example of this takes the form of educational opportunities that are extended to employees.

When pursuing the Maplewood Way dimension known as Operational Excellence, we aim to maintain the safety of our residents and employees at all times, hold ourselves and each other accountable for evaluating and improving the value and effectiveness of services and programs, and look for and share opportunities for improvement that could strengthen the Maplewood Way. So how do we go about doing this? That’s where the Experience, Expertise, and Innovation dimension comes in. By continuing to learn and seeking feedback, participating in training and educational opportunities, and effectively sharing information and knowledge to best serve our residents and each other, we’re well on our way to achieving operational excellence.

Two Maplewood employees who have recently participated in specialized training are Charissa Morgan, RN, and Christine Williams, LPN. Both are managers on Lakeview nursing unit, and both have expressed interest in continuous improvement by taking part in educational opportunities.

Quality Improvement Series

As an RN Evening Manager at Maplewood with an interest in learning more about administrative responsibilities, Charissa Morgan was encouraged by her leadership to attend the Quality Improvement Series, presented by Foundation for Quality Care and held at Aaron Manor Rehab & Continuing Care Center in Fairport. Students of the program learned to identify and implement evidence-based quality improvement tools and strategies, assess their facility's Quality Assurance Process Improvement (QAPI) programs, apply new skills and knowledge to improve long term care systems management, and implement best practices in resident-centered care. The Quality Improvement Series was conducted over four six-hour sessions running October through November.

A major component of each QAPI is the formation of a committee to oversee the process of improving quality in specific areas in and around our nursing home. Facilities that subscribe to QAPI protocols are encouraged to target areas that they’d like to see improvement, and then form a multi-disciplinary committee to brainstorm why things are the way they are, what the desired improvements should be and with what outcome, as well as approaches to get us to that outcome. Members of Nursing Administration regularly attend Quality seminars as part of our annual off-site nursing conferences. Because QAPI involves a cross-section of departments and employees in the decision-making committees, Maplewood extends educational opportunities to staff members. This helps ensure that all the relevant perspectives are accounted for when undertaking  QAPI projects. Because Quality is an ongoing commitment, Maplewood has 1-2 QAPI projects in motion at any given time.

One of the beauties of the Quality Improvement Series is that its participants are able and encouraged to implement their knowledge right way. In fact, Charissa is already acting as the Lead Facilitator for a QAPI project of her own initiation. She identified the area to be approved, wrote the proposal to Maplewood Administration, and is now in the process of building the committee to implement the process of quality improvement in the identified area.

LPN Professional Development

A manager on Lakeview nursing unit as well, Christine Williams recently attended the LPN Professional Development Training program presented by The Academy for Leadership in Long-Term Care. The Academy is based at Wegmans School of Nursing at St. John Fisher College. This training series provided a strong tie-in with Christine’s day-to-day responsibilities. Her training focused on communication with residents, families, staff and providers, collaborative work teams, role modeling for staff empowerment, decision-making, team building, listening skills, conflict resolution and strategies for a positive work environment. The LPN Professional Development Training program was conducted over three eight-hour sessions running September through October.

Christine came to Maplewood with nurse management experience, and has been a nurse manager at Maplewood for over a year. As time goes on and inevitable changes affect not only ways of delivering care, but also the profile of care staff, it’s always good to be exposed to new awareness and new tools to leverage as supervisor on a nursing unit. With her recent training, Christine is able to add to her ways of presenting and communicating for effective delegation, as well as ways to inspire staff to carry out the delivery of care to the highest degree.

Lighting the Way

It’s one thing to specify what’s expected of an employee. That’s normal for any work place, in any professional environment. It’s another thing to be given the tools and support to be able to achieve as much success as possible in the pursuit of fulfilling those expectations. With the five dimensions of The Maplewood Way, we have a both the invitation to succeed, and the map showing us how to get there.