In the mix: WOW team rids facility of staff irritants

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, March 2, 2009

When staff satisfaction is high, staff turnover rates are low, collaboration is more effective, and patient care is optimal. But what keeps staff satisfied is sometimes a mystery—one that can be solved if staff are given the opportunity to voice their stressors and irritants, as big or little as they may be.

Such was Trinity Health System's reason behind forming its multidisciplinary WOW team, which works to reduce staff nuisances and improve the organization's work environment.

"Your primary concern is the quality of care for your patients," says Deena Franke, CPCS, medical staff secretary and member of the WOW team at the facility located in Steubenville, OH. "You can see a difference between a person who comes to work miserable, and in the way they treat patients and in someone who is happy. If a facility has happy employees, it's going to trickle down into patient care."

In June 2008, Trinity formed its WOW team, which is driven by 19 staff members from various departments, including nurses, case managers, medical staff, and information technology staff.

"We wanted a good mix of employees so we could [identify] what our entire employee population needed," says Dean Lucarelli, MSCIS, information technology project coordinator and WOW team member.

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