Tips from BESD: Improving the tracer process

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, August 20, 2010

The word "tracer" is sometimes interpreted negatively by staff. They perceive it as a way of finding fault, rather than a way to make improvements.

Instead of a tracer program, the Northwest Texas Healthcare System in Amarillo developed a Continuous Readiness Review (CRR) program and attempted to make the process both engaging and fun. Program leaders focused on issues that were particularly problematic: National Patient Safety Goals, restraint, and pain management. A leader was chosen for each topic; these leaders were experts in their respective topics, good communicators, and well-respected members of the organization. Leaders chose and trained their own teams.

Fifteen teams perform one survey each per month. The teams are educated in the tracer process and in how to approach staff when relaying positive findings and findings that indicate a need for improvement.

Editor's note: Subscribers to Briefings on Evidence-Based Staff Development can read the rest of this article in the August 2010 issue. Discover all the benefits of subscribing to Briefings on Evidence-Based Staff Development.

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