VCU’s unique Performance Improvement approach: safety messages on 7,000 PCs

VCU Health, located in Richmond, Virginia, uses Netpresenter software to inform, instruct and alert its 8,000+ employees at its several sites across the city, using interactive screensavers on all 7,000 PCs. With approximately 20,000 surgeries and almost 90,000 Emergency Department visits per year, safety is paramount.

Jenifer Murphy, Safety First Coordinator at the Performance Improvement Department: “One of the main goals of the Performance Improvement Department is to improve the overall safety of our organization. With Netpresenter, we make sure that safety is top of mind within the organization. It creates a real organizational push, a social factor that is hard to ignore and that ensures everybody is dedicated to improving safety at VCU.”

Highlighting safety initiatives

Murphy: “A few years ago, we started ‘Safety First’, an organizational-wide culture change initiative that highlights positive developments in our safety culture. By feeding our employees positive stories about safety initiatives and error prevention, through Netpresenter driven screensavers, we are creating a work environment that is more safety aware and that rewards original initiatives in the field of safety and error prevention.”

“Netpresenter is the ideal vehicle to make sure that the message reaches everybody”

Reaching everybody. With COWS.

Reaching over 8,000 employees at the different VCU sites across the city can be a challenge. According to Murphy, “Before Netpresenter, we did not really have one single way of reaching everybody at the same time, especially employees without access to a computer. Now, the screensaver automatically appears when a computer is not in use, allowing all personnel to take in the latest news and become involved. That way, we make maximum use of PCs that would otherwise just show an empty screen.” Murphy adds: “Our experience shows that Netpresenter is the ideal vehicle to make sure that the message reaches everybody, including those without access to a computer, for instance in clinical areas. Actually, in that situation, the tool literally is a vehicle: by using computers that can be wheeled in and out of patients’ rooms, so-called COWS (Computers On Wheels), we make sure Netpresenter reaches even those employees without direct access to a computer. ”

Urgent messages are ahead

In addition to using Netpresenter for promoting safety through the Safety First Program, the Performance Improvement Department uses it to alert staff in emergency situations. “With Netpresenter on every available screen, we can provide our employees with immediate updates in cases of extreme weather, traffic problems, internet outages or last-minute construction works; these are all real issues in a medical environment where any unplanned delay might just make the difference. With Netpresenter, we are sure that these urgent messages are actually read,” according to Murphy.

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Little input, big effect

As main coordinator of Netpresenter, Murphy maintains the master schedule of Netpresenter and makes sure published content is according to the guidelines. “Because Netpresenter is so easy to use, I do not spend a lot of time on it, maybe three hours in total during a busy week. If you can work with basic Microsoft products, like Word or PowerPoint, you can work with Netpresenter. Little input, big effect.” says Murphy.

System is very popular

“In the last few years, we have noticed that the system has become popular amongst our staff. After the implementation, we discovered that people started noticing it very quickly. Today, the system is widely used and we get about six to ten requests a week for content to be put on the screensaver,” according to Murphy. She adds: “Management is also very pleased with Netpresenter’s performance and wants to expand the use of the system.

About VCU Health

VCU Health is the only academic medical center in central Virginia. With over 550,000 Outpatient Clinic visits and more than 84,000 Emergency Department visits in 2011, VCU Health is on the forefront of health care in the US.