Healthcare Quality Week

Written by LVMC on

LVMC joins hospitals nationwide in celebrating Healthcare Quality Week to bring attention to the commitment to improve healthcare quality and patient safety outcomes.

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LVMC joins hospitals nationwide in celebrating Healthcare Quality Week to bring attention to the commitment to improve healthcare quality and patient safety outcomes.

LVMC's quality team is led by Melissa DeBacker, MSN, Chief of Quality Assurance Process Improvement, Risk Management, and Infection Prevention. LVMC Quality Assurance employees are Aaron Stilwell, Betty Lee, Lydia Valdez, and Erica Sanchez.

Melissa Debacker

Name: Melissa DeBacker
Title: Chief Quality Assurance Officer
Years in Quality: 13 years

What surprised you the most when you first started in Quality?  

I was amazed at the level of detail, research, and vetting of information sources required for audit results before they could be used in reporting both internally at Medical Staff committees and externally to CMS/CDC and others. I was amazed at the breadth of the reach of quality at our hospital and nationally. I had no idea before coming to this department how far-reaching and ever-evolving the scope of quality work is. 

What is your favorite part of your role in Quality? 

 Having a part in improving care, safety, or care delivery for the benefit of our patients and staff.  That can be something that impacts the environment in which care is delivered, a resolution that makes something safer in care delivery, or helping to resolve workarounds created from inefficiencies in processes and systems, which improves workflow and safety. Sometimes it takes longer than anticipated, but when we work alongside the many departments and their staff, and we all come up with a solution, that is very gratifying.  

What difference do you feel you make working in Hospital Quality?

 I hope we are becoming less of a mystery in the work we do. We make a lot of effort to be visible, approachable, and a resource for those who need assistance with matters involving regulatory compliance and reporting, claims and litigation, and investigations by regulatory bodies. We support and facilitate processes that bring new knowledge, resources, and evidence-based best practices. Our overarching goal is to be seen as a partner in improving care outcomes and assisting departments in meeting their process improvement goals by providing information gleaned from internal data and other sources that help inform decisions that take us all forward toward our improvement goals. 

Lydia Valdez

Name: Lydia Valdez, RN
Title: Quality Analyst Registered Nurse
Years in Quality Dept: 3.5 years

What surprised you the most when you first started in Quality?

My biggest surprise was how much I didn't know about Quality. The vast amount of work it takes in the process of bringing about a positive change and meaningful improvement in how we deliver care to the patients in our community. 

What is your favorite part of your role in Quality?

 I love working with all the different departments, building relationships, being part of the team that through collaboration, we see positive improvements for the organization and care being delivered to patients.   

What difference do you feel you make working in Quality?

Working in Quality, I feel you see the organization as a whole and how our department is a resource for every other department in the hospital. Every department is involved with quality and improvement projects, and I feel I do make a positive impact on the outcomes of these projects by working as a collaborative team, which trickles all the way down to the patient and the high-quality, safe care being delivered.  

Betty Lee

Name: Betty Lee
Title: Data Analyst
Years in Quality: More than 20 years 

What surprised you the most when you first started in Quality?  

The scope and volume of work that is managed under the QA/PI/RM/IC umbrella.  

What is your favorite part of your role in Quality? 

Chart review.   

What difference do you feel you make working in Quality?

"I see my role in Quality as more of a supportive role. I don't lead meetings, although I have been to many. I don't have to ultimately make the big decisions, but I am frequently asked for my feedback before a decision is made."  I would say the work I've done that has moved the healthcare Quality needle here at LVMC is to be a consistently effective and reliable team member.

Aaron Stilwell

Name: Aaron Stilwell, MBA, RN
Title: Quality Analyst Registered Nurse
Years in Quality Dept: 2 years  

What surprised you the most when you first started in Quality?

The volume of, and degree of variation in, the work handled by this small department. A lot of the responsibilities that hospital quality departments handle scales with the size of the facility, but there is a substantial amount of work that doesn't, such as regulatory requirements and data reporting. As a smaller facility, we don't have the benefit of a large team with specialists dedicated to their own responsibilities; everyone here performs a broad range of activities and tasks and is cross-trained on even more. 

What is your favorite part of your role in Quality?

I really enjoy and appreciate being part of a team that is so supportive and collaborative of each other and of the mission.  

What difference do you feel you make working in Quality?

Most of our work is behind the scenes and not patient-facing, so it can be easy to lose sight of the actual human impact of the work we do. But every number, every data point, represents a person in need. When we help "move the needle" on a clinical quality measure, that translates to people in our community having better health outcomes, fewer complications, shorter recovery times, and improved quality of life. 

Erica Sanchez

Name: Erica Sanchez
Title: Quality Improvement Registered Nurse 
Years in Quality: 5 years

What surprised you the most when you first started in Quality? 

In college, I absolutely hated statistics. I struggled to get through it, and although I understood its importance, I never thought I would use it myself. Since working in Quality, I am surprised at how much fun statistics can be! I thoroughly enjoy compiling data and determining the effectiveness of processes through statistical analysis of the data. I think the biggest difference between the statistics class I took in college the statistics that I use in my work in quality is that my work is meaningful to me. I have seen how data is required to make improvements and measure the outcome of those changes. It helps know if we found a solution or need to continue to try new methods.  

What is your favorite part of your role in Quality?

My favorite part of my role in Quality is interacting with all staff, administration, providers, and volunteers to accomplish a shared goal of improving the safety and quality of care that is delivered to each person that enters the facility.  

What difference do you feel you make working in Hospital Quality? 

The difference I hope to make working in Quality is to not only help to improve facility processes with evidenced based practice but that I am viewed as a support to the frontline staff, not only during challenging scenarios but day-to-day. 

LVMC
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