Cohort 15 Pictured from Left to Right: Terri Wieske, Sandy Mobley, Luci Parker, Elia Hernandez, Monique Bouvier, Erick Baechle, Hannah Wetmore (Not pictured: Darren Bates – Cohort 14)

Stanford Medicine’s RITE Program Cohort 14 and 15 completed their final presentations and graduation on September 11th and 12th. Congratulations to the all the graduates and the four SHC bedside nurses who participated in these cohorts! This article details the bedside nurses’ experience with the RITE program.

Congratulations to RITE Program Graduates! (Cohort 14 & 15)

The RITE Program participants recently completed their final presentations and graduation from the RITE Program’s second annual cohort in mid-September. RITE Cohorts 14 & 15 included four bedside SHC nurses whose time was sponsored by the Office of Research, Patient Care Services (ORPCS). They participated on interprofessional project teams aiming to design and implement solutions for quality improvement initiatives across the organization. All SHC staff who participated dedicated their time and efforts to realizing the project goals through team meetings, in-person instruction, and outside project work over 5 months. Congratulations to all participants for completing your final presentation and graduating from the RITE Program!

The RITE Program is managed by Stanford Medicine and open to all interdisciplinary staff affiliated within Stanford. RITE stands for Realizing Improvement through Team Empowerment. The program combines an interdisciplinary team and project-based training program focused on achieving meaningful quality improvement initiatives. Encompassing a 5-month program with instructor led sessions every other week, participants will gain practical knowledge in quality improvement, project management, and participate in an approved enterprise-wide QI project.

For more information on  ORPCS sponsorship of beside nurses and to participate in the RITE Program, click here.

Bedside SHC nurses describe their recent experiences working on project teams, attending lectures, and learning about quality improvement practices below:

Erick J. Baechle, BSN, SCRN, PCCN, MISM (H1- Neurology)

I joined the RITE program because I was looking for a personal development tool.

The idea to be an active participant on a project was also very appealing to me, especially as a night nurse as you are away from the daily ‘Hustle and Bustle.’  This project was to provide me with an opportunity to meet some “new faces” who were involved with the same patient population and hopefully together, come up with a solution to improve our patients’ outcome.

Each member of our team had a specific role and I felt privileged to be able to represent my unit. It is undeniably a time commitment which requires frequent communication between RITE meetings, team member meetings, and unit staff/management meetings. Once we delineated the problem with our process flow, solutions presented themselves.

The biggest challenge is to find solution(s) that can be sustained through time and hopefully what we implemented will do that.

The experience was very positive and educative. I was provided with tools that should assist me in the future, not only for project management but also for personal growth.

Darren Bates, RN (Acute Dialysis)

I had a very positive experience with the Stanford RITE program. The lectures were exceptionally well presented with passionate and engaging speakers who had a great depth of knowledge regarding healthcare quality improvement and the complexities of organizational change. The background readings and online slide presentations allowed me to be fully prepared to participate and engage with other RITE program members during discussions.

My specific involvement in the RITE project included chart review and data collection which allowed our team to deeply dissect our current state, workflows and look at where delays in care and patient discharge occurred. This then allowed us to develop and test more streamlined pathways to discharge for new start dialysis patients.

Most importantly, it allowed me to look beyond the focused and detailed work of providing renal replacement therapies to clinically complex patients and engage with other professionals and the wider members across the organization. This has led me to a deeper understanding of the patients’ journey and patients’ experience at Stanford Health Care.

Our coach – Angela, was essential in keeping our project moving forward. She gave great advice on how to analyze and interpret our data, and she presented them in meaningful and impactful ways.

The skills and knowledge I gained through the RITE program are now allowing me to examine other areas of my work through a lens of quality improvement.

Elia Hernandez, RN, BSN, CCRN, SCRN, CNRN, TCRN (E2-ICU)

My experience in the RITE Program was great. I enjoyed learning about the quality improvement process.  The RITE Program gave me the tools to approach problem-solving with a structured process to maximize the success of the project.

The best part of the program was attending the classes.  David Larson is passionate about the material, and he did a great job of keeping the class engaged. I particularly enjoyed learning to translate and apply statistical data into our project.

With the time commitment and expectations of the program, there were some expected obstacles. Working at the bedside and having a limited amount of time and resources was difficult.  For example, I work the night shift, while most of my teammates work day shift, therefore attending team meetings was not always convenient for my schedule.

An important tip I’d like to share for future nurses looking to participate: Come into the RITE Project with an open mind, because while working on your project, you may discover the problem you are solving is more complicated than you initially believed.  At the beginning, you may come into the team thinking you know what is causing a problem and already thought of some solutions. However, you should be objective and use the tools you learn in the class, because you may discover that the cause of the problem stemmed from somewhere else entirely.

Therese Wieske, RN, BSN, MBA, CEN (Emergency Department)

When I joined the RITE project, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. In our daily huddle, on our unit, my manager said they were still looking for someone to work on a project for dysphagia.  In a weak moment, I raised my hand and said I would be interested. Not knowing what I was really going to be doing or what I would be working on.  My manger said, “really, you would really be willing to do it?”  I said, “yes.”  I figured, it would probably be involved in something that would change how I do things, so I might as well be part of the change rather than just being told I have to change.

When I walked in to the meeting that 1st day, to my surprise, I was going to be working with someone I have previously worked with on another project years ago, and also with someone who I knew well, but had never worked with before.

While it was a lot of work, I liked how the project team leader broke down each step of the process and explained what we were doing and why.  As a nurse, we tend to just jump in and fix the issue at hand. The process enabled nurses to slow down and collect the information we need to make a more accurate assessment of the problem and come up with a more appropriate “fix.” This process can also be applied for any type of project we do in the future.


Article By: RITE Program Graduates/Monique Bouvier

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