Houlton Regional Hospital – Healthcare for Northern Maine


October 1st, 2012

Houlton Regional Hospital is participating in a program called Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB). This national program was developed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The goal is to engage frontline hospital nurses and leaders at all levels of organization to:

–          Improve the quality and safety of patient care on medical surgical units

–          Increase the vitality and retention of nurses

–          Engage and improve the patient’s and family members experience of care

–          Improve the effectiveness of the entire care team

A TCAB committee was formed on the Acute Care Unit (ACU) in August 2011. Members include five staff nurses, the Nurse Manager of the Acute Care Unit, and the Director of Nursing. Many positive changes have been implemented on our Acute Care Unit to improve patient safety and patient satisfaction as well as increase nurse time at the bedside, such as the following:

Bedside Reporting: Bedside reporting takes place at the change of shift between the day nurse and the night nurse. With the patient’s permission, both nurses come to the patient’s room and present information about the patient’s diagnosis and explain their plan of care. This provides an excellent opportunity to ask questions about the care as well as meet your oncoming nurse.

Huddles: “Huddles” involve the healthcare team (doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and social services) gathering at the start of each shift for a brief meeting to discuss each patient’s progress and discharge plan. A communication tool to keep everyone informed of the patient’s plan of care.

Safety Stars: Safety stars were implemented as another communication tool for staff to identify patient need. Color coded stars symbolize the patient’s risk and what is required to keep them safe.

Newspapers: During the admission process, patients are now asked if they would like to receive the Bangor Daily News or Houlton Pioneer Times throughout their stay thanks to the Volunteers at Houlton Regional Hospital.