Hospital Foundation awards Idea Challenge

It started as an effort to involve Sanford Vermillion employees in brainstorming to identify the next project for the Dakota Hospital Foundation. Dakota Hospital Foundation (DHF) board members rely heavily on input from managers and staff of Sanford Vermillion to identify areas of focus and ways that DHF can continue to fulfill its mission of community health and wellness.

Pictured are Janice McGuire, RN, Idea Challenge Award recipient and Kevin Myron, Dakota Hospital Foundation board member.

DHF and Sanford Vermillion are continuously searching for new and innovative ways to serve citizens in the surrounding area. For the third year, DHF turned to those most intimate with patients, residents and visitors the employees of Sanford Vermillion.

Through the DHF Employee Idea Challenge program, employees are encouraged to propose a project that would identify and fulfill an unmet need at Sanford Vermillion or in the community.

Eight proposals were submitted in late 2010. A committee of DHF Board members and Sanford Vermillion managers reviewed the proposals ranging from equipment needs to expanded technology access for patients and visitors and add services to increase efficiency in assessing and meeting patient needs.

Not only is the Employee Idea Challenge one of the more enjoyable projects we do, it may well be one of our most effective. The employees of Sanford Vermillion that participate provide well thought out and detailed plans on how to fill a need that they see, said Kevin Myron, Dakota Hospital Foundation board member.

The winning project submitted by hospital RN, Janice McGuire provided for Hands Free CPR equipment in the hospital emergency room at Sanford Vermillion. As indicated by its name, Hands Free CPR provides automatic chest compressions on patients experiencing cardiac arrest freeing up a

staff member or emergency responder to attend to additional crucial medical needs for the emergent patient.

Studies indicate that a large percentage of the population do not correctly perform chest compressions. The person performing chest compressions tires very easily, sometimes not able to effectively perform the compressions for the full recommended two minutes. This can become a major issue for emergency services with a limited number of staff available.

When asked to comment on this proposal, Dr. Roy Mortinsen, director of Emergency Services, Sanford Vermillion added, Our rural hospital needs a hands free CPR device. A device that will assure adequate circulation will save lives.

The following Idea Challenge awards were presented at an All Staff celebration at Sanford Vermillion in February:

Hands Free CPR Winning Project

Janice McGuire, RN, BSN Prize $1,000

Impact Testing at VHS Honorable Mention

Amy Richardson, AT Prize $ 500

Pressure Mapping Honorable Mention

Katie Walter, PT Prize $ 500

Stay Connected, Kari Jo James, CCLS

Lite Gait, Erin Vogel, PT

Web Cam for Residents/Patients, Becky Jensen, Environmental Services

Hospital Greeter The Face of Sanford Vermillion, Lisa Terwilliger, Rehab Services

Project Automatic Open, Jen Lerfald

The top three projects selected will be fully funded. The Hands Free CPR and Pressure Mapping equipment will be purchased and implemented this spring. The Impact Testing at VHS (concussion baseline testing for student athletes) will be provided annually in the Vermillion School District at the start of the 2011/2012 school year.

This years judging was especially tough, due to the high caliber of submitted proposals. This is easily displayed by the fact that we are already planning to implement three of the eight ideas; and it wouldnt surprise me if some the others are put into action in the near future. Given the dedication shown by such careful examination of needed services, and their obvious desire to help our patients, it seems only right to reward these individuals for going above and beyond in helping us improve health care in Vermillion, said Myron.

It is always a pleasure to have staff take ownership in leading an organization. The IDEA challenge is one way Dakota Hospital Foundation partners with Sanford Vermillion to empower staff by soliciting the creative spirit of those providing direct and indirect care for our patients, residents and visitors. Once again, ever increasing their commitment, our employees personify our Mission Dedicated to the work of Health and Healing, said Timothy J. Tracy, CEO, Sanford Vermillion.

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