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HSS Fall Learning Lab Showcases Quality Improvement

Health Support Specialists (HSS) at the Fall Learning Lab presented quality improvement projects that they designed, launched, tracked and refined over the past year. The quality improvement projects, completed through the ICan initiative with Performance Excellence in Aging Services, were designed to transform care at the bedside. After an incredibly difficult round of judging, three groups were recognized for their quality improvement programs:  

Three Links in Northfield was named the winner of the ICan Innovation Contest. Their work on the “Keep the Big Wheels a Turnin’” program, led by HSS staff Leah Holm and Deena Brandner, focused on increasing the safety of resident transfers by changing the wheels on lifts from a small size to a large size. This reduced the risk of falls, eased movement over floor transitions, made residents feels safer and reduced physical stress on caregivers.

Second place went to Avera Marshall in Marshall for their Aromatherapy in TCU project, where HSS team leader Krischelle Larson led the rollout of an aromatherapy program to promote patient comfort and reduce the use of opioids for pain management. 

Third place went to Mill Street Commons in Northfield for their Safety First program, where HSS staff Kayla Tanttari and Jennifer Johnson updated the contents, stocking process and efficiency of first aid kits.

Other projects included:

Incontinent product compliance: 

Oak Hills Living Center HSS team: Katie Stark, Staci Beranek, Theresa Berg, Sue Pederson, Gen Anderson

Supply organization:

Three Links Care Center HSS team: Samantha Strand, Casey Montanye

Increasing leadership opportunities for HSS staff

Three Links Care Center HSS team: Amanda Gruber, Deena Brandner, Leah Holm, Dawn Odenthal

Renovating a staff break room

Traverse Care Center HSS team: Melissa Ramirez, Ember Stewart, Lisa Braun, Pearl Sanschez

Organizing resident toiletries 

Essentia Health Oak Crossing HSS team: Hayley-Jo Rue, Katie Lawrence, Laurie Erdahl, Alicia Suhl, Carin Leeb, Christine Scoles, Margaret ‘Peggy’ Schons, Darla Wilson

Reducing new employee turnover

Augustana Regent HSS team: Steven Huynh, Hamilton Maroro, Harry Odoi, Ahmed Songa, Gertrude Nyanjega, Yodit Zeccarrias, Arlene Seepersaud

The ICan program was developed by LeadingAge Minnesota to support its broader Performance Excellence in Aging Services program. The program’s goal is to engage leaders at all levels of the organization with a special focus on front-line staff.

Judging the ICan competition were: Chris Schultz, Administrator, Thorne Crest Retirement Community in Albert Lea; Leslie Philmon, Senior Field Representative, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry; Cami Peterson-DeVries, Senior Services Director, St. Francis Health Services in Morris; and Terri Foley, Program Officer, LeadingAge Minnesota Foundation.

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the ICan Innovation Contest!

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