blog post 04182016

Real Life Examples of Bright Ideas Program Submissions in Healthcare

This blog post continues our series of patient experience best practices from the HealthStream Engagement Institute. Every week we share information that demonstrates our expansive understanding of the challenges faced by healthcare organizations and the solutions we have identified for improving the patient experience and patient and business outcomes.  

What is a Bright Ideas Program?

Creating and implementing a Bright Ideas Program provides a mechanism to solicit ideas from employees on how to improve a process or aspect of an organization – and reward them for doing so. The program can be simple or complex and be as creative and innovative as those who develop it.

What is a Bright Idea?

A Bright Idea is an employee’s suggestion for how the organization can better serve its customers, patients, employees, physicians, or the community. A Bright Idea supports a positive change, saves time, reduces costs, or promotes safety, and is within the scope of the organization’s resources to implement.

A Bright Idea is not a work order for repairing, cleaning, or replacing items. It’s not a current policy, an idea that was previously adopted, or a complaint. In addition, it’s not a suggestion that’s unrealistic or far too expensive to put into practice.

Here is a sampling of implemented suggestions from just one Bright Ideas program:

Time-Saving Suggestions

  • Have a supply of sweatshirts and pants, T-shirts, underwear, and socks in all sizes on-hand for patients who are admitted with no change of clothes.
  • Put up a sign directing recent hires to the new employee orientation session.
  • Survey new employees in the orientation class about what they look for on a career website.
  • Place a low-noise vacuum in the front lobby area to maintain clean floors throughout the day.

    Safety Suggestions

  • Purchase battery-powered lanterns for departments to have on hand for hurricane readiness.
  • Generate a letter to patients whose laboratory tests indicate they need diabetes education.
  • Keep bleach wipes (which kill the flu virus and 99.9 percent of bacteria in 30 seconds) in each patient’s room to wipe the television remote control and call bell.
  • Inspect all bracket-mounted television sets to ensure they are bolted properly onto the frame.


    Cost-Saving Suggestions

  • Scan ER, OP, clinic, radiology, and cardiology records to save the cost of microfilming.

    Estimated Annual Cost Savings = $28,000

  • Switch to an alternative system of address verification/credit report checks offered by our vendor, which uses more databases to verify information and costs less.

    Estimated Annual Cost Savings = $16,000

  • When a diet change order is received after a tray has already been sent, implement the new diet order with the next meal. Exceptions can be made; however, experience shows that most patients eat the contents of the first tray even when a second tray reflecting the new diet preference is  sent.

    Estimated Annual Cost Savings = $32,000 (2,600 hours per year)

  • Change current plastic ID bands and allergy bands to the “short-term” paper ID bands.

Estimated Annual Cost Savings = $784

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