January 11, 2008

elevate Answering the Tough Questions

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Medical Center leadership answers the tough questions about what the elevate program is and what it means for the people who work at VUMC.

Question: Why aren't there time clocks in campus parking areas? A long wait for a shuttle bus can make you tardy, and it's not our fault that we have to park so far away. Why do we have to get to our work area before we can swipe in?

Answer: With nurses and other caregivers clocking in at the shuttle lots, we would lose all ability to manage safe, orderly shift changes.

Whether you drive, walk, cycle, or take a city bus, a train or a campus shuttle, everyone's commute ends at the door, and we will always need our staff to be not just on campus at the start of their shifts, but ready to work and facing the person who will orient them to any developing circumstances.

Many employees at the Medical Center have direct and critical roles in the care of patients. There is an extensive body of learning on the importance of handoffs between health care providers in ensuring patient care safety and quality, and in our hospitals we, of course, overlap our work shifts to allow time for orderly, safe handoffs.

During morning rush, VUMC shuttle buses cycle through the shuttle lots every four to seven minutes, and periodic monitoring of GPS data from buses shows them to be meeting this seven-minute standard more than 95 percent of the time. However, campus traffic delays do sometimes occur. Just as one would do for highway delays, it's recommended that shuttle riders allow some time in their commute for potential traffic holdups on campus.

— Marilyn Dubree, M.S.N., R.N., chief nursing officer