July 14, 2006

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: If customer satisfaction is of the highest priority, why is it normal to close beds due to staffing issues?

Answer: We all agree that serving patients is our highest priority. Beds are closed only after assessing the impact on patient safety and quality of care. We use many staffing strategies to keep all our beds open, but we still sometimes find that we lack the staff resources to cover every bed safely. When that occurs, temporary bed closures become unavoidable.

When viewed against our overall patient volume, data reflect that our bed closures are kept to a minimum and are for the appropriate reasons. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to these efforts to keep bed closures to such low levels.

— Marilyn Dubree, M.S.N., R.N., chief nursing officer and director of patient care services