Methodist Charlton Medical Center believes quality respiratory care begins with commitment and compassion for patients.
By John Kuzma, RRT
A constant commitment to quality patient care (with a smile), and delivery of the best possible experience to all of our customers. On the surface, these may seem like reasonably simple goals, but in today’s complex healthcare environment, it takes a dedicated team of highly trained professionals to ensure these standards are met on a daily basis. Fortunately, that’s the type of team we’ve assembled at Methodist Charlton Medical Center’s Respiratory Department.
Our team of 63 respiratory clinicians is cross-trained to accurately and efficiently respond to a variety of respiratory care situations, but our specific areas of expertise include sleep disorders, bronchial thermoplasty, asthma education, and outpatient education. To build a great team, you need great team members and at Methodist Charlton we are privileged to have some of the most skilled and compassionate individuals working on our respiratory staff. Ninety-two percent are registered respiratory therapists (RRTs), and the remaining clinicians are certified respiratory therapists (CRTs). All staff are ACLS and NRP certified, and we have the following specialists on staff: 4 NRP instructors, 2 BLS instructors, 4 NPS certified therapists, 1 AE-C therapist, 6 bronchial thermoplasty certified therapists, 1 RPFT, 6 RPSGTs, and 5 CPSGTs.
Our staff is highly trained and experienced, with an average of 9.7 years of service in respiratory care. This high level of expertise allows our department to address a wide variety of patient needs. Without commitment and compassion though, patient care is incomplete. Our team truly excels at treating each individual patient like one of our own. This “patient-first” philosophy has led to recognition of our efforts, some of which include: Quality Respiratory Care Recognition from the AARC (four years in a row); The Golden Hand Service Award from the Cultural Diversity Foundation (three years); and three Spring Quality Summits from 2010 to 2012.
Another aspect of our patient-first philosophy is to extend our care beyond the walls of our hospital and to reach people where they live, work, and play. We participate in a variety of community events in the Dallas area, including: asthma seminars, health and higher education fairs at local schools, and health screenings with various community organizations. These events are always well received by the public, which gives our team members a chance to engage residents in sharing vital health information.
While we take pride in these honors and our community health initiatives, we never stop seeking ways to improve patient care. Team members are encouraged to better themselves by taking advantage of the professional development opportunities we offer, such as monthly CE workshops, certification reimbursement, interdepartmental recognition and promotions, and our latest initiative in development, a clinical ladder.
Our department is always interested in improving delivery of care. Due to the size of our facility, one of the biggest challenges to department efficiency was the wait times at our hospital’s automated medication management system, Omnicells. Standing in line was costing each therapist 45-50 minutes per each 8-hour shift. To address this problem, our respiratory department received approval for its own, department-located Omnicell, along with mobile-and-locking medication carts. When a therapist finishes a shift, they return the mobile medication cart and charge the medications used to the respective patient. Along with bedside medication verification, this process ensures the “Four R’s” of medication delivery: Right time, Right medication, Right patient, and Right dosage. As a result of this process, we recovered a combined 6.4 hours per 8-hour shift, which has allowed our RTs to devote more time to quality and compassionate patient care, which, in turn, has improved satisfaction scores for the department.
Working in a respiratory department isn’t a job—it’s a calling. No matter what position we hold or what title is in front of our names, every person on the Methodist Charlton team is crucial to the success of our mission: constant commitment to quality patient care (with a smile) and delivery of the best possible experience to all our customers. RT
Methodist Charlton Medical Center
3500 W Wheatland Rd
Dallas, TX 75237