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Marketing expertise in unit-based care

February 2014

Published in the February 2014 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

WHEN IT COMES TO the hottest topics in hospital medicine, unit-based care “how to plan for it, implement it and keep it running smoothly “is definitely on the list. Now, physicians who devised a successful unit-based model in one large Albuquerque hospital are marketing their expertise and a key electronic tool to interested comers.

Jill Slominski, MD, is CEO of Petroglyph MedPartners. Until last year, Dr. Slominski was assistant medical director of the hospitalist group at Albuquerque’s Presbyterian Hospital.

In 2010, the hospitalists there launched a unit-based pilot that now includes all medical units within the 450-bed center. The success of that model “detailed last year in a Today’s Hospitalist series written by David Yu, MD, MBA, the medical director of Presbyterian’s adult hospitalist group “has attracted a host of visitors to the hospital, all trying to figure out what Presbyterian did right. Dr. Yu is now a principal advisor to Petroglyph, while the group’s former practice operations manager, Marti Martienssen, MBA, is Petroglyph’s COO.

Consulting is one service the company offers. “Most people don’t appreciate how broad the scope of unit-based planning has to be to be successful,” Dr. Slominski says. “If all the key, interdependent groups throughout an organization are not properly aligned, the model won’t work.”

Petroglyph plans to conduct site visits to perform “a very full assessment of where an organization is in terms of readiness for unit-based care,” she says. Based on that assessment, the company will offer formal recommendations and ongoing assistance, helping implement a unit-based care model or improve one already in place.

The Petroglyph moniker not only refers to Albuquerque’s rich Native American heritage, but to a key feature of another company product: an electronic whiteboard. A whiteboard is critical to the success of unit-based rounds, Dr. Slominski explains, because it gives participants visual cues to help standardize discussions.

The company’s electronic whiteboard is a 55-inch mounted touchscreen loaded with Petroglyph software. Standardized within that software is the use of different “glyphs” or symbols, which “give the entire care team a lot of patient information at a glance without violating HIPAA rules,” Dr. Slominski says. Different glyphs, for instance, refer to PT, OT, hospice and warfarin, with separate glyphs for central lines and Foley catheters.

Such a tool could help hospitalists and nurses anywhere with patient handoffs. But this electronic whiteboard has been designed specifically to facilitate unit-based care.

“Clients can choose from different board sizes and glyphs,” says Dr. Slominski. “Once the board is in a facility, we can connect remotely and perform any needed maintenance or further customization.” More information is online at www.pmpar.com.