TRAVERSE CITY — It's a cross between a user guide and an organizational flow-chart.

The rebranded Copper Ridge Surgery Center's Patient Experience Initiative is one of 12 Intalere Healthcare Achievement Award winners.

"We call it our system road map, so it kind of allows you to know every single thing a patient goes through in order to have an experience here, an encounter, a procedure ... whatever that may look like," said Tricia Wollam, the total joint program coordinator at the Copper Ridge Surgery Center.

Also labeled as "The Way We Work Together" at the surgery center, the initiative was one of three winners from Intalere Healthcare in the Quality/patient care delivery and/or Patient satisfaction category. It will be recognized at Elevate 2018 in Orlando May 20-23.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Intalere is a group purchasing organization that has more than 100,000 healthcare organizations as members. According to Intalere, members compete for awards in four different categories of patient care and the top three in each are recognized. Winners are evaluated by an internal committee of a dozen or so judges.

Resembling a tilted '8' and called an infinity loop, the Copper Ridge Surgery Center road map through the process from pre-visit to on-site has a single driver: the patient.

Traverse City resident Barbara Goodearl said the diagram helped her feel at ease undergoing a colonoscopy at the facility. She said the chart was visible when she first came into the center.

"The patient sees that happening around them and they feel like the driver," Goodearl said. "They appreciate every step of the way. It's an amazing system. You feel safe, secure and that you're in good hands because it's scary coming in here, for anything."

In keeping with the theme, the Patient Experience Initiative is more than a path through the facility. It's also a way for all of the 148 staff members and 84 credentialed medical personnel to work together and communicate.

Peri-Procedural Director Gail Bultsma, one of the first to spearhead the initiative, said one the staff is kind of like a "pit crew" for the patient-driven vehicle.

"We have all these people working as a team to make it all work," Bultsma said. "If one piece is missing, it can really all fall apart. That's where we tied everybody (together) as part of that team. Even though we called it patient experience, it's not all about the patient, even though they're the driver.

"We start to recognize that we have to focus on the staff, encouraging them and recognizing them, making sure they are competent and doing excellent care. All of that feeds to a wonderful patient experience."

"It just helped people recognize that where ever they fell on this map, so to speak, that they contributed to something bigger," added Endoscopy Team Leader Stefany Comeaux.

Copper Ridge Surgery Center Chief Executive Officer LoAnn Vande Leest called Wollam and Comeaux "captains" or "patient experience officers" in the process. Every department had input in the process when it was rolled out in 2016 and implemented over the past year.

"We all have to be communicating well all the time for the patient to have the experience that we want them to have," Vande Leest said.

The Initiative is prominently displayed in four areas at the surgery center: outside the administrative offices, near the break room, the central processing department and in the upstairs billing department.

"We have it around the building in four locations — kind of our four main hubs — so that it's something that is a visual aid and a reminder to all the staff that they play an important role in the patient care," Wollam said.

Bultsma said the staff at Copper Ridge all signed a pledge so that everyone can be "respectful, accountable, responsible and professional" toward patients.

"We're trying to be very intentional about engaging the entire staff to be committed to this," Bultsma said.

Comeaux said the initiative is "not a solution, this is a visual aid." Goals are updated quarterly for measurable areas to ensure staff satisfaction and engagement, physician support, patient satisfaction and community trust.

Vande Leest said a community survey by Idea Stream led to changing the operation's name from Northwest Michigan Surgery Center to Copper Ridge Surgery Center. At first Vande Leest was simply looking to update the logo, but most knew the latter name and not the former.

The name change was rolled out on Jan. 1.

"We figured out at that point in time that we may as well change the name and do a DBA too, because that's what everybody in the community knew us as or called us," she said. "It just made sense. With our logo, it brings together all four parts or pieces of it here that represent the patient, the physicians, the staff and the facility, and how they all come together with surgical precision."

The Initiative is the next step in making sure not only are the staff and physicians happy, but also the patients are pleased.

"Our vision is to be the place for out-patient surgery and the place to work," Vande Leest said. "This whole initiative focuses around that."

Intalere Healthcare Achievement Award Winners

Award winners by category listed by facility and location:

Quality/patient care delivery and/or patient satisfaction

Copper Ridge Surgery Center Traverse City

Coastal Connect Health Information Exchange Wilmington, North Carolina

NYC Health + Hospitals/Sea View Staten Island, New York

Community impact and/or innovation

Lexington Clinic Lexington, Kentucy

Miravida Living Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Senior Resource Center Hayward, Wisconsin

Financial and operational improvement

Boston Children's Hospital Boston, Massachusetts

Crystal Run Health Middletown, New York

Parkview Health Fort Wayne, Indiana

Supply chain/data management or supply cost efficiencies

Mankato Surgery Center Mankato, Minnesota

Summit Pacific Medical Center Elma, Washington

The University of Vermont Medical Center Burlington, Vermont

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