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100 percent of Clinical Research Unit staff achieve Bronze Certification, reach milestone

Photo of Mayo Clinic Clinical Research Unit staff members

100 percent — all 80 staff in the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS) Clinical Research Unit (CRU) at Saint Marys Hospital (Domitilla 5B Inpatient Unit) and Rochester Methodist Hospital (Charlton 7 Outpatient Unit) achieved Bronze Certification in the Mayo Quality Fellows Program.

Quality is second nature to the units. They received the Professional Research Consultants (PRC) 5-Star Award based on patient feedback for six consecutive years and are recognized by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) as one of the premier CRUs in the nation.

Even with these successes, the CRU nurse managers felt it was important to encourage staff to seek Bronze Certification as a way to further impact the quality of patient care on the unit.

"I witness this active approach to safety and quality on the unit every day — and attribute a big part of the CRU's 'premier' designation to the staff's commitment to quality," says Operations Manager Jenny Weis.

The nurse managers' challenge to seek Bronze Certification triggered momentum that started among the laboratory staff and then the nursing staff. As more staff completed certification, co-workers began encouraging each other to complete the online training. Some staff admitted to being skeptical prior to taking the certification. Later, they found themselves reassuring others and telling them it was well worth their time.

When word of the momentum spread through the CRU, the Nutrition and Systems Operational Support managers added their support and challenged their staff to complete the certification as well. It was no surprise that staff in these areas stepped up to the challenge as readily as their counterparts.

As a result, the CRU is the first nursing unit to accomplish Bronze Certification with 100 percent completion by all staff! The staff consists of nurses, research support techs, lab coordinators, dietitians, dietary technicians, dietary assistants, unit secretaries, administrative assistants, schedulers and systems operational support staff.

CRU managers Joan Muhs, R.N., Nanci Hawley, R.N., Helen O'Connor, R.D., and Michael Lin agree on the benefits of the Bronze Certification:

  • Bronze provides team members the same point of reference and training so that they can approach issues and improvement projects from the same angle.
  • Bronze training reinforces that each of us have a role and a responsibility in participating and influencing safety and quality initiatives in our work areas.

Given the success of the optional phase of certification, CRU managers have now committed to including the Bronze Certification as a mandatory component of staff orientation for all new CRU staff. The managers want to maintain and recognize the achievement, keep the momentum going, and continue to have an impact on ensuring safety and delivering quality care. They have also extended the opportunity to staff to work toward Silver Certification on upcoming initiatives.

Joshua Mueller, a CRU research support technician, says taking the initial step of getting his Bronze Certification opened the opportunity to work on a Silver quality project.

"Working on the project gave me a chance to discuss directly with others how to make improvements in the practice on our unit and to think of ways to implement the needed changes. Getting my Bronze Certification and working toward completing the Silver Certification made me more aware of my own potential errors and the proper way for me to improve my own practice at work," says Mueller.

These efforts are right in line with Mayo Clinic's leadership goal to have 90 percent of Mayo staff achieve Bronze Certification by 2013 and have 100 percent of Mayo employees achieve Bronze Certification within one year of employment by 2015.

  • Sep 25, 2013
  • NEW664047