When launching a new system, partnership and support can make or break it.
Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS)’s Tiffany Young, BSN, RN, CDCES, knew this all too well when the not-for-profit community health system was implementing Glytec’s eGlycemic Management System® (eGMS).
As the Diabetes Program Manager, Young wears many hats, including care team collaborator, best practices consultant and patient care resource for bedside nurses. She also helps update policies, procedures and order sets.
This big-picture perspective gave Young a clear view of exactly what the health system needed when embarking on change management and rolling out eGMS®— namely, buy-in from leadership, ongoing training for nurses and continuous support before, during and after implementation.
Improving glycemic management and patient outcomes was at the top of Young’s list for what the eGMS implementation would achieve, but she was also focused on her team’s emotional needs and well-being. Would Glytec provide the support that nurses, providers, clinical staff and leadership all needed during this change? Young was committed to finding out.
In addition to buy-in across teams, results included transitioning patients from paper-based protocols to Glucommander™, the insulin dosing decision support module of eGMS, which increased the quality of patient care, got patients out of critical care faster and decreased time to target blood glucose.
Ultimately, Glytec helped the hospital train 1,000+ nurses and 90% of providers, reduce average time to target by 36 minutes and reduce average length of stay by 3.57 days.
"The Glytec team was available 24/7. They were rounding on the units and they provided real-time support, which I think helped [nurses] know that they were there with them to help make this process smooth, and they were available to answer any questions."
Northeast Georgia Health System is known for providing access to the state’s finest and most comprehensive medical services. Young and her team were dedicated to improving the quality of care for patients, as well as updating best practices that would streamline workflows and support the needs of everyone from nurses and care teams to clinical staff and leadership.
eGMS was a promising solution to achieve better patient outcomes and care management, but Young knew that getting buy-in wouldn’t be easy. Unlike other technology implementations undertaken by NGHS, this wasn’t just a matter of swapping out some software. To realize the full potential of eGMS, the entire culture of glycemic management at NGHS would need to evolve — and that couldn’t happen without a lot of training, support, encouragement and empowerment.
Most nurses at NGHS had never used computer-directed insulin management software before, and more than 1,000 would need to be trained with materials that aligned with the health system’s workflows. In addition, providers would need training in advance of the go-live. NGHS also needed to figure out how to safely transition all patients currently being treated with paper protocols to Glucommander.
Before the go-live of eGMS, Glytec made sure Northeast Georgia Health System had everything they needed in order to succeed-including on-demand training materials delivered via their own e-learning system – that were deployed by NGHS using their preferred train-the-trainer model.
Knowing that adoption of the new system would depend on integration with existing workflows, Glytec and Young worked together to configure the integration between eGMS and Epic. This enabled a seamless experience for users, which Young predicted would be critical to the success of the project.
When launch day arrived, Young and the hospital identified which patients were on paper-based protocols so that during the changeover from previous protocols to the new system, Glytec could transition them using reverse algorithms for downtime.
Young attributes the success of the implementation to this kind of white-glove support provided by Glytec.
During the launch, stakeholders such as nursing and physician leadership were present in the command center to communicate needs on a larger scale — a change management best practice recommended by Glytec that anticipates and mitigates the challenges of any process change.
After go-live, Glytec’s team became available 24/7 with continuous real-time support for questions or troubleshooting.
Additional support from Glytec included monthly meetings with customer support so Young and her teams could see their data compared to other organizations and seek further improvements. It also helped that Glytec had more than 40 clinical team members who came from institutions that used Glucommander, so they knew firsthand the challenges and best practices of working in a hospital.
Young anticipated that implementing eGMS would be challenging — but thanks to the white-glove support provided by Glytec, the preparation, launch and ongoing management of the system went off without a hitch.
Altogether, more than 1,000 nurses were trained on the new system, and 90% of providers (including hospitalists, intensivists, CV surgeons, ED physicians, OBs and APPs) were trained prior to the go-live.
Best of all, patient outcomes improved:
“Patients were safer during their hospital stay, and in many cases, we avoided overnight admissions altogether. These efforts have no doubt saved the health system millions of dollars a year because we weren’t always using ICU beds.”
Young was thrilled to see her clinical staff respond overwhelmingly positively as the new system simplified their workloads without sacrificing patient safety — a benefit that became invaluable during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Glytec’s white-glove support helped Northeast Georgia Health System set everything up before go-live. This foundation has prepared NGHS for success; downtime and issues related to eGMS are rare. But the strong partnership means that Glytec is just a call away for any support needs, and the monthly customer support meetings are continuing to help the hospital review how it’s doing and set new goals.
With Glytec’s help, Young was able to achieve her goals; eGMS delivered better glycemic management practices and patient outcomes across the health system without increasing the burden on frontline staff.
“Glucommander takes a lot of work and worry out of having a patient on an insulin drip. [It’s] very straightforward, easy to use, and has been a great addition to Epic.”
Tiffany Young, BSN, RN, CDCES, was Diabetes Program Manager with Northeast Georgia Health System at the time of this presentation. She is now an employee of Glytec.
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