Mel Wityk is the Nurse Unit Manager on a subacute ward at Western Health: a large multi campus teaching health service in Melbourne. Since 2013 Mel and her team, together with allied health and medical clinicians and ably supported and inspired by the WH wound consultant, Col Killmier, have been on a mission to achieve zero pressure injuries - and stay there. When I interviewed Mel the ward had gone 525 days pressure injury free.
How did they do it?
This QualityTalks started out exploring Mel's leadership role in preventing pressure injuries, but I soon realised that there's a lot more going on here. Over our discussion, Mel shows how she used every key change strategy in the book - without reading the book! - including: a clear and shared goal, a human connection, Start Where They Are, people support what they help to create, feelings drive action, leading by example, clear roles and expectations, smoothing the path, removing the old way, monitoring and learning, embedding change in the every day, celebrating wins and staying the course.
By the end of this QualityTalk it's clear that leading sustained change that makes life better for patients and staff is not something that takes years of study if you're clear about where you're going and where you're starting, and go on the journey together. And it helps if along the way you're prepared to listen, learn, practise a little genuine empathy for the needs of others - and have some fun!
And what happened after day 525? You'll have to listen to find out!