Malinda Mitchell Award

The Malinda Mitchell Award recognizes excellence in quality and service. Malinda Mitchell is the former president and chief executive officer of Stanford Hospital & Clinics. She believes her greatest contribution was the development of a team-oriented approach to hospital management.

Throughout the years, nursing has been well represented as a recipient of the Malinda Mitchell Award. Individual nurses as well as units have been recognized for achieving excellence in quality and service.

G1 neurosurgical/general care unit

In October of 2012, G1, the Neurosurgical/General Care Unit was honored for their work "to increase efficiency by improving ineffective processes". This award was accepted by members of the staff and management at the Annual Service Awards Banquet.

The projects that cumulated in their receiving this prestigious award started with a 5S of the unit. 5S comes from Lean Methodology, which looks to improve process efficiency and continuous improvement.

5S is defined as:
Sort the items in the area
Straighten or arrange the items
Shine or clean the area
Standardize the organization and cleanliness of the area, and finally,

Staff first applied the 5S to their cluttered nursing station, where time was wasted searching for things. Allowing the front line staff to lead the process contributed to the success of this initiative as well as its sustainability. G1 staff applied 5S throughout many areas of their unit with great success. The true "test of time" has been that these areas are still maintained a year after the processes started.

The staff also took on multi-department and interdisciplinary projects. They collaborated with Materials Management on supply cart organization with color-coding and arranging supplies. Joy Ryan, a G1 Assistant Patient Care Manager, felt that these projects have "enhanced workflow and patient care delivery and added a sense of calm."

The next project was working with the Pharmacy on missing medications. Not only did they reduce missing medications by half, but they reduced the turnaround time it took to receive medications from the pharmacy.

Teresa Hibbard, RN G1 had this to say: "Decreasing the number of missing medications has been a huge success, allowing us more time to spend with our patients."

Women's cancer center

In October of 2012, The Women's Cancer Center at Stanford received the Malinda Mitchell Award in honor of improving process in their Clinics, which greatly increased patient satisfaction.

Process improvement initiatives undertaken include:

  • Adding a nurse coordinator to support new patient coordinators, which enabled new patients' information to be processed much more quickly, reducing initial patient wait time to be seen at the Center.
  • Pre-Clinic planning: nurse coordinators strategically organize patient care in various Clinics to minimize patient travel time.
  • Each patient is assigned a nurse coordinator. This greatly improved patient satisfaction as it provided them with a "go-to" person familiar with their care plan. Nurse coordinators cover for one another so that patients always receive a call back, regardless of whether their nurse coordinator is on duty.
  • Nurses developed and maintain the templates used by physicians to plan patient care.
  • Nurses are in management positions in every Clinic. This model empowers nurses to coordinate patient care in a streamlined manner, and enables physicians to maximize the amount of time spent on patient care.

The Women's Cancer Center's achievements are an excellent example of quality improvement at Stanford Health Care.

Nursing administration

In 2010, Nursing Administration received the Malinda Mitchell Award in honor of their Safe Patient Handling initiative, Handle All Transfers Safely (HATS).

Safe Patient Handling leadership researched best practices and evidence surrounding the prevention of career-ending and life-changing injuries that nurses and other direct providers are at risk of developing in the process of lifting and moving patients. They found that a growing body of evidence indicated that commonly used patient transfer strategies such as lift teams, back belts and body mechanics classes are ineffective in reducing back injuries.

With this knowledge, SHC mandated that institution-wide "no-lift" policies be implemented. The HATS program introduced mechanical lifting equipment to support employees and patients. The HATS program trained 100% of the staff and deployed equipment to more than 20 inpatient units, operating rooms, and procedural areas by the end of 2009.

The Stanford Health Care (SHC) Safe Patient Handling (SPH) program, Handle All Transfers Safely (HATS) began in 2009 as part of the organization's continuous efforts to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all staff.

Read more about SHC's Safe Patient Handling program.