Improvement Team

The improvement team is responsible for planning the initiative, guiding its implementation, and monitoring progress. Team membership will vary depending on the practice setting, the extent of the problem defined by local data, and the overall project goal. When the abbreviation initiative will impact physician prescribers, it is advisable to include a physician leader on the team in addition to securing champions in various specialty areas. Include representation from each of the areas potentially impacted by the proposed change in the way abbreviations are used, including management, frontline providers, and support departments. This may include:

  • Management (e.g., department manager, patient care area manager)
  • Frontline care providers (e.g., doctors, nurses, pharmacists, health care aides, respiratory therapists, physiotherapists, dietitians)
  • Administrative support staff (e.g., unit clerks)
  • Medical records staff
  • Information systems staff
  • Clinical educators
  • Patient or family member (especially if the initiative is targeting abbreviations used in communication with patients)

U for Units: Forming the Team

After securing executive support for the initiative, the Pharmacy Manager assigned one of the pharmacists to be the project lead. Using results from the audit of abbreviation use they engaged the medical and nursing staff leaders, and the medical leads for medicine and surgery as key champions. With assistance from the champions, a physician and surgeon were identified to join the project team, as well as nursing managers from the surgery and medicine units, a pharmacy technician, and frontline nurse.

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U for Units: Forming the Team

After securing executive support for the initiative, the Director of Care assigned her nurse educator to be the project lead. The facility medical advisor and pharmacy manager were engaged as key champions. With assistance from the champions, a nurse manager, frontline care provider at the facility, pharmacist, and family physician were invited to join the team.

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