Thrive by IU Health

December 12, 2023

Welcome to the 3 Surgical Quality Olympics

Welcome to the 3 Surgical Quality Olympics

This unit is hosting its own Olympics aimed at quality and safety practices.

Every four years, the Olympic Games offer a chance for nations across the world to demonstrate teamwork and excellence. At IU Health University Hospital, these qualities are also evident at a different kind of Olympic event: 3 Surgical’s Quality Olympics.

Tammy Borden, RN, a shift coordinator on the unit, was inspired to create the Quality Olympics after hearing about the idea at the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Conference, earlier this year. “The project inspired me and I was confident my unit could try the same,” she said.

The idea came at the perfect time; 3 Surgical had recently experienced some change and had just combined two units into one.

Nurses standing around their homemade paper Olympic flame

Borden quickly brought up the idea to her manager and then set up a meeting with her unit’s Nursing Professional Development representative, Clinical Nurse specialist and Infection Prevention representative. The group chose to focus on a number of quality improvement areas for their “Olympic events,” including central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), CHG bathing compliance, fall prevention and hospital-acquired pressure injury (HAPI) prevention. Each team member designed a “K-card” to track each component, which were all displayed on a bulletin board.

The team decided the Olympic events would run from Nov. 28 through Dec. 22 and that they would celebrate the launch with their own Olympic Opening Ceremony, complete with a creative Olympic cauldron and “flame.”

Homemade Olympic flame

“Historically, the Olympic flame has served as a representation of continuity between the ancient and modern Olympic Games and symbolizes the light of spirit, knowledge and life,” Borden said during the ceremony. “The 3 Surgical Olympic flame will burn to represent our efforts to create continuity as we merge our two units and will symbolize the spirit of competition. It also represents the knowledge we have, that these quality measures improve outcomes for our patients and help each of us to be stronger care providers.”

The event served as a powerful way to build unity among the newly-combined team and motivate team members. Now, as the Quality Olympics continue, team members are completing audits to track their progress in each of their identified quality improvement areas