The Nurse Manager's Guide to Improving Unit Outcomes

Focus on the opportunities that will deliver meaningful impact

Unit Outcomes

Health care organizations are increasingly under pressure to improve care quality, and executives are asking unit leaders to achieve strong performance on a growing number of metrics.

But when confronted with so many competing priorities, nurse managers often struggle with knowing where to start and spreading themselves and their staff too thin. They need to know how to focus their time and energy on the activities that will have the greatest impact.

We've created five tools to help managers narrow their lists of critical unit priorities, identify the biggest opportunities for improvement, and communicate those opportunities to staff.


5 tools for improving unit performance

  • Tool 1: Decide Where to Focus First
    Pinpoint which of your unit's critical priorities to address first by answering seven "yes or no" questions.

  • Tool 2: Get to the Root of Your Problem
    Figure out why your unit is struggling with performance on a given metric and prioritize which problems to solve first.

  • Tool 3: Communicate Unit Priorities to Staff
    Lead a series of conversations with your staff on top unit priorities, and help them understand why these priorities are important to your unit.

  • Tool 4: Isolate Staff Members' Best Ideas
    Tap your team for unit improvement ideas and walk them through the process, from idea generation to idea triage, so you can hone in on staff members' strongest ideas.

  • Tool 5: Avoid Rolling Out Multiple Projects at Once
    Ensure you and your staff dedicate the right amount of time and effort to each improvement initiative by scheduling and spacing out your improvement projects across the year.

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