Becker's CEO + CFO Roundtable 2019: 3 Questions with Jennifer Hafemann, Director of Nursing, Case Management, Nursing Supervisors, Bed Coordinators and Patient Flow at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center

Jennifer Hafemann serves as Director of Nursing, Case Management, Nursing Supervisors, Bed Coordinators and Patient Flow at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center

On November 13th, Jennifer will serve on the panel "Key Thoughts on Patient Flow at an Urban Tertiary Academic Hospital" at Becker's 8th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place November 11-13, 2019 in Chicago.

To learn more about the conference and Jennifer's session, click here.

Question: If you acquired $10 million dollars with no strings attached today, how would you invest or spend it?

Jennifer Hafemann: I would utilize the $10 million dollars to enhance security and resilience training in healthcare by focusing on the following efforts: risk assessment, risk management, information sharing, partnership development and response/recovery efforts. The world that we live in is rapidly changing and hospitals need to be able to respond to the various natural and/or manmade disasters. By proactively managing the security of hospitals, it will help ensure that we remain operating during emergencies such as: flooding, tornadoes, mass casualty incidents and cyberattacks. Training would need to occur before such an emergency, so that all agencies remain on the same page and critical information can flow freely. Collaboration between healthcare workers, EMS, and law enforcement will be the key to ensuring that hospitals can safely and efficiently operate under a unified command structure during a crisis. The ability for a hospital to remain functional is essential to saving lives and helping restore a state of normalcy back to a community. In addition to natural disasters, the increase of manmade threats across the United States has exposed the safety of many of our healthcare workers. Healthcare facilities have been identified as a potential target for many violent extremists and during mass casualty incidents, it has been proven that victims from these types of events quickly overwhelm emergency room capabilities. After action reviews of recent active shooter emergencies have shown that many people drove themselves or even took ride share vehicles to the nearest healthcare facility. How is an emergency room supposed to manage that type of patient influx and remain vigilant for other potential threats? The new environment that hospitals operate in requires money to be spent on enhanced security measures, creating new policies and training with other private and governmental partners. Reducing our vulnerabilities will help ensure that our critical assets, systems, and networks will remain in operation during a crisis.

Q: There is a lot to improve upon in healthcare. Of the many issues that hold your attention, what is the one you consider exceptionally imperative and urgent?

JH: The issue that I find imperative to improve would be the demands placed on the frontline caregiver. The “do more with less” mentality results in low patient satisfaction, poor quality outcomes, low engagement scores , productivity constraints and an increased turnover rate. We need to limit the number of tasks that are assigned to the caregivers that provide the hands on care and create UAP positions that would allow the nurses time to critically think and provide the care that their patient’s need and deserve.

Q: Healthcare leaders today need skills and talents that span beyond those emphasized during formal training and higher education. What is one specific competency that you learned or sharpened in real life?

JH: Information sharing. We live in an information-driven society, but far too often we don’t take the time to talk to one another or share critical information. I see too many silos that exist among the various internal departments, which prohibits the sharing of information , relationship building and cohesive collaboration. We could also improve information sharing outside of our organization, I believe that creating relationships with our outside partners will help create trust so that vital information can flow freely from one entity to another. This information sharing will help clear up misconceptions, enhance safety and problem solving, improve efficiency measures, and create good will. The complex problems that today’s healthcare workers are faced with require assistance from numerous different agencies from various levels of government. The ability to understand each other’s roles and pool together resources during a time of crisis will be prove vital in providing positive patient outcomes.

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