Advocating for quality and consistency provides strong patient outcomes in the east
Heather Tucker, MSN, RN-BC has always been a friendly face to patients and staff in the Carle east region.
“The support here is amazing. Everyone walks the halls with a smile on their face. Many patients that seek care here are from the community and have come here for many years. The staff recognize the patients and make them feel at home, at ease, and the care they are receiving is the best there is,” Tucker said.
It is her patient-centric idealism and focus on quality and consistency that is a big reason why the interim Hospital administrator at Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center and director of Ambulatory Services in the east region has continued to grow her leadership responsibilities over her 10 year career at Carle.
Though her role has evolved over the years - from a float nurse to nurse coordinator and other roles - her philosophy on patient care remains constant and her leadership positions have enabled her to take that patient-care experience and apply it for the betterment of the organization.
Part of that application was successfully spearheading the east region’s first attempt to securing an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Pathway to Excellence® designation.
“All of the leaders that were involved with the designation achievement worked together to collect and edit stories to be included with the final document. We definitely could not have done this without everyone’s shared effort.”
The Pathway to Excellence Program recognizes a health care organization’s commitment to creating a positive practice environment that empowers and engages staff. It is a national benchmark of care quality. It took the Carle committee working on the submission almost two years to collect the data, evidence and narratives to make the submission.
In June 2018 their submission was accepted and Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center and other east region locations became Pathway to Excellence organizations. For Tucker, it’s something that she feels proud to have contributed to.
“It’s a moment to step back and be proud for where we work! The system is always achieving something it seems, but when you have been directly involved or a part of the achievement, it means even more,” she said. “Our Pathway to Excellence achievement confirms the positive environment, the engagement, and empowerment of our staff.”
With the Pathway to Excellence designation secured, she is looking forward to other strategic initiatives that can be tackled in the coming year – but all with the patient in mind.
“I would like to continue to bring consistency among as many processes as possible from the Main campus to Hoopeston; continue to bridge the distance with patient care delivery and the services provided in the rural communities of this region,” said Tucker. “I still look to the patient as being the first priority. In healthcare, that is our population to service; that is our purpose.”