Jessica Tully

Jessica Tully

Going Above and Beyond in Medical Surgical Care

Caring for a vast range in patient acuity and patient needs, the providers working in Midland Memorial Hospital’s medical surgical areas must be masters of quality, efficiency and coordinated care.

Jessica Tully, MSN, RN-BC, CMSRN, CNML, medical surgical director at Midland Health, says collaborating with her staff to dial-in workflow efficiency is just one example of the strong and collaborative working relationships she and her team members focus on.

Tully values ideas and input from her clinical managers and frontline staff on ways to continually improve daily practices that impact patient care and patient and staff satisfaction. “I believe those closest to the patient have the best view to see, day-in and day-out, what can be improved right away to ensure the highest quality of care,” Tully says. “It is important to me to have a high level of transparency with my team so when they are seeing issues occur or see opportunities for improvement, we can address a change immediately.”

One example of this transparency and coordination is a newly shaped policy and procedure for preventing pressure ulcers. Following a rapid-cycle Lean improvement project, Tully worked with her front line nurses, personal care assistants (PCAs) and wound care nurses to establish nurse-driven protocols to prevent pressure ulcers from ever developing, practices she and her team are already tracking improvement with.

Communication At A Higher Level

In her efforts to be approachable and visible, Tully uses several key communication strategies along with her leadership team:

  • constant communication with staff via phone calls, texts, and email,    
  • frequent rounding with staff to check in on what going good and what difficulties have arisen in case she can help them lead changes to make the day better, and    
  • daily huddles with each shift to strengthen a focus on Culture of Ownership by taking the daily Pickle Pledge, Self-Empowerment Pledge promise and reinforcing the organization’s mission, vision and values.    

“Our strength in an ownership culture has instilled in each one of us greater team work, greater enjoyment in our work and a sense of pride taken in all aspects of work, including energy to make work better and better,” Tully notes.

Hands-on Leadership

Tully believes in being approachable, visible and wholly transparent in her expectations, not only of her team members, but also of herself. She shares a written statement of her personal leadership philosophy with new hires, a philosophy that stresses her belief in mentoring and integrity, having an energetic attitude and always looking for opportunities to learn and improve.

She takes a personal responsibility for inspiring growth in her team members through mentoring and open and honest feedback. “You have to mentor your staff in order to be successful. It also makes them feel welcome, helps them grow and fulfills me as a leader knowing I can help them grow.”

Empowered Practice Through Technology, Innovation

As an extension of the collaborative process she encourages with her team, Tully welcomes inspiration in all aspects of professional work and patient care. For example, some of her team members were struggling with standardized access to patient lifting slings used for the patient lifting technology installed in every patient room at Midland Memorial Hospital.

“The PCAs noticed there was nowhere to store the lifting sling, which was creating excess time during patient care to track a sling down,” she explains. “The PCAs and the rest of the team worked together to put hooks on the back of the doors in each patient room designated for the sling to hang. This standardized access to the slings has been very successful and other departments in the hospital have since adopted this approach.”

In addition to lifting technology, Tully notes other technologies that support her medical surgical staff :

  • easy access to electronic charting in patient rooms and hallways,    
  • vital signs machine in every patient room, and    
  • electronic communication to stay connected with her staff
Tully says her ultimate expectation for every one of her team members is to focus on excellent patient care. “If you always put the patient and family first, you can never go wrong and doing this automatically aligns with our organizational vision and values.” In the students and staff members Tully mentors, she encourages them to make sure they choose a work environment where personal and professional values align because “this will make you happy going to work.”

She adds that working at Midland Health is a perfect fit for her personal and professional values as a leader, a nurse, and as a person, which makes every day a good day.