Team Peak Performers: Cardio Pulmonary CLE Collaborative Team
The Cardio Pulmonary CLE Collaborative Team are Team Peak Performer recipients for the second quarter of 2022 (January-March). Below is their nomination letter.
In Prosper, we’ve just started a testing procedure that is the first of its kind in Texas.
The procedure is a kind of exercise testing and it’s a joint partnership between Prosper Pulmonary and Cardiology. Every test involves coordination with the Prosper Cardiology Clinic schedule, but some of the tests actually require both the Prosper Cardiologist and the Prosper Pulmonologist present during the test. This is a logistical pain in the neck because Prosper Cardiology is usually booked several weeks out and each test involves a block of 2-3 hours of time. Plus, so far every one of our patients was COVID positive during the Omicron variant surge and every test was rescheduled at least twice.
Laura and Brenda in Cardiology have taken on this logistical headache with graciousness, understanding and enthusiasm in a way that I think goes above and beyond the everyday requirements of their job.
Marilyn White has gone above and beyond with getting this testing off the ground, specifically by coordinating the scheduling (and rescheduling) of our first patients while simultaneously carving out dedicated weekly appointment spots for these patients. She’s also created custom Epic orders for the tests and handled the unique coding and billing required for reimbursement of these tests. We have built this literally from the ground up and have had a lot of wheels to reinvent. Marilyn’s work has been instrumental.
Mindy Diaz is the Cardiology nurse helping us with this effort. She operates the cardiac machines used during the test including the treadmill and cardiac stress test component of the overall procedure. We’re using this equipment in a new way and Mindy has jumped into learning the new technique with both feet and full of enthusiasm. She has been very flexible and accommodating with her availability since every test so far has been rescheduled due to COVID-related delays. Also, because of the learning curve with any new endeavor, our tests frequently run long, lasting 2-3 hours total time. During the setup for this test, Mindy has also jumped in (without being asked) to help with the pulmonary side of setup, which required learning new skills not previously possessed. She does this every time, for every test, voluntarily and enthusiastically.
Suzanne Nguyen's role has been running the CPET portion of the test. She had never done this kind of testing prior to us doing it in Prosper. Suzanne has spent countless hours getting trained on the CPET system and even more on the phone with the company's help desk when their equipment wasn't working like it was supposed to. Suzanne has also jumped into learning new techniques, equipment and procedures with both feet and without fear. She has become very adept at performing high-quality lung function testing with our patients and consistently produces high-quality results. Our PFT equipment has not been easy to use and we have had numerous technical problems with the equipment and supplies. But she has handled all of these speedbumps without letting them slow us down, coordinating with ease between the help departments of multiple outside vendors to solve any problem that has come up (and solve them independently).
Kara Lanning is the Pulmonary clinic nurse and she has taken on this new project with gusto. Her role has been to schedule patients for the test and also give them pre-test instructions. Scheduling these tests involves a lot of coordinating between the Prosper Pulmonary clinic schedule (1 doc, handled in Prosper), Prosper Cardiology (2 docs, handled at Dodson), and the patients (competitive athletes with demanding extracurricular schedules). Kara deals with all of this with a practiced hand and without complaint. She is by far the absolute best nurse I have ever worked with. She is exceptionally thorough and detailed, even when doing so requires staying late. I have lost track of how many times she has picked up on something that I missed or forgot because of her attention to detail. She has a compassionate heart with all of our patients that is apparent even when dealing with our most challenging families. She also has the best "phone presence" I've ever worked with and the patients and families universally love her and praise her in their written evaluations.
Getting this procedure ready to be used with real patients has been a big lift that has taken the "whole village". I’m thankful for the collaboration of so many Prosper team members who’ve made this possible!