While working her way from teenage hospital volunteer to the VP of Quality at Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center, Carolyn Conway Ryan has educated and inspired many other healthcare professionals to achieve a level of merit. Within the past five years, the team at Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in Yonkers has attained four deficiency-free Department of Health surveys.
“This exceptional record reflects the entire facility’s excellence and demonstrates how they hold themselves to a higher standard,” says Ryan. The team cares for a group of medically complex children who have a combination of medical, respiratory, and developmental diagnoses. The fact that nearly half of the kids require the use of ventilators demonstrates just how critical the team is.
Stellar care is achieved through Ryan’s mastery of regulations and assurance of compliance, ability to teach the intentions behind each regulation, and a “child/family-first, safety-first” ethos. She taps into her creativity for engaging, fun, facility-wide quality audits that also serve as teaching tools. To assure compliance, they involve all departments. “It gets everyone onboard with regulations and enables many more people to understand them on a grassroots level,” explains Ryan.
When initally called upon to evaluate a patient-alarm monitoring system, Ryan introduced best practices to mitigate “alarm fatigue” — that’s when healthcare workers are inundated with alarms and become desensitized. This is one of the nation’s greatest health-safety concerns, and Ryan’s initiative reduced the incidence of alarms by half. She’s currently collaborating with a multidisciplinary team to further reduce incidences of alarms through the implementation of a state-of-the-art management system and real-time analysis.