Volunteers Step Up

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to adapt to ever-changing policies, new research, and growing numbers of patients needing care.

Near the beginning of the pandemic, the demand for patient services climbed and so did the demand for Sterile Processing. That’s where volunteers at Southern New Hampshire Health stepped in.

In the early days of the pandemic when volunteers were still allowed on site, to help sustain the increased workload, Director of Volunteers Jean Barrett was able to provide two volunteers to support the Sterile Processing Department during days and evenings, multiple days a week. 

During the time they could help, one of the volunteers, Shirley Messier, helped arrange sterile strips and de-lint supplies, and assured equipment was sterile for the surgical staff.

“What they do in the Sterile Processing room is fantastic. The employees there are so good. Everything is so immaculate and so clean, you know working there that if you’re having an operation, you’re not going to worry about it because it is so sterile,” Messier explains. “Having volunteers helped them because they were so busy. They didn’t have a second to breath. So, the staff really appreciated us being there.”

“The efforts of the volunteers helped reduce work-related stress amongst the Sterile Processing staff and have helped improve the health of the patient population at Southern New Hampshire Health by greatly reducing the risk of infection and by providing highly sterile supplies for the medical staff,” Barrett says.

This is an example of how SolutionHealth is using The Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) Triple Aim framework to optimize the performance of the health system. IHI’s Triple Aim design focuses on improving the patient experience of care, including quality and satisfaction; improving the health of populations; and reducing the per capita cost of health care.

Messier adds, “I decided to be a volunteer at Southern New Hampshire Health because that’s where I was born, where my kids were born, and where my grandkids were born. There was no other place to go.”

Thank you for your help during these trying times!