By Rachel (Ray) Yarman, DPT/DOR, City Creek Post Acute, Salt Lake City, UT

Roughly 1.5 years ago, the Seal Team Cluster from Utah started to include the DORs in cluster meetings. As the most novice DOR in our market, I was honored to be invited and to learn in a real cluster approach. I am lucky to have two other very strong and knowledgeable DORs in my cluster.  Prior to our cluster meetings, I had a very difficult time coordinating learning from other DORs, or physical therapists in our market or cluster.

Our cluster meetings started out with mostly timidness from our DORs: learning, listening and digesting information. We all review therapy outcomes with our resource and have discussions about our building with the influence of DONs/EDs. We additionally review facility outcomes across the milestone market as a means of accountability. Learning about the financials of the building and seeing how therapy plays a role in the success of the buildings allowed us to have some crucial conversations. Our meetings have fostered a large amount of trust with one another. The trust that we now have is the building block of being able to have discussions at the table to celebrate, challenge and think big together to work to dignify long-term care.

I personally feel so grateful for the added support and learning from our clusters EDs and DONs. The cluster really feels like such a support team. We continue to push forward with thinking big for our staff members, which ultimately results in better care for our residents. Learning from numerous sources is always better than learning from just one source. As we share our successes and opportunities for improvement, I feel a greater sense of ownership for not only my building, but also our cluster as a whole. I relish the times that our buildings get to come together, and I get to learn from other sources and return to City Creek with that knowledge.

I can honestly say that my ownership and accountability have grown exponentially from having the cluster support. I cannot recommend enough having DORs sit at the table to discuss progress and growth of our buildings, to ensure that we are all on the same page in achieving our mission to dignify long-term care.