2012 Top 10 Nursing-Led Innovations at Memorial Medical Center

Harmon, Betsy 08Nurses are thought of as compassionate care providers who are the eyes and ears of the physician. While this is certainly true, a nurse’s job description doesn’t end there.

Nurses seek to care for patients beyond the bedside in ways that often go unseen by patients and their families. Patient safety and comfort are two of the driving factors that lead nurses to seek new processes and best practices that ultimately transform the care delivered to patients.

In recognition of Nursing Excellence Week, May 6-12, here’s a look at 10 outstanding innovations in patient care that were implemented or achieved great results at Memorial in 2012, all of which Memorial nurses contributed to significantly.

1.       Psychiatric Readmission Team

Memorial realized a 30-percent reduction in 30-day readmissions for patients on Memorial’s inpatient psychiatry unit following the launch of a Psychiatric Readmission Team, a nursing-led initiative to assess readmission patterns and revise processes to avoid certain types of readmissions.

2.       Heart Failure Support Team

A nursing-led initiative to provide patients with multidisciplinary support following their hospital discharges resulted in a 9-percent 30-day readmission rate for patients who participated in Memorial’s Heart Failure Clinic, one of the lowest rates reported nationally.

3.       Star 45

Nurses helped develop our Star 45 program, which diagnoses patients who present with stroke symptoms and begins appropriate interventions within the national standard of 45 minutes of the patient arriving at the hospital. Nurses also looked at the process from a patient-flow perspective so that an appropriate ICU bed is available after an intervention is applied.

4.       Neurointerventional Radiology Program

Our nursing team helped develop our new neurointerventional radiology program by researching evidence-based practices for care of stroke patients requiring neurointerventional radiology and collaborating with neurologists, surgeons and other providers on developing state-of-the-art practices to best treat these patients.

5.       Rapid Clinical Exam

In 2012, Memorial’s Emergency Department implemented the Rapid Clinical Exam process, an evidence-based process for expediting the care for Emergency Department patients that has been adopted by many leading healthcare organizations across the country. This process has resulted in a 20-percent reduction in the length of stay patients experience in the ED, as well as reduced the number of patients who leave without treatment by more than 70 percent.

6.       Hip Fracture Response

Our nurse program coordinator for Orthopedic Services led an initiative focused on improving the timeliness of surgical interventions for patients presenting to Memorial with a hip fracture that resulted in a 92-percent decrease in readmissions.

7.       Care Aware

An electronic interface between cardiac monitors and the Clinical Documentation flowsheet in the critical care units, called Care Aware, is a Nursing Infomatics innovation that reduces potential documentation errors and frees the nurse to attend to the patient.

8.       CAUTI Bundle

A process bundle developed by our nursing team enables nurses to reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) from 3.53 percent to a low of 0.79 percent , with some units now achieving a 0-percent incident rate.

9.       Patient Fall Prevention

The Patient Fall Prevention Agreement was implemented in 2012 to engage patients and families in preventing falls by not getting up without staff assistance. Nurses recognize patients may feel uncomfortable asking for assistance getting up, so the agreement encourages patients and families to ask for help, thus reducing the number of injuries to patients from falls.

10.   Pressure Ulcer Prevention Bundle

We have reduced our mean hospital-acquired pressure ulcer (HAPU) prevalence hospital-wide by more than 50 percent after implementing the Pressure Ulcer Prevention Bundle. Nursing Outcomes Improvement Facilitators review each incident with the nursing units to identify contributing factors and preventative interventions.

These innovations are only a few of the unique advancements our nursing teams initiate and implement every year. While we recognize our nurses for their compassionate and skilled nursing care, we applaud them for going the extra step to continually improve patient safety and quality of care.

 We extend our gratitude to all of our nursing staff for their unwavering commitment to continually “Raising the Bar of Nursing Excellence” and to their dedication to advancing the nursing profession at Memorial.