Nurses at Memorial seek to improve care for patients beyond the bedside in ways that often go unseen by patients and their families. Patient safety and clinical outcomes are two of the driving forces that lead MMC nurses to design new processes and adopt best practices that ultimately transform the care delivered to patients.
Here's a look at 10 outstanding nurse-led innovations in patient care that were implemented at Memorial in 2012:
Psychiatric Readmission Team
Memorial achieved a 30-percent reduction in 30-day readmissions for patients on Memorial's inpatient psychiatry unit following the launch of a Psychiatric Readmission Team, which assessed readmission patterns and revised care processes to avoid certain types of readmissions.
Heart Failure Support Team
The Heart Failure Support Team is a multidisciplinary group of care providers that provide ongoing assistance to heart failure patients after discharge from the hospital. In 2012 the Team achieved a 9-percent 30-day readmission rate for patients who participated in Memorial's Heart Failure Clinic, one of the lowest rates reported nationally.
Nurses helped develop our Star 45 program, which identifies 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 for stroke patients when needed emergently.
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 procedures.
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.
Hip Fracture Surgery
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.
An electronic interface between cardiac monitors and the Clinical Documentation flowsheet in the critical care and intermediate care units, called Care Aware, is a Nursing Infomatics innovation that reduces potential documentation errors and frees the nurses to spend more time providing direct care to patients.
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 incidence rate.
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.
Pressure Ulcer Prevention Bundle
We reduced our hospital-acquired pressure ulcer (HAPU) prevalence rate by more than 50 percent after implementing the Pressure Ulcer Prevention Bundle. Nursing Outcomes Improvement Facilitators review each pressure ulcer with the nursing units to identify contributing factors and preventative interventions.
These innovations are only a few of the unique advancements our nursing teams design and implement every year. While our nurses are recognized for their compassionate and skilled nursing care, they go the extra step to continually improve patient safety and quality of care.