massachusetts nonprofit cuts nursing turnover
administrators and nurses participating in a pilot program engineered by the institute for healthcare improvement, a nonprofit in cambridge, mass., have redesigned the way nurses work. they have reduced the amount of wasted time and increased the amount of time nurses spend at the patient's bedside.
boston globe, nov. 27, 2006
...institute specialists, including vice president pat rutherford , a former nursing administrator at children's hospital boston , have analyzed the workflow of nurses and made a series of recommendations on how to improve efficiency. they use a standard template, and nurses on individual units are encouraged to come up with ways to improve their workflow.
among the key steps: getting medications and supplies closer to patients, so nurses spend more time with patients and less time at central supply cabinets.
these kinds of common-sense steps have reduced the potential for medication errors and have made nurses feel happier about their work at prairie lakes, fuller said.
"they can have more time at the bedside," she said, "and not spend time hunting and gathering for their medications."
at the university of texas m.d. anderson cancer center , a 512-bed research hospital in houston, the nurses on two surgical units with a total of 58 beds are participating in the pilot program. they established a system of white boards in each patient room, where the clinical goals for the day, patient goals for the day, and nurse's photographs are posted. the boards have been so successful that they are being used in the rest of the hospital.
in a time-saving measure, m.d. anderson nurses developed an excel spreadsheet system to use during change-of-shift patient transfers, replacing meetings, which were consuming time and making nurses stay past the end of their shifts. in its first year it saved the hospital $80,000 in overtime payments. it is being rolled out hospitalwide, said beverly nelson , director of nursing practice programs.... [/s]