Friday, April 11, 2014

Isn't Collaboration in Nursing Something We Do Everyday?

This post is part of a collaboration with other nurse bloggers through The Nurse Blog Carnival.  Keith and Kevin from RNFM Radio are hosting this months enlightening round which will be posted on 4/15/14.

Collaboration in nursing is a term that can sound overwhelming and off-putting to many. In truth it's probably something that you do everyday without even thinking about it. It's not necessary for every situation, but when it is needed, the outcomes can be compromised if nurses are unwilling or unable to participate.

If you stop and think about it, physicians have been collaborating for forever. When the generalist needs advice about a specific problem he calls in the specialist. If that specialist needs more help she calls in another specialist and so on. Collaboration is a journey as well as a process and outcome (you need to register - free- to read) to help patients achieve common goals and optimum outcomes in a cost-effective manner.

Collaboration and Teamwork
Collaboration and teamwork are often used interchangeably. Some nurses are not well suited for this process and resist it with all their might. There is professional jealousy or a need to be in control that doesn't let that nurse accept help and capitalize on the process of working with others to achieve a common goal. This brings to mind the idea that nurses eat their young.

In patient-centered care, nurses have to leave their egos outside and work with others to provide the best quality and evidence-based care possible. Collaboration easily uses the nursing process to define the problem, brainstorm using critical thinking skills to problem solve, establish a plan and set goals and then evaluate the process. Sometimes collaboration is just a part of our everyday routine and we don't necessarily realize it.

Shared Decision Making
Collaboration is about shared decision making and bringing together the best minds to assess and evaluate the situation. As a single individual, the nurse is not often able to provide for all of the needs of the patient. A simple collaboration example would be to call in the WOCN nurse to consult on a wound that is not responding to the current treatment.

Other examples include meeting interdisciplinary needs such as bringing a physical therapist in to teach safe transfers to the family before discharge, an occupational therapist to explore energy conservation techniques, or social services to assist with community resources and financial issues involving the patent's care.Interdisciplinary communication allows the team to collaborate to problem solve, set goals, and achieve optimum outcomes for the patient 

Promoting Wellness and Preventative Care
In a wellness model of health care delivery, collaboration becomes even more important. Our jobs are no longer all about just treating the current problem and discharge. We have to educate patients so they can take responsibility for their own health status and outcomes. If we help them learn how to prevent illness in the first place and prevent or control complications for chronic diseases already present, we will significantly reduce the costs of health care and promote wellness.

This post was written as part of the Nurse Blog Carnival. If you are interested in participating find out more details and sign up here.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Focus on Quality by Focusing on Evidence Based Nursing Practice in the Onboarding Process

Health care has gone through many paradigm shifts in the past few years with focus on quality and containing the skyrocketing costs. As many more citizens find access to health care and insurance (7.1 million signed up under the Affordable Care Act) and the Baby Boom generation moves into the later stages of life, many more challenges will be felt by the industry.

The focus has changed from a sick care delivery system to a wellness system. Patients are charged with the responsibility for their own health status and to do this they need education. That education has to include not only disease management and medication reconciliation, but specific instructions in how to access and maneuver through the healthcare system. Nurses have found themselves at the helm of this process and the backbone of the healthcare system. Success lies in the hands of the nurses; both in ensuring patients are able to control their health status and prevent complications, and in ensuring patient satisfaction through evidence based quality patient care. The measurable outcome means reimbursement is maximized.

Quality is quickly becoming the standard by which healthcare providers are being reimbursed. One of the primary measures of quality is patient satisfaction. Satisfaction is tied to the quality of care received and the outcomes achieved. Reimbursement is and will be driven by the quality of care. In 2009, Medicare began to institute Do-Not-Pay penalties for specific errors such as wrong site surgeries, vascular catheter infections, other hospital acquired infections, bed sores, falls, air embolisms, and UTIs from Foley catheters.

Many of these items very much involve nursing care and it’s now more important than ever to ensure that nurses are using evidence based practice when providing care.  This can be a challenge when nurses come to organizations with different ideas and approaches to patent care from their past education and experience.

Ensuring that patients get the quality nursing care they deserve involves training nurses in the best evidence based practice standards from day one. This requires a thorough onboarding process to ensure nurses have strong clinical competencies and skills and continue to be educated on the most up to date best practices. Many find that the onboarding process and continuing staff education can be cumbersome and difficult to track on paper, however, talent management software like those provided by Halogen can simply this process. Providing the best quality patient care and achieving optimum patient satisfaction are key to reimbursement and need to begin from day one.

Disclosure: This content has been brought to you by Halogen Software, the market leader in talent management software. Bringing value to nurses is at the forefront of Halogen Software’s goals so they are partnering with nurse leaders online to bring attention to important issues that healthcare organizations face every day. To find out more Halogen Software and the support they can provide to your nursing staff check out their healthcare page.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Why Nurses Aren't Being Hired from New Grad to Experienced Nurse

There is an excellent article today on Scrubs Magazine Weekly Best. It's a frank discussion with HR about why they didn't hire nurses and provides a great checklist of the top reasons for not hiring candidates.

Anyone looking for that new or next job should take a long hard look. Just a few years back nurses were writing their own ticket to almost any job they wanted because employers were desperate to hire nurses and sometimes just a warm body would do. Today the scene has changed radically and employers can be and are being very choosy.

Year after year nurses have been voted by the Gallup Poll to be the most trusted honest and ethical professionals. And nurses are being held to a very high bar. Nurses have much more responsibility now for patient's health care and need to come to job prepared to provide the best care possible. If you can't show up to an interview with all of your paperwork in hand, you probably won't get the highest points for being hired. If you come dressed for exercising or lounging on your day off, you're not going to make your best impression. And if you have been careless with your own life in the past, you're going to be very hard pressed to prove that you can value the lives of others.

These are hard cold facts and not always easy to swallow,  but nursing is serious business. It can be great fun and very rewarding, but it's long hours and hard work.

One great point they made in this article is that it costs $40,000 to train a new grad nurse. It is also quite expensive to hire experienced nurses, and if they don't work out, the financial losses can be overwhelming. If you really want that job, make them know you are the best fit and you'll do your part to make it work out.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Another Great Recognition

It is always an honor to be recognized by ones peers. The Nursing Site Blog has once again been recognized. This time by as one of their Top 10 Nursing Blogs for 2014.
Thanks so much.