ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Dec. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Empowering clinical nursing staff to initiate change and improve everyday processes contributes to better patient outcomes and other measurable improvements, according to initiatives developed and implemented by critical care nurses at nine Banner Health hospitals in Arizona.
The results stem from the nurses' participation in a 16-month nurse leadership and innovation training program delivered and funded by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).
AACN's partnership with Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the country, marks the first time the nursing association selected an individual health system to participate in its AACN Clinical Scene Investigator (CSI) Academy. The hospital-based program is designed to equip bedside nurses to serve as clinician leaders and change agents whose initiatives measurably improve the quality of patient care with bottom-line impact to the hospital.
"As a large health system, it is our responsibility to lead the way for improving nurse and patient outcomes," said Neva Spencer, RN, DNP, NNP-BC/CNS, senior director of professional practice, Banner Health. "AACN's CSI Academy program helped us to challenge our traditional paradigms of nursing productivity to refocus and retool to meet the challenges of the current healthcare environment."
Among the clinical successes reported by the participants, nurses at Banner's Heart Hospital in Mesa and Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City West decreases readmissions for patients who had experienced acute myocardial infarction. Their patient education efforts also increased compliance with picking up post-discharge prescriptions and returning for follow-up physician visits.
At Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa, CSI participants eliminated barriers and identified strategies to promote safe patient handling, resulting in significantly fewer patient falls and employee injuries related to patient handling.
Teams at other Banner hospitals focused on improving bedside reports during shift changes and handoffs between the emergency departments and inpatient units. Standardized shift reports, handoff tools and other efficiencies contributed to reduced incidental overtime and higher staff morale.
"We're not surprised that half our CSI Academy projects centered on communication," said Karen Johnson, RN, PhD, research director, nursing, Banner Health. "Our nurses recognize the inherent value of skilled communication and continue to improve their communication with patients and each other to improve patient outcomes and foster a healthy work environment."
In addition to improving patient outcomes, the Banner CSI Academy initiatives resulted in an estimated fiscal impact of $1.4 million for the health system.
"This is valuable work we need to capitalize on," Johnson said. "These projects cannot be one and done. We are evaluating our structures and processes on how best to implement the results of our CSI projects across our company, spreading this work to over 18,000 nurses who work at Banner Health."
Other Phoenix-area Banner Health hospitals participating in the team-based program:
- Banner Boswell Medical Center, Sun City
- Banner Desert Medical Center, Mesa
- Banner Estrella Medical Center, Phoenix
- Banner Gateway Medical Center, Gilbert
- Banner Thunderbird Medical Center, Glendale
- Banner University Medical Center - Phoenix, Phoenix
The Arizona nursing teams represent the eighth regional group to complete AACN CSI Academy, following cohorts in Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. Another group is currently in progress in California. Nationwide, more than 246 nurses at 68 hospitals have participated in the program.
As part of its broader goal to inspire and empower all acute and critical care nurses to lead change that benefits their patients and improves the effectiveness of their organizations, AACN offers online access to CSI Academy innovation projects – including project plans, clinical interventions, data collection tools, outcomes and references.
With more than 33,000 unique downloads of project materials, the CSI innovation project library has become a resource for hospitals throughout the United States and abroad, as healthcare administrators and clinical leaders seek solutions to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. Access the CSI projects from the AACN CSI Academy webpage or www.aacn.org/csiprojects.
AACN CSI Academy represents a substantial investment by AACN in the future of nursing, with the organization spending more than $2.25 million over the last four years to support national implementation of the program at partner hospitals across the country. This investment reflects AACN's strategic response to the National Academy of Medicine's landmark "Future of Nursing" report and represents the national expansion of a pilot program developed by Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.
About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, California, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN represents the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and includes more than 225 chapters worldwide. The organization's vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.
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SOURCE American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)