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HCPro Nursing Catalogue for 2012 now available online

HCPro’s 2012 catalogue for nurse leaders and staff development professionals can now be accessed online. The catalogue features information on new releases, program builders, and other educational resources.  As always, we appreciate your thoughts and feedback on our products, so please do not hesitate to comment below and let us know what you think.

The HCPro Nursing Catalogue for 2012 can be found at

Nurse donates kidney to patient

Medical News Today reports that Allison Batson, a nurse at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, donated one of her kidneys to a patient in need.  Clay Taber was diagnosed with Goodpasture’s syndrome, a disorder that causes a patient’s immune system to attack the lungs and kidneys, and was suffering complete kidney failure. Taber was admitted to the transplant unit at Emory University Hospital and told that it could take up to five years to find a suitable donor organ.

Batson learned of Taber’s diagnosis and discovered that none of his relatives, including his mother, qualified as kidney donors. Batson said she felt a connection with Taber and ultimately came forward as an organ donor, despite only knowing Taber for a few weeks.

When asked why she chose to put herself at risk for a stranger, she responded “because I can … here was this young man in front of me who needs help—today, and I am in a position to help him—today.” Taber has commented that he will reserve a special dance for Batson at his wedding.

Source: Medical News Today

You can’t improve without knowing what’s wrong

In the healthcare quality improvement field, there has been much talk about reporting errors, about a just culture, about using occurrence reporting data to implement quality improvement initiatives, and sharing results with staff. But it seems, according the latest Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report that many of you have probably seen, that hospitals aren’t cutting it.

In summary, the report concludes:
Hospital incident reporting systems captured only an estimated 14 percent of the patient harm events experienced by Medicare beneficiaries. Hospital administrators classified the remaining events (86 percent) as either events that staff did not perceive as reportable (61 percent) or as events that staff commonly report but did not report in this case (25 percent).

So, the majority of events go unreported because staff didn’t think the event qualified for the reporting system.

A list of common events is coming (via AHRQ and CMS), and it’s sure to be helpful. Until then, hospitals should work on what Occurrence Reporting: Building a Robust Problem Identification and Resolution Process author Ken Rohde calls this a reporting threshold.

“If your staff question whether they should report something, they are asking themselves a threshold question,” says Rohde. He advises the threshold to be either low or nonexistent.

“A good way to communicate a lower threshold is to tell staff: ‘If it was important enough for you to think about it or if it disrupted your day, then report it,'” says Rohde.

Though a higher reporting volume may require a more efficient screening process, more information about adverse events is usually better.

Here’s a quick tip sheet from Rohde’s best-selling book for improving your error reporting in your system: (starred, at the bottom, free for download).

First published on Patient Safety Monitor Blog.

Top 10 most read blogs posts from 2011

Here’s a rundown of the most-read posts from 2011:

1. Analyzing nurse staffing: Understanding FTEs

Staffing: what a problem! Developing and monitoring the staffing budget is one of the most, if not the most, difficult responsibilities of the nurse leader. Labor consumes the majority of the financial resources of the organization. Therefore, everyone must act responsibly in order to ensure the financial health of the organization. But how do you know how many staff you need on your position control in order to meet the needs of the department (not too many, and not too few)? That is a $100,000 question!

2. Helping new graduate nurses over transition shock: Part 1: The “doing” stage

It’s the time of year when hospitals are welcoming new graduate nurses to their units and nurse managers are preparing to help these new nurses make the difficult transition from nursing school to nursing practice.

Kendra Varner, MSN, RN, nurse residency program coordinator for the Kettering Health Network in Dayton, OH, wrote in the book Nurse Residency Program Builder, that new nurses go through many experiences as they transition to become competent nurses. In the first part of a three part series, Varner describes the first stage.

3. Best practices for filling out incident reports

You and your staff may think that incident reports are more trouble than they are worth-but think again.

We work in high-stress, fast-paced environments. It is your responsibility as a member of the nursing management team to understand not only the importance of the incident report, but also how to ensure that your staff completes them and how to investigate incidents to avoid any further occurrences. Your investigation will also provide possible defense if during your investigation you identify a system failure and take the necessary corrective action(s). [more]

Nurses are still America’s most trusted professionals

Americans trust nurses more than any other professionals. Nurses have topped Gallup’s list every year since they were first included in 1999—except for 2001 when they were briefly replaced by fire fighters.

Members of Congress were the least trusted professionals. Sixty-four percent of Americans rated politicians as having low or very low honesty and ethical standards, tying the record for lowest any profession has ever measured.

The honesty and ethical standards of nurses, pharmacists, and medical doctors were listed as the top three on Gallup’s poll.

“The public’s continued trust in nurses is well-placed, and reflects an appreciation for the many ways nurses provide expert care and advocacy,” said ANA President Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN in a statement. “Major national policy initiatives also show trust in nurses. The Affordable Care Act and the Future of Nursing recommendations call on nurses to take more leadership roles and collaborate fully with other professionals in providing essential healthcare to a growing number of people who will have greater access to services.”

Tip: Assess patient suicide risk

Many patients who kill themselves in general hospital inpatient units don’t have a psychiatric history or a history of suicide attempts, says Sharon Chaput, RN, C, CSHA, director of standards and quality management at Brattleboro Retreat, in Brattleboro, VT.

Furthermore, most medical-surgical units and EDs are not designed to care for suicidal patients and they don’t routinely assess every patient, says Chaput.

Screening for suicide risk in the ED should include ordering a psychiatric consultation to assess the immediate risk of individuals admitted for medical treatment following a suicide attempt, communicating suicide risk screening results at handoff, and interventions to prevent suicide in those patients at increased risk, she says.

This includes the following measures:

  • Checking patients for contraband that could be used to commit suicide
  • Involving patients in care planning and decision-making
  • Ensuring that patient care considers age and cultural considerations
  • Providing opportunities for visits by family members or volunteers who can alert staff members about warning signs that may indicate imminent action
  • Involving patients at risk and their families in the discharge process and aftercare recommendations

Editor’s Note: This tip is adapted from an article in the November issue of Patient Safety Monitor Journal.

Choosing the winners of the 2011 Nursing Image Awards

I helped pick the winners of the 2011 HCPro Nursing Image Awards, which marks the third year that I’ve had the privilege of being allowed to read through all the hundreds of entries. Click here to read about the winners. The runners up will be profiled next week.

The awards require nominators to submit a 500-word essay about their nominee and describe what makes the person or team of nurses special and how they embody a positive image of nursing. It’s no small task to pen a 500-word essay and include pertinent facts as well as capture the essence of what makes someone stand out, so I am endlessly amazed at the number of people who take the time to craft well-thought out essays.

These essays are both heartwarming and inspiring and often tell me as much about the nominator as they do about the nominee. In some instances, groups of people come together to write a nomination essay. In most, one person crafts his or her personal story about an outstanding nurse.

All of these essays paint a picture of nursing in America that is often lost in the headlines about nursing shortages and picket lines. They provide a look into the heart of the profession and the individual men and women who dedicate themselves every day to their patients. These nurses refuse to accept mediocrity and push themselves and their organizations to continually improve. Whether returning to school for higher education or launching performance improvement initiatives, these nurses embody professionalism, intelligence, and compassion. They are a true representation of the image of nursing.

How effective are you unit-level shared governance councils?

During the November 10th audio conference “Put Shared Governance Into Practice At the Unit Level: Strategies for Running Effective Meetings,” speakers Diana Swihart, PhD, DMin, MSN, CS, RN-BC, and Solimar Figueroa, MSN, MHA, BSN, RN, asked the audience how long their organizations had been living shared governance for nursing service?

Forty-three percent responded they had just started or were less than a year into the process. Thirty-three percent had been working at shared governance for one to three years and 14% had enacted it for four to six years. Ten percent of listeners have had shared governance in place for more than 10 years.

They were also asked about the effectiveness of their unit-level councils. Unsurprisingly, 47% responded their councils were marginally effective. Twenty-six percent had not yet implemented unit-level councils. Of the rest who had, 16% said they were highly effective and 11% said they were essentially another staff meeting.

How do yours stack up?

Apologies and action for famous actors only?

Hospital chief Sandra Coletta is making waves throughout the healthcare community after being frank with her audience of hundreds at the 10th annual dinner of Medically Induced Trauma Support Services (MITSS), a widely respected group that aims to support patients, families, and staffs after things go medically wrong.

She spoke about the death of James Woods’ brother in the emergency department at Kent Hospital in Warwick, RI, after orders were not carried out in a timely manner.

“Quite honestly, I did nothing other than what my mother taught me,” Coletta said of apologizing.

James Woods and the hospital settled the suit, in the process created a foundation, the Michael J. Woods Institute, in honor of his brother. The institute aims to recreate healthcare from a human factors perspective.

Similar action was taken after Dennis Quaid’s twins were put in peril because of a medication administration mistake. (According to an April 2010 USA Today story, Quaid said Cedars-Sinai hospital in LA “stepped up to the plate and spent millions of dollars on bedside bar codes.” He and his wife also created the Quaid Foundation, which has merged with the Texas Medical Institute of Technology.) Do you think these cases are addressed more swiftly, and more apologetically, because of their high-profile nature? Or do you think the tides are turning?

Of course, Sorrel King, without being famous (at least then), spurred plenty of action on her own. But are hospitals finally reacting with action and apologies, even without fame and publicity?

Source: WBUR

First published on Patient Safety Monitor Blog.

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