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American Nurses Association express dissapointment with American Health Care Act

Yesterday, the House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Health Care Act, which is aimed to undo much of the bulk of the legislation of the Affordable Care Act. The American Nurses Association expressed disappointment with its passage. releasing the following statement:

The American Nurses Association (ANA) strongly opposed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and is deeply disappointed with the passage of this legislation by the United States House of Representatives. 

ANA, which represents the interests of more than 3.6 million registered nurses, has expressed serious concerns throughout negotiations about the critical impact the AHCA would have on the 24 million people who stand to lose insurance coverage if the bill becomes law.

“Over the past several weeks, nurses from across the country expressed their strong disapproval of this bill which would negatively impact the health of the nation,” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “Today, Congress not only ignored the voice of the nation’s most honest and ethical profession and largest group of health care professionals, it also ignored the almost 15 million people in the United States with pre-existing conditions who will now have no protection from insurer discrimination.”

As it is currently written, the AHCA would cut Medicaid funding by $880 billion over 10 years, dramatically increase premiums on seniors, restrict millions of women from access to health care, weaken the sustainability of Medicare, and repeal income-based subsidies that have made it possible for millions of families to buy health insurance. In addition, states would have the option to waive essential health benefit protections that prevent insurance companies from charging individuals with pre-existing conditions significantly more for coverage. Even worse, insurers could decline coverage for substance abuse treatment, maternity care, and preventive services. Late efforts to stabilize the bill’s risk pools for more than 15 million people with pre-existing conditions were wholly inadequate and will leave the nation’s sickest vulnerable.

As this legislation moves to the United States Senate, ANA urges the Senate to allow for opportunities for thoughtful, public feedback in the face of reforms that would have such a far-reaching and personal impact across the nation.

ANA asks the Senate to oppose AHCA in its current form, and stands ready to work with Senators to protect and improve health care access, quality and affordability for all.

Nurse takes on the role of Surgeon General

Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams, a registered nurse, becomes one of the first nurses to serve as Attorney General.

Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy was replaced on Friday by his deputy, Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams. Serving on an interim basis, Admiral Trent-Adams becomes the second nurse to have served in this position, and the first non-physician to take the job.

Admiral Trent-Adams worked as a nurse officer in the Army, and served as a research nurse at the University of Maryland, where she received her PhD. In 1992, she joined the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service, where she served in the HIV/AIDS bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration before joining the surgeon general’s office.

Surgeons general have limited staff and direct influence, but they often use their position to call attention to important public health priorities. Dr. Murthy, Adm. Trent-Adams predecessor, used his platform to speak out against gun violence, labeling it as a threat to public health. It is unclear why Murthy was relieved of duty; the Department of Health and Human Services said that the Trump administration asked him to step down after “assisting in a smooth transition,” but Dr. Murthy’s wife, Alice Chen, said that her husband was fired after he refused to resign.

Massachusetts’ Nurses supports bill to protect healthcare workers

Workplace violence continues to be an issue in hospitals across the country; the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) recently found that 86% of Massachusetts nurses have experienced some form of violence while at work, in the last two years. Because of this, the MNA is supporting a state bill aimed at reducing workplace violence. H.1007, the Workplace Violence Prevention Bill, would require that healthcare employers perform annual safety risk assessment and develop programs to minimize the danger of workplace violence. It would also allow employees assaulted on the job to take seven paid days off per year to address legal issues.

The representative filing the bill is Denise Garlick, a former nurse that was attacked by a patient in the 1980s. She led a contingent of lawmakers who testified in support of the bill last week. “We want to say that violence in not acceptable in any workplace, but the truth is it’s prevalent in the healthcare environment for a variety of reasons. The healthcare environment is so complicated now,” Garlick said. “There are thousands and thousands of healthcare workers in the commonwealth of Massachusetts who enter workplaces where they are not safe.”

Massachusetts isn’t the only state considering such a bill; California has a similar bill in the pipeline, and Delaware passed a bill last summer that made assaulting a nurse a Class D felony.

Hearings started last week, we will keep you up to date as the process unfolds.

 

AAPA Preceptor Conference

AAPA city

2017 Preceptor Conference

April 27-28, 2017 | Miami, Florida

Pre-conference: April 26, 2017

The 2017 Preceptor Conference features two days of education and training taught by the industry’s leading preceptor experts. During the event, attendees will learn actionable strategies for building preceptor programs in their healthcare facility and learning how to advance preceptor specialty practice among their experienced preceptors. Arrive a day early and participate in a preceptor training program designed specifically for faculty and clinical instructors.

The 2017 Preceptor Conference is designed for preceptors, nurses, nurse leaders, advanced practice providers, educators, professional and staff development specialists, and students. Network with leaders and preceptors to explore meaningful recognition and specialty certification through nationally accepted standards of practice and performance inherent in preceptor specialty practice. Learn how to positively meet the many complexities and challenges preceptors encounter within academia, clinical settings, and the workplace.

Topics:

  • Advancement of Preceptor Specialists
  • Scope and standards of preceptor specialty practice
  • Preceptor Specialist portfolio building
  • Review preceptor-based scenarios and discussions with simulation educators in the Preceptor Simulation Lab

Who should attend?

  • Nurses
  • Preceptors
  • Certified Preceptor Specialists
  • Advanced Practice Providers
  • Nurse Leaders
  • Educators
  • Professional and Staff Development Specialists
  • Nursing and Healthcare Students

For more information, visit www.preceptoracademy.com.

HCPro Spring Sale!

We’re celebrating spring with a #spring sale! Add to your nursing library and save 35% off your book purchase through the end of March.

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Consider how personal bias affects peer review

Human nature contributes to bias by allowing us to use psychological “shortcuts” to reduce complexity and ambiguity in the world. We all wish that life were simpler, and our brains try to accommodate this wish by finding shortcuts to decisions by relying on past patterns of thinking. This enables us to provide a rational response within the context of a simpler and less-threatening world. The two main types of bias related to human nature are personal bias and group bias.

Personal bias has two aspects: emotion and thought. These biases come from our view of the world that is created by the sum of our individual experiences: where we grew up, our parents’ values, how our friends act, and how we were trained. Although we might make conscious efforts to overcome personal bias, we all retain some degree of it as part of our individuality.

Personal bias is more likely to affect peer review when individuals are not accountable for their decisions. This is not because these are bad people—they are simply good people in a flawed system. The case studies in this book provide several examples of peer review structures and procedures that, prior to redesign, increased the likelihood of personal bias, such as having a department chair conduct the entire case review process from case screening to decision. To reduce personal bias in peer review, consider requiring reviewers to provide a written rationale for their findings (even on care-appropriate cases), having a committee make the final decision on all cases, and implementing clear conflict of interest practices.

Group bias occurs when a group of individuals has a shared set of beliefs or experiences that result in a relatively predictable way of thinking or responding. This concept of “groupthink” results in the group tending to accept information that meets its common paradigm and reject, or at least not consider, information that doesn’t fit within it.

Lack of diversity in a group can create this bias. Therefore, to avoid group bias, structure the group to ensure that other views are included. There are two types of group bias that tend to affect peer review: professional bias (e.g., physicians think differently than nurses) and specialty bias (e.g., surgeons think differently than internists). One of the main reasons that medical staffs implement some form of multi-specialty peer review committees is that such committees reduce the likelihood of groupthink by bringing all perspectives to the table.

Source: Peer Review Benchmarking

Blogging can be an innovative tool for nursing educational sharing

With the time-crunch worse than ever, it can be difficult to find the time to keep up with the latest in your facility, let alone the wider world of nursing. Early research conducted by Critical Care Nurse (CCN) suggests that blogs can be an effective means of communicating the latest hospital policies and best practices.

The cardiac intensive care unit at Brigham and Women’s hospital found that while many of their nurses attended professional educational opportunities, the staff had difficulty sharing information with the entire nurse staff. The staff simply did not have the time for peer-to-peer sharing of educational information. To facilitate educational sharing, the nursing practice council at the facility set up a simple private blog where staff could share what they’ve learned from various educational opportunities, such as professional conferences and panels.

After fifteen months, the hospital conducted a survey to measure the effectiveness of this approach. They found that 86% of their nurses thought the blog was an effective way to share professional education, 81% felt the blog kept them up-to-date on evidence-based practices, and 59% thought the blog led to changes in their practices. While the results are anecdotal and early, the authors of the study suggest that more rigorous research is required.

Does your facility use blogging tools or social media for education and professional development?

How evidence-based practice can improve nurse satisfaction

If a nurse is unsatisfied with their career or feeling burnt out on nursing, taking an evidence-based approach can help them rediscover their passion for nursing. Robert Hess Jr., PhD, RN, FAAN and co-author of HCPro’s Shared Governance book, recently wrote a piece about EBP and nursing careers; here are some ways to apply EBP in your career:

  • Update your practices. Nursing is changing all of the time! If you feel like you’re stuck doing the same thing every day for years, you’re probably not using the most up-to-date practices. Nurse scientists and researchers are studying and updating practices for nurse specialties all of the time, and these changes can benefit patients and nurses alike. Try joining your specialty group’s professional organizations, attend professional events, and subscribe to specialty journals to keep abreast of the latest practices in nursing. Changing up your routine and increasing your engagement can bring the excitement back to your career!
  • Use EBP in your career. Evidence-based research is not just conducted on healthcare practices. There is organizational research that provides indicators for when nurses should consider a career change, such as switching roles, going back to school, or even leaving their current job. Burnout has been measured for decades, and evaluating your own signs of job fatigue can be instructive for potential career decisions. Nursing has a plethora of opportunities outside of the hospital bedroom, and feeling burnout could be your signal to explore them.
  • Evaluate your environment. Research has found the workplace satisfaction can correlate with career satisfaction. Observe your colleagues; do they seem happy? Do they participate in work group activities, both at work and outside of work? Having coworkers that are satisfied with their jobs has a positive impact on your own satisfaction, and if you’re feeling career fatigue, sometimes your coworkers can fuel your enthusiasm.

For more tips about career satisfaction and burnout, check out these articles from the Strategies for Nurse Managers’ Reading Room:

Delegation prevents nurse manager burnout

RN satisfaction survey promotes positive change


How nurse executives can help tired nurses

Nursing strike cost Allina Health $149 million

Last year was a tumultuous one for Allina Health in Minneapolis and its nursing staff. After a week-long walkout in June, Allina nurses went on strike in the fall as part of ongoing contract negotiations centered around the elimination of union-backed health plans. After a six-week strike, both sides finally reached an agreement that ended the strike and sent the nurses back to work.

As part of its 2016 earnings report, Allina Health reported that while revenue increased over the year, operating income dropped, thanks in part to expenses related to the nursing strike. Allina recorded a $30 million operating loss, a significant $179-million-dollar swing from the $149 million operating gain Allina posted in 2015. As part of its report, Allina cites a $149.3 million of strike expenses, which included hiring 1,400 replacement nurses to cover for the striking staff.

For more information on nursing strikes, check out the Strategies for Nurse Managers Reading Room.