Anyone who’s a regular at a coffee shop can relate to this scene: you walk in, and the barista behind the counter notices you. She waves, says your name, and you wave back. By the time you get to the cash register, she’s already handing you your order — just the way you like it.
If your local coffee shop can prepare for your specific preferences, why can’t your health care team?
Often, the kinds of information not typically captured in a medical record are crucial to a patient’s experience. For example, if a child sucks his right thumb, his mother may tell the sedation nurse try to inserting the IV in his left arm first. If a baby girl isn’t calmed by music but is mesmerized by a spinning toy, her father may want that toy in the room whenever she’s having an echocardiogram, so she sits still and the images are easier to interpret.
“Patients with chronic conditions return quite frequently to the same clinic for follow-up care and tests, and they shouldn’t have to repeat the same information each time,” says Brenda Brawn, RN, BSN, CCRN. “It’s not extraneous information; it can and should be incorporated into their plan of care.”
Brawn has been piloting a way to address this need in her work as a cardiac sedation nurse caring for pediatric heart transplant patients.
When Jennifer Baird, PhD, MSW, RN, set out to study best practices in nursing in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), she didn’t know where the project would take her. “I intentionally left it open-ended,” she explains. “It was essentially an ethnographic study; I observed interactions between nurses and families over the course of a year, and also interviewed them separately.”
Baird, who is finishing up her Harvard-Wide Pediatric Health Services Research Fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital, conducted her research in 2013 at a hospital in the Los Angeles, California area. Even though it wasn’t an explicit question, every single family brought up the subject of nursing continuity. “There was a story there,” says Baird, who published her findings this spring in Nursing Research, “And I needed to follow it.”
The story turned out to be complicated. …Read More
When a nurse gives a complex medication at the bedside, a second nurse must come in to observe and verify the dose. But flagging down a nurse on a busy hospital floor can be pretty challenging.
To help nurses get that second set of eyes and enhance safety, a team of nurse healthcare IT specialists at Boston Children’s worked with the hospital’s Innovation Acceleration Program to create RNSafe, an app that lets bedside nurses use camera-equipped iPods to complete the entire medication process with a dedicated “bunker” nurse.
Read the full story on Vector.