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Nursing is a team sport

January 4, 2018

Infor HRx blog—a prescription for healthcare people-related challenges

I once tried to suggest to a nurse colleague that we should have a “baseball card” for nurses. Instead of the RBIs, batting averages, and the like measured in baseball, I proposed a card that would list pertinent facts such as patient falls under a nurse’s watch, patient care satisfaction, as well as patient outcome measures.

My intention was good—I wanted a way to track and recognize the nursing superstars and look for ways to replicate what they were doing across the facility. But that’s not how my nurse colleague received my idea. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

“You have no idea what you’re talking about,” was how she bluntly put it.

And she was right. This awkward moment spurred a very interesting and informative conversation about all the factors and people involved in making sure a patient feels well cared for. It starts with the first impression upon admission - is it a smooth, well-coordinated experience? Of course, nursing tends to have the most interaction with the patient throughout their stay (and therefore has the most influence on the patient’s perception of the care provided). There’s environmental services, which contribute to the quality of food and overall service. And there’s the physician, who not only directs the care plan, but is frequently the one responsible for the patient being discharged in a timely manner. In short, when attempting to score anything in healthcare, we need to recognize it’s a team sport.

In this third-in-a-series of blogs I will focus on how everything from fitness trackers to GPS enabled smartphones to smartwatches can be used to enhance the nursing experience. Let’s think about how we can use wearables to track crucial care data to help fuel continuous improvement across the entire patient care spectrum.

Imagine if every nurse could receive patient medication alerts via their smart watches, rather than having to search for and consult a chart. How about doctors receiving texts when patients may be approaching a risk threshold? Is there a way to use fitness trackers to ensure nutrition services is following the most efficient routes to deliver meals? We admittedly need to make certain that only pertinent and critical data are communicated, as alarm fatigue is already a challenge for clinical staff.

And then the even bigger question: What do we do with all the data? Using this as baseline information, we can look at how several factors affect such safety issues as incidence of pressure ulcers and patient falls. And while we need to always keep an eye on data privacy concerns, if we look at this through a lens of continuous improvement, categorized by issue and care team, this could be the future of value based care. If Major League Baseball teams can use data to make better decisions and improve team performance, shouldn’t healthcare consider similar strategies?

View our infographic, Wearables and the future of nursing, to learn more.

-Marcus Mossberger, Senior Director, Healthcare HCM Strategy

  • Healthcare
  • EMEA
  • North America
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