Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Guest Blogger: INQRI Grantee Robin Newhouse

I commend the Initiative on the Future of Nursing committee on their tremendously important and timely report. I was especially pleased to read their second recommendation: “Expand opportunities for nurses to lead and diffuse collaborative improvement efforts.” The committee suggests that funders collaborate to advance research on care models that will enable nurses to contribute to the improved quality of health care by offering nurses the chance to lead collaborative efforts with clinicians from other disciplines.

In my own research, I have seen the importance of nurse-led interventions to make positive change. In 2007, my colleagues and I were awarded a grant from RWJF’s Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI) program to conduct our project, “Rural Hospital Quality Collaborative on Evidence-Based Nursing.”

Recent estimates indicate that people with chronic conditions receive 55% of the recommended care with only 68% of patients with heart disease receiving the appropriate treatment. Our interdisciplinary research team evaluated the effects of a rural hospital collaborative established to facilitate translation of evidence on heart failure (HF) patient care. Specifically, we examined nursing characteristics that are associated with improvements in HF patient care. Results indicate that the collaborative enhanced networking, increased evidence-based tool use, and fostered multidisciplinary teams. Nurses in better practice environments use more evidence based interventions. A quality collaborative is an effective mechanism to enable rural hospital nurses to fully engage in improving quality of heart failure care.

As a researcher, I know that it is important to have a wide distribution of successfully proven interventions in order to affect greater change. I was honored to be selected as a member of INQRI’s latest cohort of grantees, all of whom will focus on translation of programs of proven effectiveness to more settings and more general applications. This November, my team and I will launch our project, “Nurse-Led Intervention to Improve Screening and Treatment for Substance Abuse: An RCT of Hospitals.” An alarming one in four hospital admissions are related to substance abuse. Because of the prevalence, health risks to society and strong evidence of effectiveness and efficacy, this study will test implementation of a nursing intervention using substance use Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) in an acute hospital setting. SBIRT is a comprehensive, integrated, approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for persons at risk or with substance use disorders. Results of the study will move us toward learning how to implement sustainable evidence-based behavioral practices that have significant effects on quality of care outcomes.

By contributing to the evidence-base with proven nurse-led interventions, my team and I hope to provide the type of support that the Future of Nursing committee needs to illustrate the vital role that nurses can play as leaders on health care teams.

The committee notes that “nurses must see policy as something they can shape.” I am happy to report that I am one nurse that sees policy in just that way.

Robin Newhouse, PhD, RN, NEA, BC, CNOR is the Assistant Dean for the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at the University of Maryland School of Nursing.

No comments:

Post a Comment