Friday, June 13, 2014

Nurse Investigator Group Develops Plan to Increase Nurse Time in Patients’ Rooms

After an internal investigation showed that nurses spent only two-and-a-half to three hours on patient care during a 12-hour shift, and that much of their time was spent on activities that could be done by other staffers, Novant Health brought together a group of nurses to further investigate the issue and find a solution, Becker’s Hospital Review reports. 

The nurse investigator group identified four major activities that accounted for most of nurses’ time away from patients’ rooms: including finding supplies; obtaining medications; care planning; and preparing paperwork required for admitting patients. Novant, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, then set a goal of having nurses spend 70 percent of their time in a patient's room, reducing the amount of time spent on these tasks.

"Over the course of the last three years following that, we've worked on care team models that included having the nurse define what the top of their license performance would look like," Sallye Liner, Novant's chief clinical officer, tells Becker’s. "It was clear that we would need a team of people wrapped around nurses to make sure all of the needs of the patient were met."

Novant hired certified nursing assistants to perform many of the activities that had been taking nurses away from patients’ rooms. The system also implemented electronic medical records and placed monitors in patients' rooms to save time in documentation. Other changes included pharmacy techs delivering medications to patient rooms instead of nurses having to hunt them down for each patient.

Novant has implemented changes in all of its 15 hospitals and found that nurses now spend 72 percent of their time in patient rooms. Novant saw reductions in falls and infections and increases in patient satisfaction. Turnover rates among nurses have also declined, thanks to the changes, Liner tells Becker’s.

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