Safety is in the details
Safety in the ICU

Honoring Nursing Innovations

July 26, 2015

 

Ask any critical care nurse and he or she will tell you about how rewarding and challenging the ICU environment can be. Under often-stressful conditions, sometimes working at a frenetic pace to treat and save the lives of patients in distress, these caregivers rise to a level of professionalism and dedication many outside the field can admire, but probably not fully understand.

 

Of course, many of you reading this do understand because you are the ICU caregivers to which we’re referring.

 

Today we’d like to introduce the first of what we intend to be an ongoing Safety in the ICU series, that being the celebration of innovations that have improved conditions for ICU clinicians and treatment for ICU patients.

 

We’re going to open the series with a brief profile of Ann Rogers, RN, PhD, FAAN, who’s set to receive the American Association of Critical Care Nurses  (AACN) “Pioneering Spirit Award” for her contributions to nursing research and practice, and Paul B. Batalden, MD, soon to receive the same honor for “his efforts advocating for quality improvement and patient safety.”

 

Both just recently received their recognitions at the 2015 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition in San Diego in May.

 

As a recent AACN press release points out, Ms. Rogers is the Edith Honeycutt Chair in Nursing at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University in Atlanta, where she serves as a professor and director of graduate studies. According to the association, “Her work on nurse fatigue and patient safety has broken new ground in terms of both research and impact on policy.”

 

Her work has been the catalyst for more than a dozen manuscripts, numerous book chapters and “sweeping changes in nursing policies in clinical settings across the country.” Perhaps most notably, Ms. Rogers’ study, “The Working Hours of Hospital Staff Nurses & Patient Safety,” has been instrumental in revealing the negative effects that long work hours have on nurses, patients and public safety.

 

Due to her research and writings, the Institute of Medicine recommended in 2004 that nurses not be required to provide patient care for more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period, and no more than 60 hours in a week. Additionally, a 2011 Joint Commission report cited her work as key evidence when it offered its nine steps providers can take to “lower the risk of healthcare worker fatigue by redesigning schedules, educating team members about the dangers of long hours and encouraging a culture of safety.”

 

Dr. Batalden is professor emeritus of pediatrics, community and family medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. He currently teaches leadership to improve healthcare quality, safety and value at Dartmouth, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Jönköping Academy for the Improvement of Health and Welfare in Sweden.

 

The AACN is honoring Dr. Batalden for “recognition of his efforts advocating for quality improvement and patient safety.” As a world-renowned champion working to continuously improve care systems to provide patients with better reliability and enhanced safety, Dr. Batalden has led an interprofessional community that has “developed curricular innovations, research agendas and proposals, publications and more, including the national Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) initiative.”

 

He is the co-author of “Value by Design” and “Quality by Design,” which examine the effects of clinical microsystems on quality and value, and is the founder of the U.S. VA National Quality Scholars program and the IHI Health Professions Educational Collaborative. He also played a key role in the founding and development of the General Competencies of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the SQUIRE publication guidelines for the improvement of healthcare, among several others.

 

We’d like to congratulate both of these healthcare leaders and thank them for their contributions to and influence on critical care nursing and patient safety.

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