Webinar: Nursing Innovations Help Transform Healthcare

More ideas and research are needed

Innovation is more important to the nursing profession and industry than ever before. In the two-part video webinar “Achieving Nursing Excellence,” top nursing executives at Cleveland Clinic discussed the importance of encouraging nurses to look for solutions and use research to assess the results.

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“Innovation is the foundation for the care we deliver,” says Cleveland Clinic Chief Caregiver Officer Kelly Hancock, DNP, RN, NE-BC, FAAN. “We are in an era of value. No longer is our success being determined by patient volume. It is about value, and value relates to access and affordability.”

Nurses may not recognize how effective they are in driving healthcare transformation, Dr. Hancock says. Nursing research and innovation has been a catalyst in shaping patient care, and she notes that “we need more of it.”

“Many great ideas remain dormant because people don’t have the courage, resources or time to take action. But in our profession, research and innovation is what brought us to where we are today,” Dr. Hancock says. “We need to convert our ideas into reality, and everyone must be a part of cultivating innovation.”

Innovations can improve outcomes and efficiencies, says Nancy Albert, PhD, RN, Cleveland Clinic Office of Nursing Research and Innovation. “They come in many forms, including products, gadgets, information technology, and delivery solutions such as algorithms, processes and life science.”

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Recent innovations made by Cleveland Clinic nurses

EKG Wires–disposable vs. new: A randomized control study with more than 7,000 patients found that disposable EKG lead wires did not reduce bloodstream infection, ventilator-associated pneumonia or wound infections among patients treated in multiple intensive care units. Now the system cleans and reuses EKG wires, which has resulted in cost savings.

Improving peripheral venous access: A pediatric nurse who sought to decrease the number of IV attempts nurses make with peripheral venous access developed and studied an algorithm for nurses to follow. Results showed that overall IV access attempts were reduced, but success rates for first attempts did not improve. A revision in the algorithm included a dedicated vascular access team, which improved overall IV success on first attempt. “The vascular access team is now part of our standard of care. It decreases pain and suffering to our youngest patients,” says Dr. Albert.

The Scrub Now and Prevent (SNAP) hand hygiene program: When nurses snap their fingers, they are quietly telling their colleagues that they need to wash their hands. This successful innovation increased adherence to hand hygiene expectations throughout the healthcare system. “The nurse inventor published a paper on the program in an infection prevention journal, and we’ve received many requests to purchase materials associated with the process from other healthcare centers who wish to improve their hand hygiene quality performance scores,” says Dr. Albert.

Dr. Hancock encourages nurses to bring their ideas forward – even if it’s unclear that they will work.

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“You never know, it just might be the best thing since colored IV tubing,” she says. “All incoming ideas are worthy. Even if it turns out that it can’t be moved forward in its current state, it just might open a door to something bigger and better.”

For access to this webinar or to learn more about Cleveland Clinic’s Nursing Innovation Center, contact Global Executive Education at executiveeducation@ccf.org