A Hit Man Came to Kill Susan Kuhnhausen. She Survived. He Didn’t.

Here is an article from the Willamette Week that shows how nurses are different from other people in that they have to train how to protect themselves from violence at work and sometimes that becomes useful at home. It is because of this training that she survived.  She had to take a life to do so, but she did survive.

Another interesting thing about nurses is that we do not always have good luck when it comes to finding a partner.  Because of the weird schedule most nurses have and the amount of time they spend at work, there is little time or energy left to seek out a suitable mate.  And then there is the nurse’s need to FIX things and HELP others that set them up to be taken advantage of.

Please read this article and see if you agree with me that this nurse is amazing.  I am sorry she had to go through this, but I am happy she survived.


A Hit Man Came to Kill Susan Kuhnhausen. She Survived. He Didn’t.

Ten years later, she tells her story.

Updated August 17
Published August 17

“We have an intruder in the house next door.…The intruder was in the bedroom with a hammer. The woman who lives there thinks she may have strangled him. He was down when she left.”

“Can you put her on the phone?”

“She’s bleeding.”

“Does she need an ambulance?”

“No, she’s a nurse. She says call an ambulance for the guy. He may be dead.”

—Portland 911 call on Sept. 6, 2006

Susan Kuhnhausen took her time going home.

 On the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2006, the 51-year-old emergency room nurse ended her shift at Providence Portland Medical Center on Northeast Glisan Street and headed to Perfect Look hair salon on East Burnside Street.

As she waited for her turn, she picked up a copy of Oprah magazine and read a poem.

“I will not die an unlived life,” it began. “I will not live in fear.”

One hour later, rested and relaxed, she drove to her blue, one-story Cape Cod with a gray picket fence in the Montavilla neighborhood of Southeast Portland.

In the mudroom at the back of the house, Susan found a note by the microwave from her husband of almost 18 years, Mike. “Sue, haven’t been sleeping. Had to get away—Went to the beach.”

He added that he’d see her on Friday or Saturday. “Luv, ME,” he signed off.

Unlocking the door to the kitchen, Susan heard the beeping of her security alarm. She disarmed it, walked through the house to the front door and then went back outside. It was clear and warm at 6:37 pm that day, and she stood for a minute or two in the front yard, flipping through her mail.

When she came back inside, she kicked off her Birkenstocks and noticed how dark it was in her bedroom on the first floor. Had she forgotten to open the curtains that morning?

Suddenly, from behind the bedroom door, a man lurched toward her.

At 5-foot-9, the 59-year-old stranger weighed 190 pounds. He wore Dockers, a blue-striped shirt and a tan baseball hat pulled down low over his eyes. His long hair was in a ponytail tucked into the cap. He wore yellow rubber gloves on his hands and carried a red and black claw hammer…(read the rest of the article here)

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What Nurses Stand For

 

Here is a rather lengthy article from theAtlantic.com.  I know it is long, but it is definitely worth the time it takes to read.  This writer captures exactly what it is to be a nurse, using vignettes from different specialties to do it.  The author knows what nurses stand for.

Please take the time and read this article.  I know it is old, it is from 1997, but the message is timeless.  Nurses around the world all do the same job without any recognition or praise.   Nurses do their job because they were called to help others and this is their way of doing that.

If you understand what is happening in healthcare today, please tell someone who matters about your thoughts on it.  Until and unless we all voice our thoughts and worries, nothing will ever change.


 

What Nurses Stand For

Sitcoms satirize them, the media ignore them, doctors won’t listen to them, and now hospitals are laying them off, sacrificing them to corporate medicine — yet their contribution to patients and families is beyond price.

AT four o’clock on a Friday afternoon the hematology-oncology clinic at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital is quiet. Paddy Connelly and Frances Kiel, two of the eleven nurses who work in the unit, sit at the nurses’ station — an island consisting of two long desks equipped with phones, which ring constantly, and computers. They are encircled by thirteen blue-leather reclining chairs, in which patients may spend only a brief time, for a short chemotherapy infusion, or an entire afternoon, to receive more complicated chemotherapy or blood products. At one of the chairs Nancy Rumplik is starting to administer chemotherapy to a man in his mid-fifties who has colon cancer.

Rumplik is forty-two and has been a nurse on the unit for seven years. She stands next to the wan-looking man and begins to hang the intravenous drugs that will treat his cancer. As the solution drips through the tubing and into his vein, she sits by his side, watching to make sure that he has no adverse reaction.

Today she is acting as triage nurse — the person responsible for patients who walk in without an appointment, for patients who call with a problem but can’t reach their primary nurse, for the smooth functioning of the unit, and, of course, for responding to any emergencies. Rumplik’s eyes thus constantly sweep the room to check on the other patients. She focuses for a moment on a heavy-set African-American woman in her mid-forties, dressed in a pair of navy slacks and a brightly colored shirt, who is sitting in the opposite corner. Her sister, who is younger and heavier, is by her side. The patient seems fine, so Rumplik returns her attention to the man next to her. Several minutes later she looks up again, checks the woman, and stiffens. There is now a look of anxiety on the woman’s face. Rumplik, leaning forward in her chair, stares at her.

“What’s she getting?” she mouths to Kiel.

Looking at the patient’s chart, Frances Kiel names a drug that has been known to cause severe allergic reactions. In that brief moment, as the two nurses confer, the woman suddenly clasps her chest. Her look of anxiety turns to terror. Her mouth opens and shuts in silent panic. Rumplik leaps up from her chair, as do Kiel and Connelly, and sprints across the room…(read the rest of this article here)

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The dirty secret that is destroying nursing

Here is a post from The Mighty Nurse that I feel bears sharing here.
This is written by someone in the field and expresses the concern of many if not all in healthcare today.  This writer understand that this particular dirty secret is not harmless.

I understand that there needs to be some criteria for reimbursement for services given, however, I don’t think it needs to be based on the patient’s satisfaction survey.  What can the survey say about a patient who cannot get better no matter what?  That the nurses were not nice?  That the trash did not get taken out enough?  What?

I agree with this writer that something akin to infection rates, sentinel events, and general nursing care are much more important when I look for a hospital for me or my families.  I also think staffing ratios should be a part of the criteria.  An overworked nurse cannot give quality care no matter that the nurse wants to.  It just isn’t humanly possible.

Please read the entire post and see what you think about this issue.


The dirty secret that is destroying nursing

by on November 19, 2014 in Nurse Stories

Let me begin by saying this is just my beliefs and thoughts on the subject.

I love being a nurse and I love working at the facility I am at. However, there is a major injustice being done to nurses and all medical staff right now.

Let’s begin by looking at medical staff. Nurses and Certified nurses assistants are a special breed of people.

Any of us who work in the medical field will agree you must have a special personality and strength to work with sick people.

Not just nurses but doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants….even those who clean the hospital or transport patients.

We all chose to go to work every day and put ourselves at risk to catch diseases in order to help those who need us.

Each one of us has our own special qualities that makes it possible for us to be unique care givers. Some of us are good at holding someone’s hand, encouraging them, praying with them, some are great at starting IV’s, some are your go to person for any question you can think of.

In all we each are a piece of a puzzle that provide specialized care to you, your family and friends. We go to work for 12 plus hours. We spend on average 13 hours a day with our patients.

We hold our bladders to help others empty theirs. We clean up unspeakable things all while reassuring someone  it is ok. You can’t do this job and not be super human.We walk out of one room watching someone die to walk into your room with a smile on our face to encourage you. We stand up for our patients and do everything possible to keep them safe. Always making sure we do no harm…(read the entire article here)  

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When Burnout Takes its Toll

Here is an article that addresses the issue of burn-out in nursing.  This is a real issue and it is one that affects all aspects in healthcare.  When a nurse becomes burned out, it will affect patients, other nursing staff, nursing management and can actually create a dangerous situation.

I enjoy reading articles and blog posts written by Beth Boynton, RN, MS and I hope you will become familiar with her and her writing.

Please read this entire article and then take your own personal inventory to check to see if you are in danger of being burned-out too.


When Burnout Takes its Toll

Aug 8, 2016 8:30:00 AM / by Greg Hunter & Beth Boynton, RN, MS

It doesn’t take much effort to see that burnout afflicts healthcare workers, not only nurses who take the bulk of bedside care but all care givers.  Just stand near the nurses’ station, in their lounge area or in a corner of one of the wards and you can often see or feel their exhaustion.
I remember meeting up with a nurse friend of mine who came to me one day looking haggard after work. She not only looked exhausted, she sounded despairing.  She told me that she could handle long shifts and overtime. She understood that overly stressful shifts were part of the reality of nursing, but there was never any break in the pressure. She was sorry she was late and wanted to have dinner together, but asked if we could reschedule so she could go to bed early. Of course, I understood and felt worried for her emotional and physical health.
Unfortunately her story is becoming more common, while the versions are different, the theme is the same.  Burnout among nurses is taking its toll, and the result is never good for anyone!

What are the Signs of Burnout?

You know you are burned out when you feel you are not rested. There never seems enough time to do the things that you enjoy, like spending time with family and friends. You sleep late, and wake up still feeling tired. You feel like your life is composed of your job and little sleep. You cringe when  your phone rings and upon answering, hear the charge nurse asking you to fill in a shift. Reluctantly you say yes and then find yourself going back to work.

There is also emotional exhaustion, where the emotional and physical stressors take a toll on you. These include having patients dying on your shift or someone lashing out at you and leaving your dignity smashed to pieces. Then you have to deal with someone who makes everyone’s day extra stressful, and as if not content with his or her bullying behavior, your inadequacies are all thrown at your face. Would the student nurse you snapped at earlier think of you as a bully? She looked so hurt.
In time, you see yourself changing. The once enthusiastic learner and compassionate care giver has become irritable, cynical, overcritical, uncaring, indifferent, and distant. You realize that your frustrations at work are piling up. You don’t finish your tasks on time because there is just too much paperwork to be done and too many protocols to keep up with and follow. Help, equipment, supplies and verification measures are constantly unavailable or not working properly. There are too many memos and too little recognition. And the rare recognition, such as, “Thanks for staying on the extra shift” doesn’t even feel good anymore!

What is the Result of Burnout?

The ultimate result of burnout, according to research, is poor patient outcome or dissatisfaction. The consequences could be a myriad of problems that becomes cyclic. Burnout leads to more absences, resignations and legal disputes. Nurses who decide to stay are burdened with more work because of turnovers, and again burnout looms in. The cycle goes on, and like a tornado, more healthcare workers are caught in its path. With the aftermath resulting in poor service and negative patient outcomes.

How to Reduce or Prevent Burnout in the Workplace?

Because burnout is a result of many factors, addressing it poses a great challenge both to nurses themselves and to the management. Although nurses may feel a lack of control over their work conditions…(read the rest of the article here)
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The Benefits of Naps and Sleep Rooms for Night Shift Nurses

This article is very interesting and timely.  I believe that nurses who routinely work night shifts eventually turn their body clocks around so that working night shifts are not quite so hard on their bodies but take a heavy toll on their family life and extracurricular activities, since they maintain a night shift lifestyle even when not at work.

It is interesting to see that there is a suggestion that night shift nurses be allowed to take naps on their breaks.  Most hospitals have policy that determines whether a nurse can sleep on break or not.  Most hospitals do not recommend taking such a nap during work hours, even though a short, restorative nap could improve safety and function on night shifts.

Please read this article and see what you think.


The Benefits of Naps and Sleep Rooms for Night Shift Nurses

Sleep deprivation is much more than just an inconvenience for night shift nurses. It can have a significant impact on patient safety, as well as on the safety of nurses themselves. Impaired decision-making, slower reflexes and motor skills, and heightened stress levels are all potential effects of too little sleep.

Numerous studies have identified a link between the lack of sleep and increased safety risks for healthcare providers and patients. Its effects are generally most acute for nurses working on the night shift, and they may be even more pronounced for those in critical-care settings. Those specialized and demanding work environments require nurses to make quick assessments and rapid decisions. In addition, patient volume is unpredictable in emergency departments, with patients typically in unstable conditions. That means nurses in the ER must remain highly vigilant in order to respond promptly and appropriately to changes in a patient’s condition.

The Benefits of Naps and Sleep Rooms for Night Shift Nurses

An article published in the 2007 edition of the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety noted that nurses typically don’t meet average daily sleep requirements. The article also cited two studies that found that nurses were at least twice as likely to make a medical error when working extended shifts (12.5 hours or longer.) It also notes that chronic sleep deprivation can lead to long-term health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. Studies also have found that women – who comprise the vast majority of nurses – experience elevated levels of sleep disturbance during shift work compared to men.

Restorative Napping Benefits

One potential solution to safety issues associated with sleep deprivation is to encourage nurses to use their break times to take brief naps. Often known as restorative napping, these short breaks have the potential to boost performance and accuracy, reduce fatigue and improve mood for nurses working extended hours or the night shift.

“Several studies support positive outcomes for on-duty napping for health professionals,” noted a 2011 study in Critical Care Nurse, the journal of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.The study’s authors reviewed the effect of napping on nurses working in intensive care units or emergency departments. A majority of the nurses reported having improved mood and response time when they were able to nap. “Even a short 20-minute nap was viewed by some nurses as restorative, allowing them to better attend to their job and improve their work performance,” the study noted. (read the rest of the article here)

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Nurses at higher risk of suicide

Although this article is about a study with Australian nurses, I feel that if this study were to be implemented in the continental United States, the results would be comparable.  Why do you think there is such a high risk for suicide in the nursing profession?

The high stress, burn-out, high census, heavy patient load, anxiety over how well they are doing, worry about outcomes for patients–all make nursing a profession that is susceptible to risk for suicides.  This is unfortunate and this should not be.

Please read this article and see what you think.


Nurses at higher risk of suicide

A study has found the suicide rate for nurses is double that of the rate of women in other professions.

The rate of suicide among Australian women is double for those working as health professionals, with nurses and midwives most at risk, a study has found.

A University of Melbourne and Deakin study of close to 10,000 suicides by employed adults between 2001 and 2012 found 3.8 per cent of them were health professionals.

Long working hours, exposure to trauma and the fear of making a mistake may increase rates of suicide in those working in health professions, the study says.

Dr Allison Milner found the age-standardised rate of suicide for female health professionals was 6.4 per 100,000 person-years, while nurses and midwives were even higher at 8.2.

The average suicide rate for women in other professions was 2.8.

While men working in nursing and midwifery also had a higher rate of suicide, the overall rate for male health professionals was similar to other occupations, according to the study.

Men’s risk of suicide was overall higher than women’s, at 14.9 per 100 000.

‘Qualitative research has found that some male nurses experience anxiety about the perceived stigma associated with their non-traditional career choice,’ the authors wrote.

‘These anxieties may constitute a risk factor for suicide for men in these occupations.’

The authors said that women in male-dominated areas of medicine may struggle, feeling there are barriers holding them back from career advancement.

‘Female professionals may still feel pressure to undertake child care and household roles, leading to considerable gender role stress,’ the report said.

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New York Law Makes Assaulting a Nurse a Felony

This article is an older one, first published in November 2010, so when I try to attribute the article back to the original, I am sent to a 404 page.  I know that this article was on the Nurse.com website, but that is about as much as I can attribute.  If you know where this article resides online, please let me know so I can give proper credit for this.

As a psychiatric nurse for over 24 years, I have always wondered why assault on a nursing staff was not a felony.  Some states, like New York enacted laws to protect nursing staff from violence at work.  However, not all states have enacted any type of law to protect nursing staff and that is not okay.

Even when I was attacked and injured at work, the police came but did not want to do anything about taking the perpetrator to jail until I insisted and agreed to come to court to press charges against him.  I sustained major damage to my facial bones and endured two separate surgeries to correct the damage.  I missed a full year at work.

Please read this entire article and then contact your legislator to inquire why this is not law in every state.  Maybe if we all make a lot of noise, we can accomplish something on this issue.


New York Law Makes Assaulting a Nurse a Felony

For nurses in New York state, Nov. 1 represented a victory for on-the-job safety. It was the day that the Violence Against Nurses law took effect, making it a felony to assault an on-duty RN or LPN.For many nurses, including those in home health, dealing with violent or abusive patients and caregivers was considered part of their plight. The New York State Senate passed the legislation in January, noting that, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, nearly 500,000 nurses each year become victims of violent crimes in the workplace. Most commonly reported acts of violence include spitting, biting, hitting and shoving.

“Violence in the workplace for nurses is very under-reported. Nurses were either afraid to come forward or not sure if what was happening to them was classified as violence. …,” says Erin Silk, assistant director of communications for the New York State Nurses Association, which has been working to bring the legislation forward since 2008.

With the Violence Against Nurses law, nurses join the already protected groups of police officers, firefighters and emergency responders. A physical attack against an RN or LPN on duty is a Class D felony, subject to a maximum of seven years in prison.

Nurses have commented that they feel empowered by the law, according to Silk.

“We had [news about the legislation] posted on our Facebook page, and we got quite a lot of feedback,” she says. “I think they’re excited that somebody has taken notice.”

Added CloutHopefully this bill will deter acts of violence against the approximately 60 RNs and three LPNs at Winthrop-University Hospital Home Health Agency, says Anne Calvo, RN, BSN, MPS, the agency’s administrator and director of patient services.

Calvo says that, upon hire, nurses are instructed to leave any home situation in which they feel uncomfortable or unsafe and to immediately call their manager. Nassau County police also give Winthrop’s providers training for how to identify and defuse potentially violent situations. “We do serve certain geographic areas that have been identified as high risk due to high crime rates,” Calvo says. “Nurses, therapists and home health aides can request escorts — off-duty security guards — to accompany them to those areas.”

Before the Violence Against Nurses law took effect, Calvo says, it was difficult administratively and ethically to refuse care, even in light of clear safety issues. “In my personal opinion, I think we will be more comfortable in not providing service in cases where we felt the staff was threatened; where before, we’d always put patients’ rights first,” Calvo says.

Calvo says that despite previous safeguards for homecare providers, safety continues to be an issue. Winthrop, she says, makes an average of 3,000 nurse visits each month to homes in Nassau County. “We’ve had staff that have been bitten, smacked … and we’ve walked into situations of potential sexual harassment,” Calvo says. “But we haven’t had anyone who has wanted to press charges against the patient. I don’t know if that will change.”

Eileen Avery, RN

Now What?Based on each facility’s policy, nurses or their managers should call law enforcement when episodes of on-the-job violence occur, says Eileen Avery, RN, MS, associate director of education practice and research at the NYSNA. “NYSNA is working on educating nurses, as well as management, on how to proceed so that we are proactive, rather than reactive, in these situations,” Avery says.

The law applies to physical assault, which includes being spit on, bitten, hit or pushed. It does not include verbal assault. Nurses can press charges against anyone, including patients who are delirious or mentally ill. The bill, Avery explains, covers the basic right to press felony charges. The courts will take it from there.

Avery says nurse management also should take this opportunity to update policies regarding violence and make sure their nurses understand those policies.

Spreading the WordNYSNA is working on a promotional campaign about the law for healthcare providers and the public. It includes news releases and posters for facilities warning readers that assaulting a nurse is a felony.

Roger L. Noyes, director of communications for the Home Care Association of New York State, says the nearly 400-member association supports the law and recognizes the need for providing this protection for nurses. “One thing that we are going to be doing in the coming weeks is making sure that our membership is informed about the law and try and get some more feedback from them in terms of what they think this will mean for them,” Noyes says. “We’ll also be providing our own recommendations in the area.”

“We can now be empowered to focus on staff safety, while respecting the patients’ rights for care,” Calvo says. “The public should be aware that nurses should not be abused physically just because they are nurses. They’re human beings, and we all need to be treated humanely.”

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Patient Experience: One Person at a Time

Here is another HealthLeaders Media article that I was intrigued by.  We all know about Patient Satisfaction Scores and how much they mean to the hospital.  We all know that nurses everywhere are being held accountable for these scores.  Unfortunately, these scores leave no room for examination; no room for individual issues that could skew the results.

Please read this rather lengthy article about a creative way to capture the patient experience instead of the patient satisfaction.  See if you agree with the author’s points.


Patient Experience: One Person at a Time

Jennifer Thew, RN, September 1, 2016

How can an organization get its arms around something as massive and variable as the patient experience? By listening to the experts—the patients.

This article first appeared in the September 2016 issue ofHealthLeaders magazine.

Carol Raimondi, RN
Carol Raimondi, RN

Carol Raimondi, RN, knows what it’s like to be a patient. Born with congenital heart defects, the 40-year-old’s life has been entwined with the healthcare system for decades. Raimondi had her first open-heart surgery when she was 6 years old, and has since had multiple surgeries and hospitalizations both at well-known academic medical centers and at her local community hospital, 259-bed Elmhurst (Illinois) Hospital.

In her time as a patient and a provider, Raimondi has noticed changes in the way healthcare is delivered. What was once a very patient-focused experience has morphed into something less personal and more procedural, she says.

“Over the years, everybody just became busier. There was more charting and more things to do,” says Raimondi, who worked as a nurse for eight years, but stepped away from clinical practice in 2006 due to health issues. “Healthcare has become so big, with all these pharmaceutical and insurance companies and all these different regulations. Patient experience has become focused on HCAHPS scores, and what are we going to do to get our scores higher?”

For healthcare executives, attention to results of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey— the organization’s tool for measuring patients’ perceptions of care—has become a necessity due to reimbursement changes, public reporting of scores, and the shift to value-based care. But a single-minded focus on HCAHPS scores is a missed opportunity to improve quality, safety, and patient engagement through a broader, more multifaceted approach to patient experience. The Beryl Institute, an independent nonprofit thought leadership organization focused on improving patient experience, defines this approach as “the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across a continuum of care.” (read the rest of the article here)

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Geriatric ERs Reduce Stress, Medical Risks For Elderly Patients

This article from HealthLeaders Media is interesting and makes quite a bit of good sense.  While the population is aging, we need to make sure the care we are giving coincides with this aging.  The elderly population have unique needs and they deserve to receive care from professionals trained to deal with them.

Although I think the idea for geriatric ERs is great, I can see them going the way of psychiatric ERs, who are trained to deal with those patients specialized needs.  Unfortunately, hospitals are usually profit driven and these specialized ERs would not carry a census that would remain stable.  Fluctuating census makes it difficult to staff and keep costs down.

Please read this article and see what you think about this issue.


 

Geriatric ERs Reduce Stress, Medical Risks For Elderly Patients

Kaiser Health News, August 23, 2016

Geriatric ERs have the potential to lower health care costs because staff can more carefully discern who needs to be admitted and who can be cared for outside of hospital walls.

This article first appeared August 23, 2016 on the Kaiser Health News website

By Anna Gorman | Photos by Heidi de Marco

NEW YORK — The Mount Sinai Hospital emergency room looks and sounds like hundreds of others across the country: Doctors rush through packed hallways; machines beep incessantly; paramedics wheel stretchers in as patients moan in pain.

“It’s like a war zone,” said physician assistant Emmy Cassagnol. “When it gets packed, it’s overwhelming. Our sickest patients are often our geriatric patients, and they get lost in the shuffle.”

But just on the other side of the wall is another, smaller emergency room designed specifically for those elderly patients.

Patients like Hattie Hill, who is 105 years old and still living at home. A caregiver brought her in one rainy day in late spring because she had a leg infection that wasn’t responding to antibiotics. Hill, who also has arthritis and a history of strokes, said she prefers the emergency room for seniors because she gets more attention.

“I don’t have to wait so long,” she said. “And it’s not so loud.”

Packed emergency rooms are unpleasant for everyone. But they can be dangerous for elderly patients, many of whom come in with multiple chronic diseases on top of a potentially life-threatening illness or injury.

“Who is going to suffer the most from these crowded conditions?” asked Ula Hwang, associate professor in the emergency medicine and geriatrics departments at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “It is going to be the older adult … the poor older patient with dementia lying in the stretcher with a brewing infection that is forgotten about because it’s crazy, chaotic and crowded.”

Seniors who come into traditional emergency rooms are frequently subjected to numerous and sometimes unnecessary tests and procedures, according to research and experts. They stay longer and their diagnoses are less accurate than younger patients. And they are more frequently admitted to the hospital by ER doctors overwhelmed by the constant influx of very sick patients.

“You’ve got this surge of more and more older adults coming to the emergency departments,” said Kevin Biese, co-director of geriatric emergency medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. “Yet there hasn’t necessarily been this recognition that [they need] different screening, different treatment and they are going to have different outcomes.”

Geriatric emergency rooms, which are slowly spreading across the country, provide seniors with more expertise from physicians, nurses and others trained specifically to diagnose and care for the elderly, researchers said.(read the rest of the article here)

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5 Paths to Better Clinical Outcomes

Here is an article from HealthLeaders Media that I found very interesting and thought maybe you would also.  Nurses everywhere are known for their creative and skillful ways of solving patient problems.  This article tries to address some of those creative changes that are taking place around the country.

For any nurse who may be looking to do research on a particular problem, maybe this article will give you a stepping off place and point you in the right direction.

Please read the entire article and see if you find these 5 paths as interesting as I did.


5 Paths to Better Clinical Outcomes

Jennifer Thew, RN, August 30, 2016

Here’s how hospitals and healthcare systems have cut sepsis mortality, reduced post-discharge costs, and lowered ED usage—without breaking the bank.

In today’s healthcare environment, an organization’s success often hinges on patient outcome measures such as rates of readmission, hospital-acquired infections, and avoidable medical errors.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all fix to these issues,HealthLeaders Media editors have written extensively about many programs, care models, interventions, and research that offer promising solutions.

Here are five articles to help CNOs discover ways to improve clinical outcomes:

1. How Ohio Hospitals Are Tackling Sepsis

Sepsis is deadly, costly, and all too common. So why was a rise in sepsis rates at Ohio hospitals seen as a positive development?

“Because we are encouraging people to identify it, we are not surprised that we have a more honest assessment of the problem in our state,” says Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) President and CEO Mike Abrams.

In July 2015, The Institute for Health Innovation of the OHA launched a statewide initiative with the goal of reducing severe sepsis and septic shock by 30% by the end of 2018. Nine months in to the initiative, OHA is reporting an 8% reduction in sepsis mortality.

2. New Developments in Nursing Roles and Care Models

During HealthLeaders Media‘s inaugural CNO Exchange in November 2015, nurse executives shared how they have redesigned nursing roles to better meet the needs of their patients and their healthcare organizations.

Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville, FL, has been expanding its use of nurse navigators to improve care coordination at the bedside, while Catholic Health Initiatives of Englewood, CO, is using technology to bring clinical nurse leaders located in a central command center into patients’ hospital rooms, virtually.

3. Predictive Data Cuts Mortality by 30%

Have you ever felt like a patient was “off,” but didn’t have the data to justify that gut feeling?...(read the rest of the article here)

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