Data aids WBAMC nursing needs
By Marcy Sanchez, WBAMC Public Affairs:
(El Paso, Texas, Mar. 9, 2017) William Beaumont Army Medical Center is taking an efficient approach to maximizing patient outcomes due to staffing shortages by promoting and practicing accurate data capture of staff obligations during the work day.
To help establish accurate needs for healthcare personnel, WBAMC’s deputy commander for Inpatient Services is encouraging staff members to utilize workload reporting systems to accurately reflect the amount of time necessary for each staff member to accomplish their daily and extra duties.
The Army utilizes the Workload Management System for Nursing-internet (WMSN-i), a management tool used to assess nursing personnel staffing based on patients’ nursing care needs. The tool also assists in determining the total number of nursing care hours required for each patient, given a specific diagnosis.
“Over the previous year we lost the opportunity to gain 11 employees,” said Maj. Jerry Moon, nurse methods analyst, Nursing Operations, WBAMC. “If not reported correctly, the reported hours may be much lower than actual hours needed for patient care.”
Nursing staff use WMSN-i to estimate direct and indirect patient care needs for each patient. Staffing must be adequate to provide safe bedside care of the same quality that a patient would receive in the civilian community.
“Based on a diagnosis, there is a geometric length of stay assigned,” said Moon. “Target discharge dates are assigned and we know if patient care is on track and if we’re utilizing beds appropriately.”
Because inpatient care is dependent on space available, proper bed utilization is vital for patient admissions as well as discharges for inpatient wards.
An innovative, yet simple, approach to tracking patient discharge was developed by staff with WBAMC’s Medical Ward to display a patient’s plan of care, discharge target dates and any barriers to scheduled patient discharge.
“There’s two meetings daily for everyone to see and discuss barriers and action plans to remove the barriers,” said Moon. “If barriers can’t be removed over time then action plans will be assigned to process owners to find a solution. It’s a risk mitigation tool in addition to a communications tool.”
The patient discharge board is displayed at the nurses’ station to allow constant and easy updates while providing patient care situational awareness to all staff members.
As an incentive, the DCIS is recognizing inpatient wards for accurate data capture.
“We’re spotlighting wards to see if we’re going to improve over time,” said Moon. “What we’ve seen in the first month is one of the biggest turnarounds in a ward.”
“We need data capture and data validity for us to improve staff to patient ratios which will improve patient quality and safe patient care (and staff morale),” said Moon. “With accurate reporting our staff will be happy and our patients will be happy.”
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