In 2023, the disruptions of recent years have brought nursing into a new and challenging space — facing extreme staffing shortages and unprecedented physical and mental burnout.
Nurses know there isn’t a magic button to alleviate these woes. They only know the reality of the patients in their care each day, and populations looking for realistic paths to everyday wellness. It takes ingenuity to stay upright on the ever-changing road to healthcare excellence — to be agile in order to effectively treat patients. We asked some of our MEDITECH Nurse Advisory Council members, each a customer helping us collectively advance information technology for nurses, how their teams have been creative when tackling their biggest challenges.
Focus on one thing at a time
“We have a lot of goals for Thibodaux in 2023. Our team decided to have monthly meetings on specific topics, such as inpatient needs or evaluating existing workflows. Those meetings became a time to focus on a single topic to see what changes we can implement.”
Ashley Becnel, RN, Senior Clinical Analyst, Thibodaux Regional Health System
Acknowledge the “quick wins”
“Our team is working hard on decreasing the documentation burden, and the way we are combatting that is with “quick wins.” So maybe we are reformatting a screen, or changing the frequencies of required documentation. Sometimes it’s clearing up a question about processes. By doing this, we can keep moving forward while acknowledging our successes of all sizes along the way.”
Alicia Brubaker, MSN, RN-B, CCRN-K, Director, Clinical Informatics, The Valley Health System
“Virtual beds started as a necessity during the pandemic, but have become a convenience for us. It allows us to move resources around in a way that makes the most sense for our team.”
Nick Hammonds, BSN, Director of Informatics, St. Claire Healthcare
Challenge conventional approaches
“We're looking at telehealth as an extension of our walk-in clinics for the ED. After registering and triage, people can connect virtually with one of the walk-in clinic providers and be treated that way. I think it’s an exciting way to approach telehealth while remaining cognizant of finances and staffing.”
Becky Dawson, BSN, MBA, RN-C, IT Manager Applications and Informatics, Whidbey Health Medical Center
Get buy-in from the real experts — your users
“We have a nursing optimization group that meets every other week to talk about what is working and not working, and we take those suggestions to heart. Then we can run any changes by that team before implementing. We want to be sure what we’re doing suits their needs. We’ve had great engagement with our nurses and it’s honestly my favorite meeting to go to. It really feels like we're making a difference.’”
Ali Smith, BSN, RN, Manager of IS Operations, Boone County Hospital
Don’t go it alone
“Reaching out to other MEDITECH customers is always a tremendous help. St. John’s Riverside has been looking at interfaces between monitors and the MEDITECH system and we were concerned about the hardware investment. We met with Kim Maples and her team at Carteret Healthcare to review their monitor setup. We found that very helpful. It’s a great way to get some inside perspective before making any big decisions.”
Mike Dougherty, MS, RN, Director Clinical Informatics, St. John’s Riverside
Hear more from our nurses and learn about the MEDITECH solutions that support them.