I am pleased to share with you the 2019 St. Luke’s Nursing Annual Report, which reflects examples of outstanding accomplishments of St. Luke’s Health System nurses over the past year. Here are a few highlights.
St. Luke’s nurses are constantly finding new ways to close gaps to ensure safe environments or improve experiences for their patients. St. Luke’s Nampa staff continued to refine a unique family-care suite care model in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), which keeps the mother and newborn together in a suite to promote the “ultimate” healing environment. Air St. Luke’s nurse, Victor Quon, BSN, MBA, RN, CFRN, developed a plan to create and implement a safer staffing model that consisted of dedicated teams where staff were assigned to transport teams based on rigorous, validated competencies. This has led to improved team performance, engagement, and morale; positive feedback from various internal and external stakeholders; and several teammates qualifying for professional promotions.
Additionally, our nursing staff have a keen eye for ensuring quality and patient safety. St. Luke’s hospice clinical manager, Kendra Tietz, MSN, RN, identified gaps with the use of outside pharmacy vendors and was able to colead, with our pharmacy team, an improvement effort that resulted in an internal solution for all Treasure Valley and McCall hospice patients. St. Luke’s Wood River Emergency Department (ED) developed a “Speak Up” campaign, which improved the process of medication preparation and administration. This included developing specific education for staff members and tools that enhance the engagement of patient and family members in their specific care. Finally, the St. Luke’s Magic Valley Canyon View team implemented the utilization of an ICARE Hourly Rounding Tool, which enhanced the nurses’ assessment of any changes in a patient’s mental state.
Sometimes it is the simple, yet innovative ideas that extend that caring touch. Like our St. Luke’s Elmore ED nurse, Wendy Vandenburg, BSN, RN, who cleverly diverted children’s attention with stuffed animals while they were in the ED. The tactic worked so well, she was able to secure funding to continue the program with children who visit the ED in the future. Similarly, our St. Luke’s Magic Valley ED staff were able to keep the holiday spirit alive by providing gifts to a mother who presented to the ED with her two daughters alongside on Christmas Eve.
In addition to so many successes and improvements over the past year, our nurses have grown through shared governance care council participation and other professional development opportunities, such as the Professional Advancement through High-Performance and Skills program (PATHS). Through PATHS, Molly Gill, BSN, RN, created a program in St. Luke’s Wood River that ensures no patient will die alone, while Megan Planck, BSN, RN, OCN, created a program for St. Luke’s Cancer Institute to better prepare caregivers who manage Blood and Marrow Transplant patients upon discharge. Finally, Jen Smith, BSN, RN, of St. Luke’s Nampa, developed an interdisciplinary team rounding program in the telemetry unit to improve communication and planning, which decreases health care costs for the patient.
I am humbled and honored to serve such an extraordinary nursing and interdisciplinary team. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to serve our patients and communities.
Cynthia (Cy) Gearhard, MN, RN, NEA-BC
Vice President, Patient Care Services/System Chief Nursing Officer
Relationship-Based Care (RBC), our professional practice model at St. Luke’s Health System (SLHS), helps align caring and healing processes to meet the needs of patients and their families. RBC has been an instrumental guide in both care delivery and demonstrating our culture. RBC enhances relationships both personally with patients, families and caregivers as well as professionally with colleagues and ancillary teams. The RBC concepts most familiar to staff may be care of self, care of colleagues and care of patient and family. This model, however, includes much more.
RBC has six essential elements: leadership, teamwork, professional nursing practice, patient care delivery, resource-driven practice and outcomes measurement. These elements are crucial to all areas of discipline within health care and tie directly back to putting the patient at the center of our care. We are the preferred providers in our communities because we deliver coordinated, affordable and accessible care through:
Our nurses demonstrate the six professional nursing practice roles through their daily practice:
This report highlighted the accomplishments and exemplary outcomes of our talented nurses.