Nursing care delivery summit creates action plan for improvement

September 30, 2014


“Today was a banner day at Texas Children’s,” said Chief Quality Officer Dr. Angelo Giardino. “We have figured something out.”

Giardino, who attended the debrief of a two-day nursing care delivery summit, said he was hopeful for what the future of nursing at Texas Children’s has in store. The two-day summit brought together more than 60 frontline nurses, nursing leaders, representatives from human resources and leaders from across the organization. The frontline staff made a huge impact on the summit by bringing their ideas from the bedside to the leaders and investing in the re-design. The intent of gathering this particular group was to generate ideas, share concerns and form suggestions about the way nursing care is delivered by our 2,500 nurses.

“We felt the support of our leadership and other disciplines,” said Clinical Specialist Joellan Mullen. “They recognized the importance of the role of the nurse in patient care and quality outcomes.”

The strategy was to form groups that would then visit an area of the hospital unfamiliar to them. The groups each captured a day in the life of a nurse in order to determine the best strategy to improve the role of the nurses in that unit. By identifying challenges, they were able to understand what stands in the way of delivering the best possible care. Challenges included the need for better collaboration between the physicians and nurses during rounds, cluttered work spaces, a lack of standardization in pods, struggles with translation services, juggling the many duties of a nurse and role confusion.

“What I need from each of you is to be patient and hopeful,” said Chief Nursing Officer Lori Armstrong who listened to all of the reports.

It was a chance for not only Armstrong, but other leaders, including representatives from Human Resource,s to hear the needs of this dynamic group of employees at Texas Children’s and how their work can greatly impact patient outcomes. The three main overarching goals that were determined as a result of the summit are:

  1. Bring the RN closer to the bedside
  2. Ensure that the right discipline has the right responsibilities
  3. Ensure that there are no gaps in supplies, equipment or services needed to deliver care

“The Summit reinforced Texas Children’s commitment to empower the nursing staff to advocate for safe care for ALL patients by focusing on the right task done at the right time, by the right person,” said Patient Care Manager Tina Babb. “The Summit showed that Texas Children’s is committed to the future of nursing, health care, and our patients.”

As a result of the summit, an executive summary has been developed, a governance structure has been established with an executive steering committee, project steering team and work teams. The committee will begin meeting this fall and teams will kick off their work in January.

“What we learned from the summit was what action needs to be taken immediately to help our nurses deliver the best possible care to every patient,” Armstrong said.