It is important that nurses have access to data to drive decision making. Data is collected from a variety of sources. These sources include the electronic health record (EHR), event reporting, patient and staff satisfaction surveys, financial statements, accrediting bodies, and regulatory agencies.
Data collected via the EHR support nurse leaders in tracking fall risks, hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), such as catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), surgical site infections (SSI) and ventilator acquired pneumonia (VAP). Changes in nursing practice are often driven by a rise in the incidence of falls or any one of the HAIs.
EXAMPLEA nurse observes that more patients fall during the evening shift. Postulating that there is a connection between staffing levels and/or skill mix, the nurse asks his manager to help him review the staffing and assignment data and compare that to the fall rate. Data analysis revealed falls occurred most frequently on Fridays and Saturdays between the hours 9:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. During these time frames, there were two fewer staff members on the unit due to a combination of scheduled breaks and completion of stocking and inventorying supplies. These preliminary discoveries created a sense of urgency leading to a deeper analysis of the circumstances and the identification of proposed solutions (Soriano, Siegel, Kim, & Catz, 2019).
EXAMPLEIn another situation, the infection prevention nurse noted an upward trend in the number of CAUTIs over the last six months. She used reports gleaned from the EHR to identify patient demographics, providers, units, nurses, diagnosis, underlying conditions and length of time the remained in place. Her initial data analysis created a sense of urgency to continue to explore the cause or causes of the increased CAUTI rates and recommend possible solutions.
Authored by Anne E. Lara, Ed. D., MS, RN, CPHQ, CPHRM
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