Medical Device Integration Blog

Cyndi Coyne, RN

Recent Posts

National Nurses Week: RN shares her nursing career from detective to designer

Posted by Cyndi Coyne, RN on May 09, 2016 @ 11:30 AM

Celebrate National Nurses Week 2016!

Editor's note: In celebration of National Nurses Week we asked our own Cyndi Coyne, RN to share her career journey in nursing and advice she would give to this year’s graduating class of nurses. (She even reveals her pinning ceremony photo!)

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Tags: Nurses, National Nurses Week

Be Prepared!

Posted by Cyndi Coyne, RN on Sep 22, 2015 @ 04:00 AM

In addition to being a nurse, I have been the proud mom to a Boy Scout for quite some time now.  He absolutely loves the Scouts and it’s been a wonderful experience for him.  I have to admit, he is growing and maturing into quite a fine young man and, with the help of great Scout Masters as well as a lot of hard work on his part, he’s developed leadership skills that he would’ve had a hard time acquiring outside of Scouts.  His ultimate goal is to become an Eagle Scout.  He is well on his way and I have no doubt he will attain it.

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Tags: Nurses, Nursing Stories, Clinical, Clinical Analytics, Nurses Week, Clinical Documentation

Healthcare IT: A Nurse’s Revealing Perspective

Posted by Cyndi Coyne, RN on Nov 19, 2014 @ 02:54 PM

Hey! IT departments, CIOs, CNIOs! Did you know that your nurses are NOT happy!?! The results of a survey by Black Book Market Research were just released and it isn’t good. More than 13,000 nurses were surveyed for Black Book’s EHR Loyalty Poll and, I’ll warn you, what they had to say may be very tough to hear.

Nurses’ dissatisfaction with their electronic health record system is at an all-time high with 92% saying they were unhappy with the EMR system in their healthcare facility. That’s a shockingly high number!

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Tags: Patient Care, Patient Safety, Nurses, Workflow, Health IT, Healthcare Technology, Nursing Stories, Clinical, Healthcare IT Departments

Patient-centered Care

Posted by Cyndi Coyne, RN on Oct 10, 2014 @ 05:00 PM

Patient-centered Care … it’s a phrase I’ve heard from the beginning of my nursing career.  But do our actions back up our words?  Is the patient truly the center of our care?  It is certainly what nurses strive to do, what we all want for our patients, and what we expect when it is a loved one who is the patient. But with all of the distractions during any given shift—some necessary, some not—it’s difficult to keep the focus on our patients.

Complicated workflows, redundant, time-consuming documentation, inefficient hospital unit design, unproductive processes can all pull the clinician’s attention away from direct patient care and create unnecessary steps to complete tasks.  There are so many tasks that must be performed during any given shift that it can be difficult, if not impossible, to get it all done. It can be overwhelming. 

With so many responsibilities, there is a risk that nurses may resort to prioritizing the many tasks required and possibly leaving some undone, known as “missed nursing care”, in order to just make it through their shift.  Activities such as ambulation, turning, patient education, and discharge planning are very important duties that, if missed, can cause complications such as blood clots or pressure ulcers, or worse, lead to increased length of stay and a greater chance of re-admission.

As we move from a fee-for-service to a value-based care model (where hospitals are paid a fixed fee according to diagnosis), it is increasingly important to provide the absolute best care possible.  We can’t afford to have anything missed.  Payers will not cover complications, extended inpatient days, and readmissions.

Fortunately, technology is available that can help by reducing obstacles and assimilating seamlessly into clinicians’ natural workflow.  Wearable communication devices aid in locating staff, asking for assistance, and can even alert staff to alarms or call lights.  Rapid sign-on devices can speed up the process of logging in to a computer workstation.  Automating the capture and documentation of the vast amount of data emitted by the medical devices used to monitor and treat patients is very effective in assisting clinicians.  I can speak from experience.  I worked in critical care prior to device integration and it is very time consuming to manually key in all that information.  I can tell you there is a world of difference after the deployment of device integration. 

Capsule has solutions to accomplish device integration.  SmartLinx Vitals Stream can acquire all the continuous data from the devices used in critical care, OR, endoscopy…wherever these type of devices are used.  Even med-surg can benefit from integrating mobile vital signs monitors with Capsule’s SmartLinx Chart Xpress.  And with the addition of the Early Warning Scoring System, the clinician can be alerted to a patient who is at risk of serious decline early so interventions can be set in place to help prevent a serious event.  The outcome of medical device integration is accurate data sent directly to the patient record nearly simultaneously with its collection and greatly reducing the number of necessary steps to complete the process.  This results in the recovery of time that can be redirected to patient care, enhancing the ability of nurses and the rest of the care team to perform the duties essential to helping patients recover.  Time also helps them stay tuned in to the patient’s condition so they can recognize changes that can lead to the development of serious complications.    

Keeping the patient in the center of what we do is what contributes to the overall patient experience and leads to better patient outcomes, as well as higher nurse and staff satisfaction. Most important, though, it’s how we want all patients treated.

Does your hospital promote patient-centered care?
What initiatives have been instituted to ensure the focus is kept on the patient?
What obstacles have you seen that hinder this effort?
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Tags: Patient Care, Medical Device Integration, Nurses

Time. It’s What Med-Surg Nurses Need Most to Care for Patients

Posted by Cyndi Coyne, RN on Aug 27, 2014 @ 11:01 AM

I read an article a few weeks ago that truly blew me away. It first caught my attention in Becker’s Hospital Review, but I have since seen it appear in other publications, such as the Wall Street Journal. It was about bringing nurses back to the bedside. You may be thinking “Isn’t that where they are already?” But here’s the big surprise. The article was about Novant Health in North Carolina and their initiative to free-up nurses so they can spend more time doing what they do best: taking care of patients.

It all began when hospital leaders wanted to know how much time nurses actually spent in patient rooms during a 12 hour shift. What they found was shocking to me, at first. It was only 2 ½-3 hours! They weren’t alone; other healthcare organizations had similar findings. Still, that really floored me! But then I recalled when I was a bedside nurse and I have to admit, considering the nurse/patient ratios and all the activities involved in caring for the average med-surg patient, 2 ½-3 hours sounds about right. I often commented that although it may have taken me five minutes to complete a task, it took more than twice as long to gather the supplies … sometimes having to call or even go to another department … then round up a co-worker to provide an extra set of hands, and afterwards, of course, document it all. With shorter patient stays, quicker patient turnover, and older, sicker patients, med-surg nurses are really squeezed.

Novant decided to do something about it and set an ambitious goal—70% of nurses’ time (or 8.5 hours of a 12 hour shift) spent in patient rooms. To develop a plan to accomplish this, they gathered a group of 40 nurses from across their healthcare system. Wisely, they engaged their own experienced nurses to brainstorm solutions instead of hiring an outside consulting group to swoop in, do a big study, and then dictate a plan of action. The nurses studied process flow and discovered the top activities that pulled them away from the bedside: hunting for supplies, tracking down medications, filling out paperwork, and looking for test results.

The battle plan they developed involved implementing a care team approach that called for LPNs, CNAs, pharmacy techs, and other support staff, to rally around the RN to ensure all of a patient’s needs would be addressed. This included some adjustments in each person’s role so that each team member functions to the full extent of their training and licensing.

In addition, they relocated supplies either in or closer to patient rooms; brought medications to the point-of-care; and implemented an EMR with physician order entry, along with a computer workstation in each patient room. This was all aimed at reducing the required steps in caring for the patient along with documenting that care. Bringing everything the patient needs to the point of care—what a revolutionary idea!

Integral to this strategy was automating the capture of medical device data, which freed-up the clinician from the manual process of entering data into the patient record; not to mention increasing the accuracy of the data, as well. It’s an essential tool that allows nurses more time to focus on the most important part of their job—the patient.

Research proves the more time nurses spend at the bedside, the fewer patient falls, the fewer medication errors, the higher the patient satisfaction rates, and the lower the infection rates. Furthermore, nursing satisfaction also increases, leading to lower nurse turnover. Med-surg units are the backbone of any hospital. Easing the workload of this vital group can only lead to good things.

Oh, and by the way, Novant reached their goal. Nurses are now spending 72% of their time in patients’ rooms allowing them to not only care for their patients, but also keep patients and their families better informed regarding post-hospital care, ways to improve their health, and the prevention of subsequent hospitalizations. Very impressive Novant! Bravo!

How much time do you think nurses at your hospital are engaged in direct patient care?
What measures have been instituted in your organization to increase nurses’ time at the bedside?

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Tags: Medical Device Connectivity, Medical Device Integration, Nurses, Medical Device Information System, Med-Surg