This story originally appeared in IHI's 2007 Annual Progress Report.
One of the goals of improved bedside care is providing patients with more direct care from their doctors and nurses. When nurses are engaged in activities such as searching for supplies, they have less time to use the advanced nursing skills that benefit their patients.
At ThedaCare’s Appleton Medical Center in Appleton, Wisconsin, nurses can devote more time to patient care because of a streamlined replenishment system managed by inventory staff that dramatically reduces the time nurses spend gathering supplies. And by working in care teams with physicians and pharmacists, they are able to use their skills to do the things they are best suited for: determining a care plan, organizing resources to carry out that plan, closely monitoring the patient’s progress, and communicating with the family.
“Nurses have more time to think about the progression of care, the big picture,” says Jamie Dunham, MS, BSN, Business Unit Manager for Medical Services. “They collaborate more closely with the physician and pharmacist, so everyone is on the same page and things happen more quickly for the patients.” To keep everyone literally on the same page, Dunham says they are developing a single care plan, a document on which all caregivers will collaborate and that will serve as a decision making guide for the entire caregiving team.