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Fort Memorial Hospital to participate in national nursing quality program

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Nursing administration at Fort Memorial Hospital was recently notified that the hospital’s application for participation in the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s Transforming Care at the Bedside Project has been accepted and approved. Fort Memorial Hospital will join more than two dozen hospitals in Wisconsin selected to participate in the Aligning Forces for Quality Transforming Care at the Bedside project.

Transforming Care at the Bedside is a new nurse-led hospital program that engages frontline staff to work together to identify, pilot, test and adopt new hospital-based nursing care practices over an 18-month period. Medical-surgical nursing units in select Wisconsin hospitals are enrolled in the project- an initiative designed to involve direct care providers in patient care improvements that allow for rapid change and direct influence on patient outcomes. The quality of care improvement process is part of an innovative nationwide program that brings together hospital teams from across the state to lead improvements in the quality and safety of patient care.

Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated to improving the health and health care of all Americans, Aligning Forces for Quality is the
Foundation’s signature effort to lift the overall quality of health care in targeted communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities and provide models for national reform. Participating nurses will then share their successes and lessons learned with other hospitals across the country.

According to Kathi Gebhardt, RN, manager of the hospital’s medical, surgical and pediatric unit, “The nursing staff on the Intensive Care, Intermediate Care and Medical Surgical Pediatrics inpatient units is pleased to be joining a group of hospitals across Wisconsin in this initiative. This project will give front line staff direction as well as autonomy to consider and implement best practices for patient outcomes”. She added, “We are very excited to be part of this project, which will enhance the care we are able to provide for our community.”

The WHA has long been a proponent of methods to improve care at the patient bedside. “As Wisconsin and the nation look at improving care, it is important that we provide local models of reforms that are good for everyone,” said Judy Warmuth, Wisconsin Hospital Association vice president, workforce development. “Wisconsin hospitals’ participation in this program shows that we are committed to being a leader in improving patient care and increasing efficiency to produce better outcomes. By participating in the Transforming Care at the Bedside project, nurses will be on the frontlines, working together with others across Wisconsin to formulate innovations and improve the care they deliver.”

The hospital units participating in the project are also charged with spreading their improvement strategies to the entire hospital. “We have very motivated and talented staff and look forward to the process of improving the care we offer our patients and families, said Linda Detwiler, RN, manager of ICU and cardiopulmonary services at Fort HealthCare. “Although all units have been involved in quality improvement projects, implementing sustainable change across all nursing units is at times difficult. We are looking forward to working together with a program that has shown such consistent and positive results.”