Partnering with Physicians to Improve Communication
By Lisa Wannebo, BSN, RN
Over the past couple of years, I have been the primary coordinator of a quality improvement project involving the ambulatory float nurses and the providers and nurses in the Endocrine, Neurology, and Pulmonary Clinics. The project uses the ambulatory float nurses' unique knowledge of current practice and clinic-specific workflows to help us devise an intervention to improve utilization of Health Link—our electronic health record—and specifically the InBasket function.
The goal of the project was to promote proper use of the InBasket among the providers to improve workflow, work efficiency, RN satisfaction, and ultimately provide excellent patient- and family-centered care. The project involved oneon-one education between an ambulatory float nurse and provider focusing on 18 points of InBasket education, which included pre- and post-surveys. The surveys were key in indicating improvement in provider knowledge, understanding and use of the InBasket, increased workflow efficiency and improved RN job satisfaction.
Overall, working with providers and nurses in the various clinics was a very rewarding experience and improved my own job satisfaction. This project opened new opportunities and allowed me to grow professionally, for example, by giving a poster presentation titled, "Optimization and Utilization of Electronic Medical Record" with one of my colleagues at the annual AAACN nursing conference in Las Vegas. I also presented the project and outcomes with two of my colleagues at the annual EPIC conference, to hospital administrators from all over the country and to various UW Health clinics and ambulatory clinic managers.
This project has certainly reinforced to me that nursing makes a difference. With assertive nursing, we can improve the use of our electronic health record and provide seamless high quality patient care.