Another Look at RN Skill Level & Patient Outcomes

(First Published in Linked In Pulse Aug 5, 2015 by Ruth Hansten)

 Optimal Skill Levels would be 100%.

In reviewing 1382 RNs’ self-assessed skill level before RROHC (Relationship & Results Oriented Healthcare) best practice education, I was  struck by the minimum values of various organizational cohorts.  All groups included RNs with all levels of experience, prior to our education processes.

The implications for patient and organizational results are staggering.

  • If RNs know where patients came from and are likely to be discharged to, if they plan effectively, then patients could enjoy reduced lengths of acute care stay, and potentially fewer readmissions due to excellent care coordination.
  • If RNs lead their teams with appropriate initial direction, delegation, supervision, reciprocal feedback, and evaluation of care then there could be fewer care omissions and acquired problems such as CAUTIs, pressure ulcers, pneumonia, and/or embolic conditions due to lack of movement, hygiene, observation, nutrition, hydration.  Yes, these are nursing care tasks often completed by assistive team members.
  • If RNs understand their impact on patient results, and feel they truly connect with patients, an engaged workforce can be correlated with less employee turnover but also fewer healthcare acquired infections or conditions.
  • How happy or safe would a patient/family be with a nurse that was not willing to stand up for opinions or intuition, or reflect on and evaluate their care processes?  Gaps in critical thinking attitudes and habits can lead to dissatisfied patients and errors.
  • All these issues have economic implications in value-based healthcare.

Perhaps it’s time to review the basics.  Find out whether these professional practice issues are impacting your results.

RNs must lead and practice effectively and professionally for optimal patient safety and results to occur.

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