In a previous blog, I promised to further explore how we, the health IT community, can raise the visibility and value of nurses for improving patient safety and quality outcomes in the current scramble to take advantage of incentives.
Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a meeting of nurse leaders in the Mile High City of Denver. From this vantage point, we developed a strategy to ensure Stage 2 Meaningful Use includes quality measures sensitive to nursing care.
It was a pleasure to speak with my colleagues from around the country who are deeply engaged in quality-focused, patient-centered activities. And it was clear from the discussions that we are each challenged to absorb all of the information that we receive every day from a multitude of sources in order to be effective leaders in our organizations.
Although we are all nurses, we struggled at times to embrace a shared language during the discussion and to be able to understand each others’ ‘worlds’ and sift through the alphabet soup of national initiatives, standards and mandates.
Key objectives of the meeting were to:
Utilize the collective expertise and guidance of nurse leaders to develop a strategy to influence 2013 Meaningful Use Criteria
- Ensure the inclusion of at least one practice-based, research-supported quality measurement that is highly sensitive to nursing care;
- Develop the strategic roadmap for effecting 2013 Meaningful Use Policy;
- Review current state and identify critical gaps and resource needs to address theses gaps;
- Align and leverage the work of participants and other stakeholders towards the strategic roadmap; and
- Communicate the roadmap with various federal, nursing and quality organizations to achieve these goals.
It’s easy to see that these objectives can’t be accomplished in one day, but great progress was made.
The collective recommendation of the group is to advocate for the addition of pressure ulcer prevention as a patient-centered quality measure for Meaningful Use. This measure was chosen because it is a growing problem with a high impact on cost and resources in healthcare facilities, and it is largely avoidable with appropriate nursing care.
This measure supports national priorities and goals that have been set to align efforts to transform America’s healthcare. It’s also in line with the national vision to enable significant and measurable improvements in population health through a transformed healthcare delivery system.
Each of us was appreciative of the opportunity, provided by our hosts, Kaiser Permanente and the Veterans Health Administration, to build bridges and identify shared goals across our organizations. The meeting plan came together successfully in a matter of weeks, showing the commitment of the participants and hosts, as well as the importance of the topic.
It also provided a unique opportunity for nursing to develop and use our collective voice to garner support for this patient-centered quality measure. The desired result is not simply about the convening of a mountain top meeting for a few key participants. It’s about leveraging our shared knowledge and experience to accelerate the tipping point for ensuring nursing’s role in health IT.
Stay tuned for more on the emerging outreach activities designed to garner your support and act on your ideas for advancing this effort.
Joyce Sensmeier MS, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS serves as HIMSS Vice President of Informatics leading clinical informatics, standards, interoperability, privacy and security initiatives. She also serves as co-chair of the Alliance for Nursing Informatics, a collaboration of organizations, representing a unified voice for nursing informatics.