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American Association of Critical-Care Nurses program demonstrates impact on future of nursing

Regional cohort of eight central Texas hospitals reports improved patient outcomes, financial savings from nurse-led initiatives

ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Aug. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The strategic response by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) to the Institute of Medicine's landmark report, "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health," continues to demonstrate ongoing impact during its initial implementation in six regional markets.

AACN began the national rollout of AACN Clinical Scene Investigator (CSI) Academy, a 16-month, hospital-based nurse leadership and innovation training program, in 2012 with teams of staff nurses from 42 hospitals. The program empowers bedside nurses as clinician leaders and change agents whose initiatives generate quantifiable improvements in the quality of patient care and hospital bottom lines.

"In its report, the Institute of Medicine calls for nurses to play a vital role in leading the transformation of healthcare," said AACN Senior Director Caryl Goodyear-Bruch, RN, PhD, NEA-BC. "Initial results from AACN CSI Academy clearly demonstrate the impact of frontline nurses as leaders in efforts to enhance patient care while decreasing costs — to the tune of $21 million in anticipated savings from project initiatives thus far."

AACN CSI Academy teams at eight central Texas hospitals recently presented the results of their projects at an Innovation Conference in Austin, reporting noteworthy clinical and fiscal outcomes. These results and supporting materials are available online in the free AACN CSI Academy Innovation Database.

Among the teams' clinical successes:

  • Decreased pressure ulcer incidence by 39 percent
  • Decreased central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) by 57 percent
  • Reduced mechanical ventilation of critically ill patients by 0.3 day
  • Decreased patient falls by 40 percent
  • Reduced noise levels in the intensive care unit by up to 22 percent
  • Decreased handoff incident reports between emergency department and intensive care unit by 100 percent

The Texas nurse-led initiatives represent a combined fiscal impact of more than $1 million in expected annual savings to the organizations.

Jane McCurley, RN, DNP, MBA, NEA-BC, FACHE, chief nursing officer at St. David's North Austin Medical Center, witnessed her staff nurses grow clinically and professionally as they participated in the program, becoming champions for continued education and improvement in their different areas.

"AACN CSI Academy provided additional training for nurses to fully develop the leadership and project management skills needed to implement change at the bedside, where performance improvement efforts should begin," McCurley said.

"Through AACN CSI Academy, AACN continues its long-term commitment to teach, mentor and assist clinical staff," she continued. "With its strong alignment with the Institute of Medicine's recommendations for the future of nursing, the program is a driving force in expanding opportunities for nurses to lead collaborative improvement efforts." 

In addition to St. David's North Austin Medical Center, other central Texas hospitals participating in AACN CSI Academy were:

As part of its broader mission to share clinical solutions and patient care innovations, AACN makes available project materials from each team, including plans, data collection tools, practice resources and references in a searchable online database. Access the database from the AACN CSI Academy Web page or at www.aacn.org/csi.

"The AACN CSI Academy Innovation Database, with its real-world project plans and other resources, is a powerful way to extend the impact of AACN's investment in the program," Goodyear-Bruch said.

The Texas nursing teams represent the fourth regional group to complete AACN CSI Academy, following Indiana, North Carolina and Massachusetts. Groups continue at hospitals in New York and Pennsylvania, where nurse participants are undertaking projects to prevent delirium and pressure ulcers, implement early mobility programs, reduce noise, decrease unplanned patient readmissions and improve communication. In total, nursing teams from 42 hospitals will complete the program by the end of 2014.

As the only nursing excellence and leadership skill-building program that provides hospitals with both educational programming and grant funds to support project implementation, AACN CSI Academy represents a substantial investment of AACN's expertise and financial resources in nursing practice innovation.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, California, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 235 chapters worldwide. The organization's vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-4109;
Phone: (949) 362-2000; Fax: (949) 362-2020;
www.aacn.org; facebook.com/aacnface; twitter.com/aacnme

SOURCE American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)

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