Thursday, July 3, 2008

Loyola Nurses Pursue Perfection in the Care of Patients, Families

New care model designed to improve care, boost one-on-one interaction, speed healing

MAYWOOD, Ill. - In tandem with its new $120 million tower that features state-of-the-art operating rooms, private patient rooms and the latest medical technology, Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., has introduced a new nursing care model that takes a unique approach in caring for patients and their families.

The Magis Patient & Family Model makes patients and their families' partners in treatment with the goal of improving patients' physical and spiritual comforts, speeding healing and improving overall performance at the medical center.

"Patient outcomes can be significantly improved by taking this kind of approach," said Paula Hindle, RN, MSN, MBA, vice president, chief nurse executive, Loyola. "We've tried to learn from the most successful practices and combine them with our own Magis values of care, concern, respect and cooperation. As a result, we've developed a program that is unique to Loyola with a new model that will touch nearly every aspect of our patient care."

The new model increases the time nurses spend at each bedside, ensuring that patients and their families receive as much one-on-one attention and hands-on care as needed. The tower supports the new model by eliminating large, central nursing stations on patient floors and replacing them with smaller stations outside patient rooms. Nurses are able to hold small "hallway huddles" to confer about patients with complex conditions.

To place nurses closer to patients, nurses are assigned patients in groups of four with a nurse located in the center of each group who can easily see all four patients. Also, one patient care technician is assigned to every two nurses in adjoining groups.

"The new model and the tower are really our way of empowering patients and their families to ensure the best possible outcomes," said Debbie Jasovsky, PhD, RN, CNAA, BC, associate chief nurse executive, Loyola.

"Family members are able to consult with physicians and nurses about treatment options and patient preferences are respected, including their religious and cultural traditions. Since the rooms are private, we're able to offer some family members the option of staying overnight in the patient's room if they choose," Jasovsky added.

Loyola spent months testing and refining the system in other parts of the hospital before introducing it to the tower.

"In time we should be able to begin applying the successful tactics to other areas of the hospital and even to our ambulatory facilities," Hindle said.

One of the most visible signs of the new model is the introduction of new uniforms for all nurses at Loyola. The uniforms consist of ceil-blue scrubs with white jackets. Some of the other positions will have specific uniforms as well. Other staff members, such as patient care technicians and transporters, will also wear uniforms to help patients instantly recognize who they are.

"We know that nurses like the flexibility of wearing different tops to work each day," Ms. Hindle said. "But many of our patients have told us that they often don't know which person in the room is a nurse and a standard look will help to take care of that issue."

The Magis Patient- & Family-centered Model includes a wide range of practices, such as:

* Nurses are to make hourly rounds for pain, positioning and toileting. * Nurses will be expected to ask probing questions to determine levels of pain and other symptoms. * Nurses and physicians will be expected to follow the four Ps to reflect on each patient's care - pause, ponder, plan and pray. * Nurses will ask patients for their goals each day.

To find the most ideal nurse candidates who will be committed to providing this higher level of care, the human resources department at Loyola is using a new recruiting process that places more emphasis on a performance assessment tool. All nurse candidates also are personally interviewed by a vice president, and the orientation process includes an additional 3.5 days focused on communication skills.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.