In her story, Laura Pease, MSN, RN-BC, describes nursing’s foundational role in patient safety and quality care. She serves as the Senior Director for Nursing Quality and Wound Care at Cleveland Clinic.
The World Health Organization has designated 2020 the Year of the Nurse, marking 200 years since Florence Nightingale was born. Instrumental in the genesis of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale could also be considered one of the pioneers of patient safety and quality in healthcare. Her influence was broad, from pioneering infection control measures to adopting holistic and integrative practices.
Quality care was built into her assumptions. In fact, there was no separation or distinction between good nursing practice and keeping the patient safe from harm. Our job as nurses is to keep patients safe and to continually evaluate our practice to ensure that the best, safest care is being provided. Nursing’s foundational principles and guidelines state that, as a profession, nursing has a responsibility to measure, evaluate, and improve the quality of nursing practice.
Nursing quality professionals evaluate the quality of patient care and ensure that state and hospital requirements are consistently being followed. We collect, evaluate, and analyze data specifically around nursing sensitive indicators, elements of patient care that are directly affected by nursing practice. Review of the benchmarked nursing data generates quality improvement projects. Adoption and implementation of evidence-based practice is essential and directly influences the safety and quality of care delivered. Our team is also involved in shared governance and driving improvement by engaging all nursing caregivers in the constructive actions of improving patient care, and inspiring and empowering the staff in their efforts to keep making progress.
In my role, I am fortunate to work with many different disciplines across various departments throughout the Cleveland Clinic enterprise. I love working with teams to find solutions to difficult problems. Improving nursing practice ultimately impacts every patient that we have the honor to serve. And, that, in and of itself, inspires me.