Nursing Studies Aim For Better Patient Care at Medstar Georgetown

(Washington, D.C.) – The Magnet® nurses at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital are conducting studies aimed at improved and even more supportive patient care.

“Nurses often work the closest and the longest hours with our patients, so their input can really make a huge difference,” said Kimberly Groner, MSN, RN, ANP-C, CCRC, NE-BC, director of Professional Practice, Research and Outcomes at MedStar Georgetown.

 “MedStar Georgetown nurses have studied new ways to benefit our patients for many years. I’ve seen nursing research make strides in specialties like transplant, pain management, rheumatologic diseases, cognitive and behavioral therapy, exercise and arthritis.”

One study involves nurses at MedStar Georgetown and their perceptions, comfort and support of advance care planning. On National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16 Georgetown nurses set up information tables, handed out packets and answered questions from 220 patients and visitors about advance care planning.   Study leaders will use a survey taken by two groups of nurses to gauge whether or not the event influenced their knowledge and perceptions.

“Our nurses want to have the knowledge and comfort to assist patients who need information about advance care planning, “said Groner. “This study will look at whether or not getting involved with an effort to educate the public helps.”

Debra Long, a recent in-patient at MedStar Georgetown discusses her opinions on the video tool study with principal investigator Marlena Fisher, BSN, RN, CCRN
Debra Long, a recent in-patient at MedStar Georgetown discusses her opinions on the video tool study with principal investigator Marlena Fisher, BSN, RN, CCRN

Another study uses a video tool to provide patients and their families with information in laypersons’ terms about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), life support and patient/family confidence in their decisions about end of life care.  

“Participants take a questionnaire before and after viewing a ten minute video to see if their knowledge on these important topics improves,” said Groner. Our aim is to survey fifty people at first and if we find it helpful, we will make the video a standard practice to include more patients because we will have evidence-based research to prove that it works.”

Debra Long, a recent in-patient at MedStar Georgetown participated in the video tool study administered by principal investigator Marlena Fisher, BSN, RN, CCRN.

Debra Long, a recent in-patient at MedStar Georgetown, participated in the video tool study.
Debra Long views the video tool on about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), life support, and other subjects related to care.

“I thought the video was very helpful,” said Long.  I was very comfortable watching it and I think others would benefit from the information provided. I have talked with my family members about these very issues.”

“Research has shown that traditional methods to educate patients about CPR and life-sustaining measures haven’t worked very well,” said Fisher. “We want to provide our patients with the terms used by the medical community and see if the video helps them retain the information. Participation in the survey is completely voluntary.”

MedStar Georgetown nurses are also studying the effects of a curriculum whose purpose is to improve the care of the elderly, called NICHE, Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders.

MedStar Georgetown nurses, who are already NICHE certified are looking at a protocol that could mean a better night’s sleep for some older patients.

“The nurses consulted with physicians and proposed taking patients’ vital signs at 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. instead of midnight and 8 a.m.,” said Groner. We think these might be hours when patients are actually sleeping and we want to determine if this allows for a more restful patient experience. It could be a very simple and practical way to help our patient get better sleep and maybe even heal faster.”

MedStar Georgetown was the first center in Washington, D.C. to achieve prestigious Magnet status back in 2004 by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC) and joins just 71 other institutions, or fewer than seven percent of hospitals nationwide, to be recognized by the Magnet Recognition Program® three times in a row.  The program recognizes healthcare organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice.

Nurses-National-Healthcare-Decisions-Day-by-M-Worley

 

About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute-care teaching and research hospital with 609 beds located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis—caring for the whole person—MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options within a trusting and compassionate environment.

MedStar Georgetown’s centers of excellence include neurosciences, transplant, cancer and gastroenterology. Along with Magnet® nurses, internationally recognized physicians, advanced research and cutting-edge technologies, MedStar Georgetown’s healthcare professionals have a reputation for medical excellence and leadership. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital—Knowledge and Compassion Focused on You.

 

Media Contact

Marianne Worley
[email protected]
703-558-1287

Anesthesia with Fewer Opioids Means Patients Suffer Less Nausea and Some Experience Better Pain Relief

Chronic Pain Sufferers Already Taking Narcotics for Pain Can Benefit from New Anesthesia Technique

(November 17, 2014- Washington, D.C.) When 58-year-old Angi English of Austin, Texas was in Washington, D.C. as a student of the Naval Postgraduate School this past summer, it was during a walking tour of the White House that the pain in her foot became so excruciating she asked to be taken to the closest emergency department. What she thought was a spider bite turned out to be a serious and stubborn infection that wouldn’t heal. She had a raging superbug infection (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA) and needed immediate surgery to save her foot.MGUH-Angi-English-Anesthesia

“There I was, far away from home, facing surgery, which to me always meant intense nausea and vomiting from the anesthesia I was routinely given,” said English. ”It was always an uphill battle for me to come out of the anesthesia and sometimes I had to stay longer in the hospital just to recover from the anesthesia medications.”

But in the hours before her operation, Joseph Myers, MD, anesthesiologist at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital counseled English about a new technique that involves fewer opioids for pain and instead relies upon narcotic alternatives which are associated with less nausea. Dr. Myers developed the ComfortSafe Pyramid™ as the foundation of the ComfortSafe Anesthetic technique. “The technique focuses on the use of narcotic alternative medications, several of which are newly available. It allows us to relieve pain and avoid narcotic side effects including nausea, vomiting, respiratory depression, hypotension, constipation, addiction and prolonged confusion,” said Dr. Myers.MGUH-Anesthesia-Foot-1

“When I woke up after my surgery I was clear headed and alert. I remembered the conversations I’d had with my doctors and nurses, I ate crackers and apple juice right away and had no pain,” said English. “A little later I went up to my room and I ate Greek yogurt with raspberries and honey and drank coffee and never felt one ounce, not one iota of nausea. It was like night and day compared to my previous experiences with anesthesia.”

The ComfortSafe Pyramid™ is a checklist for treating pain when a patient is under anesthesia. It is a hierarchy and, like going up the steps of a pyramid, pain is first treated using the safest methods with the fewest side effects. Often, we don’t have to go to the higher levels at which nausea, vomiting, and prolonged sedation are so common.

“This reduced use of opioids or narcotics in anesthesia is a trend that is being adopted by practitioners nationally and in our department, “ said Russell Wall, MD, chief of Anesthesia at MedStar Georgetown. “We also see this as a very beneficial technique in the growing number of patients with chronic low back, hip or knee pain who present to us on large doses of opioids.”

“In patients who are opioid tolerant we emphasize non-narcotic pain medications to avoid worsening the patient’s dependence on opioids,” said Dr. Myers. “The ComfortSafe Pyramid™ directs these choices for treating pain allowing us to reduce and sometimes completely avoid opioid narcotics, their side effects and addictive potential. Narcotics are still readily available, if needed, since patient comfort remains the priority.”

“I never thought I’d be delightfully happy with the anesthesia portion of any surgical experience,” said English. “But that’s exactly what happened. Because of my successful and uncomplicated surgery I was able to finish my class in Washington, D.C. and I’ll be graduating with my master’s degree this December. If I ever have to have surgery again here in Texas I plan on asking about and educating the medical personnel here about the ComfortSafe Technique.”

Media Contact

Marianne Worley
[email protected]
703-558-1287

Prestigious Magnet® Designation Bestowed to Nursing Program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital—For the Third Time

American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognition Program® is an Indicator for Excellence in Patient Care

(Washington, D.C.) – January 9, 2014 - MedStar Georgetown University Hospital proudly announces it has achieved Magnet® designation for the third consecutive time by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). MedStar Georgetown joins just 71 other institutions or fewer than seven percent of hospitals nationwide, to be recognized by the Magnet Recognition Program® three times in a row.

MedStar Georgetown was the first hospital in Washington, D.C. to achieve Magnet status back in 2004.

“We are honored to be acknowledged by the ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program and to achieve this prestigious designation for a third time,” said Richard Goldberg, MD, president of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. “Our nurses at MedStar Georgetown exhibit the highest of standards when it comes to professionalism and excellence in caring for our patients. I know I join all of my colleagues at MedStar Georgetown in expressing how proud we are to work with them each day and how grateful we are for their role in taking their profession to such a high level of quality and distinction.”

ANCC bestowed its first Magnet designation in 1994 with the idea that the honor would act as a “magnet” for excellence by promoting professionalism in nursing. Magnet recognition is seen as the highest accolade a hospital nursing system can achieve.

A recent study found better patient outcomes in hospitals whose nurses had achieved Magnet recognition. The research results were published in the October 2012 issue of Medical Care, the official journal of the Medical Care section of the American Public Health Association.

“Receiving this national designation by the Magnet Recognition Program points to the excellence of our nurses and all their hard work,” said Eileen Ferrell, MS, BSN, RN, chief nursing officer at MedStar Georgetown. “It means our nurses are high-performing professionals who are committed to delivering extraordinary care to our patients and their families. It also means our nurses are involved in clinical research and performance improvement, all in the best interests of our patients.”

Currently the ANCC asks each institution applying for Magnet status to submit a plan on how the organization will achieve an 80-percent rate of nurses with baccalaureate degree or higher in nursing. This target is consistent with The Institute of Medicine’s report on “The Future of Nursing” which recommends an increase in the number of nurses with baccalaureate degrees to 80-percent by 2020. MedStar Georgetown is proud to have already met this goal with more than 80-percent of our nurses holding a bachelor’s degree or higher in nursing.

Magnet recognition is bestowed upon an organization for a four-year time frame, and an organization that desires to continue to be recognized must re-apply for the designation.

About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute-care teaching and research hospital with 609 beds located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis—caring for the whole person—MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options within a trusting and compassionate environment.

MedStar Georgetown’s centers of excellence include neurosciences, transplant, cancer and gastroenterology. Along with Magnet® nurses, internationally recognized physicians, advanced research and cutting-edge technologies, MedStar Georgetown’s healthcare professionals have a reputation for medical excellence and leadership.

About The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®

The Magnet Recognition Program® administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the largest and most prominent nurses credentialing organization in the world, recognizes healthcare organizations that provide the very best in nursing care and professionalism in nursing practice. The Magnet Recognition Program serves as the gold standard for nursing excellence and provides consumers with the ultimate benchmark for measuring quality of care. For more information about the Magnet Recognition Program and current statistics, visit www.nursecredentialing.org/magnet.

Media Contact

Marianne Worley
[email protected]
703-558-1287

Georgetown University Hospital Recognized for Outstanding Commitment to Patient Safety

(Washington, D.C.) — The District of Columbia Hospital Association (DCHA) has awarded the 2011 DCHA Patient Safety Award to Georgetown University Hospital’s Center for Patient Safety. The prestigious award recognizes individuals or teams from a DCHA member who demonstrate exceptional commitment to improving the culture of safety in an institution.

As he presented the award to GUH's chief medical officer Stephen Evans, MD at an awards dinner on October 19, DC Councilmember and chair of the Council’s Committee on Health David A. Catania said, “The DCHA Patient Safety Award is presented as a way of recognizing the high priority safety and quality care taken in the day-to-day activities of our hospitals. DCHA is very proud to present this year’s award for outstanding efforts to the Georgetown University Hospital Center for Patient Safety.”

Georgetown University Hospital successfully launched a Center for Patient Safety (CPS) to hardwire responsibility for patient safety throughout the Hospital. The CPS membership includes physicians, nurses, pharmacists, therapists and other clinical and non-clinical Hospital leaders, who have led many initiatives that have enhanced the culture of patient safety at GUH and heightened awareness of patient safety at all levels of the organization.

Among the many CPS initiatives is a mandatory safety curriculum that was developed and implemented to ensure that all residents, fellows, medical students, associates, patients and family members are properly educated on patient safety and what that means at Georgetown. Today, more than 600 physicians, 400 students and 1,000 nurses have attended these ongoing sessions.

Media Contact

Marianne Worley
703-558-1287
[email protected]

Patient Contact: 202-342-2400