Akron Children’s nurses honored

By William K. Alcorn



Hospitalwide commitment to a culture of patient safety led to national recognition of Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley for nursing excellence.

Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley is among six hospitals that received the American Nurse Association’s National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) Award for Outstanding Nursing Quality, and it is the top hospital in the pediatric category.

Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley submitted data on central- line blood stream infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, peripheral IV infiltrates, pressure ulcers, pain reassessment and use of restraints to NDNQI on a regular basis from all nursing units for evaluation by the ANA, said Lisa Aurilio, vice president of patient services and chief nursing officer for Akron Children’s Hospital.

For example, Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley data indicated it decreased its blood-stream infection rate for very low birth-weight infants, a leading cause of disease and death for premature babies, by 30 percent.

The lower infection rate was accomplished by implementing evidence-based best practices for central venous catheter insertion and maintenance processes, hospital officials said.

Seventeen clinical process and patient-outcome measures are evaluated to determine overall quality, said Aurilio, who, along with several Akron Children’s nurses, accepted the award presented by NDNQI during the association’s recent Nursing Quality Conference in Atlanta.

Awards are given annually to the best-performing hospitals in six categories: academic medical center, teaching hospital, community hospital, pediatric hospital, rehabilitation hospital and psychiatric hospital.

To be eligible, hospitals must participate in the annual RN Survey and submit data on 17 clinical process and patient-outcome measures to determine overall quality. The award recipients demonstrated superior results and sustained improvement in patient outcomes that are tied to the quality of nursing services and nurse work environment factors, according to the ANA.

Receiving the award is the result of setting patient-care standards high and continuing to improve by analyzing data and learning from mistakes, said Holly Oleska, one of the nurses who represented Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley in Atlanta.

For example, in the emergency department, where Oleska is one of four clinical coordinators, data on infection rates and how quickly antibiotics are administered to patients with compromised immune systems are measured, she said.

Others who accompanied Aurilio to Atlanta were Diane Lockett of St. Elizabeth Health Center Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit and Akron Children’s Beeghly Campus Special Care Nursery; Sheryl Mook of Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley Surgical Services; and Jill Rankin of Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley pediatric unit.

“This award is meaningful to the entire Akron Children’s family and lets people see a return on their efforts. I am appreciative and humble to be a part of the team,” William Considine, the hospital’s president and chief executive officer, said when the honor was celebrated last month at Akron Children’s Beeghly Campus in Boardman.

“Akron Children’s commitment to the Just Culture model leads us to investigate the cause of human error instead of punishing people for their mistakes ... [and] to reduce system failures and respond when failures do occur,” Aurilio said.

The Just Culture doesn’t remove responsibility, but mistakes are dealt with in a nonpunitive way that encourages staff to step forward so we can learn and improve, said Oleska, a graduate of the Kent State University School of Nursing.

“Nurses have the power to influence a patient’s hospital experience and, most importantly, their ultimate health outcome through their teamwork, innovation, leadership, and dedication,” Aurilio said. “Akron Children’s shows it has performed the best among pediatric hospitals in that regard.”

“Every day we see the teamwork. To have that recognized reinforces what we are doing and makes us very proud,” said Oleska of Boardman.

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