Ideally, all healthcare leaders should understand how complicated the work nurses and other healthcare professionals do! After all, they make critically important decisions about budgets and staffing that impact our ability to provide safe, quality care.
That’s why Lynn McVey, President and CEO of Meadowland Hospital Medical Center and Blogger for Hospital Impact’s post on 2/16/2014 seems so important. In her story, “CEO gets patients’ view of complicated healthcare system”, she shares her experience with her 92 y.o. father during his recent hospitalization. Hospitalizations, I should say, because “he entered three hospitals via three ambulances in three days for life-saving interventions.” She stayed with him much of the time and got a birds-eye view or perhaps a reality check of what’s involved in providing care for someone who may need close monitoring and can’t advocate effectively for themselves. She shared that even as CEO of the hospital she intercepted an incorrect lab test on her father’s behalf!
She is anticipated her father will be going home and has emerged from the experience with a new vision of nurse staffing that I think frontline care givers will find hopeful and validating.
Her vision as stated in the post, “is for a 1-1 nurse/advocate to inpatient ratio. One nurse who has a contact list similar to mine. One nurse who will navigate care coordination. One nurse to take blood, obtain vitals, give medications, order food, recite patient allergies, repeat patient history to anyone who asks. One nurse to transport the patient to radiology and back again. One nurse who, by this close association, can advocate and protect the patient from errors.”
Now this may not be realistic from a budgetary standpoint, yet her ideas offer powerful input into the direction we need to head if we really REALLY want to provide safe, quality care! And further, her senior position may help to raise awareness about this important perspective among her peers who are in powerful change agent positions!
Let’s take Lynn’s insider perspective and promote some authentic conversations among stakeholders! What do nurses need to provide safe quality care? How can we help consumers and other healthcare leaders realize the importance of safe staffing without having to be hospitalized? What can we do to convey the true costs of safe, quality care? How can we all help keep costs down? How can leaders provide resources to ensure quality care is safe and accessible to all. I know the answers are not simple, yet am very excited about the potential for having open, honest conversations with our healthcare leaders and consumers!