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It’s National Nurses Week –- from May 6 through May 12 – and the theme this year is near and dear to me and to this blog: “Delivering Quality & Innovation in Patient Care.”
We’ve written plenty lately about the importance of listening to nurses’ reports about quality of care, and about how hospitals that don’t involve them in quality improvement initiatives are wasting a valuable resource, and it’s great to see the American Nurses Association (ANA) focus attention on issues of quality improvement as well.
In a statement about National Nurses Week, ANA president Karen A. Daley, PHD, RN, FAAN, wrote, “With demands from all directions to improve quality, increase efficiency, and reduce costs, it’s time to appreciate our strengths as innovators and share our insights and discoveries broadly wherever health care practices and policies are determined to be implemented.” Hear hear.
Kathleen Sebelius, director of the Department of Health and Human Services, weighed in with a statement about National Nurses Week also, stressing HHS’s efforts to building the nursing workforce and noting that the Affordable Care Act’s “emphasis on keeping people healthy, preventing illness, and managing chronic conditions, opens new opportunities for nurses to shape and lead the future delivery of healthcare and capitalizes on the expertise of the nursing profession.”
The ANA notes that one way nurses are helping to improve quality is “through the ANA’s National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI). About 1,900 hospitals participate in the program that enables the facilities to compare performance, identify problems, and develop new care strategies to improve patient safety and outcomes.”
But perhaps it’s best to leave the final word to the woman whose birthday (May 12) marks the final day of National Nurses Week – Florence Nightingale: “Unless we are making progress in our nursing every year, every month, every week, take my word for it we are going back.”