Nurses at MedStar Health are involved in a host of initiatives to improve the quality of care for patients and advance the practice of nursing. Our leadership is dedicated to energizing and empowering professional nursing throughout MedStar. The landscape of healthcare delivery is changing and the nursing profession is rising to the challenge to meet the needs of the individual patient as well as improving safety and efficacy of care for populations of patients.
Our nurses are developing technology to enhance patient care, participating in research to test innovative ideas and processes, and gaining applicable knowledge through our professional speakers series and ongoing continuing education opportunities.
Nursing Practice: Supported by Technology and Innovation
Our goal at MedStar is to provide excellent patient care, supported by scientific and practice evidence. Electronic tools available for practice are designed and evaluated to support clinical decision-making and safe and coordinated care delivery. Having expert knowledge and information available at the point of care is a primary goal. Nursing involvement is encouraged at every level in the organization for development, implementation, use, and continuous improvement of the electronic health record and other clinical technologies and devices.
MedStar nurses have played a key role in the design, development and implementation of MedStar’s electronic health records (EHRs). For example, MedConnect design and implementation involved several hundred clinicians, many of whom continue to recommend ongoing changes and improvements. The EHR allows clinicians to access both summary and detailed views of the patient’s condition and treatment status with instant access to medical history, risks, test results, plans for care, and clinical and educational progress toward outcomes. Additional technology safety enhancements supporting practice include:
- Smart pumps for infusing medications
- Use of iPads for bedside rounding
- Use of devices that enable bar-coded medication administration and specimen collection
MedStar Health offers a robust, system-wide nursing research consortium focused on advancing and applying evidence-based practice to improve patient safety and healthcare outcomes. Through the implementation of research initiatives led by professional nurse researchers and practicing registered nurses, the goals of nursing research at MedStar include building resources to support evidence-based practice, creating an education and mentoring program to foster evidence-based practice research activities, and expanding multisite IRB-approved nursing research studies.
MedStar nurses are afforded many opportunities to continue learning and growing throughout their career. Each year, distinguished members of the nursing profession are invited to present their latest research findings or speak on innovations and advancements in nursing practice.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are granted through Georgetown University, our affiliated university for advanced medical and clinical education.
MedStar’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare
The National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare is the largest U.S. human factors engineering program situated within a healthcare system. We are a collaboration between the MedStar Institute for Innovation and the MedStar Health Research Institute. The center brings together human factors engineers, systems safety engineers, health services researchers, and clinicians to conduct basic safety science and applied research in medicine to improve quality, efficiency, reliability, and safety.
Our mission is to improve patient safety, identify and test ways to better protect patients, and create ultra-safe healthcare environments at MedStar Health and beyond.
How Does Human Factors Apply to Health Care?
- Improving patient safety by understanding human capabilities and limitations
- Creating more efficient processes in medical care
- Enhancing communication between healthcare providers
- Promoting a better understanding of a patient’s medical condition
- Implementing effective and sustainable RCA solutions
- Reducing the risk of medical device use error
- Creating intuitive devices that reduce the need for training
- Designing easier-to-use health IT solutions to support care providers
MedStar Simulation Training & Education Lab (SiTEL)
MedStar SiTEL is the education technology group of MedStar Health, with two laboratories in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Our mission is to transform educational approaches in health care by developing 21st century training technologies with state-of-the-art educational approaches that are user friendly and easily accessible. Services include:
- Clinical Simulation Services
- Digital Media Services
- A Software Development Group
- Clinical Educator Services
- Outreach Services
SiTEL works closely with its academic partners, including the MedStar Health Research Institute, the National Center for Human Factors Engineering in Healthcare, the Georgetown University School of Medicine and School of Nursing and Health Studies, and the MedStar Health Office of Graduate Medical Education.