Dynamic Patient Events from a Novice Researcher

An interview with Ms. Valerie Moore, Nursing Informatics Specialist, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and 2013 recipient of the Michael Warner Nurse Staffing and Outcomes Research Grant sponsored by Cerner Corporation. The Michael Warner Nurse Staffing and Outcomes Research Grant was sponsored by Cerner Corporation and granted in 2013 to support a research project by a novice nurse researcher related to the adoption of innovative technology in nurse staffing and scheduling to meet patients’ and families’ needs and the relationship to quality and cost outcomes in the practice setting.

Ms. Valerie Moore was awarded this grant for her study, Dynamic Patient Events: Impact on Nursing Workload, Staffing, Adverse Events and Omissions of Nursing Care.

Valerie is very excited as she is putting the finishing touches on her research and preparing for upcoming publication. We sat down with Valerie as she wraps up this chapter of her research.

Here is some of our conversation:

AONE: You’re in the home stretch with your research and are just about ready to publish. What are you thinking about right now?
Valerie Moore (VM): We are so close! I’m very excited about this research and our findings. I’m working with Dr. Laura Szalacha, the statistician on my team, and we’re so close to publishing! Right now that submission deadline is front and center in my mind, and we’re putting all the last pieces together.

AONE: What do you think of the almost final outcome of your research?
VM: I think we had a good hypothesis going into this research. The data is validating the hypothesis, and we have actual numbers to support the study aims.

AONE: What would you like to see happen as a result of your research?
VM
: As a nurse and a nurse manager, we know things happen on the floor that impact scheduling. A dynamic event is anything that happens on the floor that changes nurse staffing and nurse to patient ratios suddenly, such as, a patient coding or a bedside procedure. Any time an event like that happens it increases the overall workload for the unit.

For the study we looked at how many times nurses see dynamic events occurring and how those events influence staff scheduling and workload. We want to give supervisors another way to look at staffing variables. Are we currently capturing all the variables we need in order to have the right number of nurses on the floor in a unit. To do that, we have to have a concrete understanding of what variables really influence nursing workload.

It was actually very interesting. Before we could even begin collecting data, we had to define a dynamic event. In our conversations with nurses, we found a wide range of opinions as to what types of care qualified and what did not.

I would like to see my research done on a larger scale. I’d also love to see my research trigger additional research – perhaps about how staffing levels can be a predictive model for missed care.

AONE: What has your experience doing this research been like?
VM:
Overall, I have had a wonderful experience, and it’s been a pretty exciting process. It has also been a lesson in patience!

I learned a lot going through the grant application process – both working with AONE Foundation and within my own organization. Talking to the nursing staff on the floor was an integral part of this research. It was very interesting hearing their thoughts and perceptions. These experiences helped me realize just how varied opinions and definitions can be among different people, and helped me to refine my research plan.

Throughout the course of this research, I have been continually awed and inspired by the passion nurses have for our patients and their passion for being an advocate for their patient. It is all about the patient. It’s pretty amazing when you stop to think about all the demand they have to juggle each shift.

AONE: Why is it important for organizations like AONE Foundation, with support from individuals and organizations like Cerner Corporation, to support and promote research in nurse leadership?
VM
: There are so many questions we have in nursing that we still need to answer. Research is the only way to get the concrete answers that we can utilize in practice.

It’s amazing how things have changed throughout the years while I’ve been in nursing. Some things that were best practice when I started nursing are no longer done. The evolution of technology in healthcare will have a big impact on everything we do, including nurse staffing. Research is necessary to identify and prove what will become new best practices for the future.

AONE: Who has been on your team as you’ve done this research?
VM
: Many people have helped and supported me through this project. Dr. Esther Chipps has been a wonderful mentor and supporter. Dr. Laura Szalacha has helped immensely with the data analysis and evaluation. Drs. Mary Nash and Jackie Buck have both been incredible supporters. And I cannot forget the students who were so helpful with the data collection.

AONE: Congratulations, and we’re looking forward to seeing your published research! Would you like to share any last thoughts today?
VM
: This has been a tremendous opportunity for me as a novice researcher. It’s been an excellent process to go through. I wouldn’t have had this opportunity without the AONE Foundation, Cerner Corporation and the Michael Warner grant. I am very grateful.