Why Nurses Are Hurting and How to Save Them

Earlier this month, MedAptus unveiled our vision for our Assign for Nursing solution at the 2016 American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) National Magnet Conference held in Orlando. Also unveiled at event was a new campaign aimed at helping minimize work related injuries for nurses, “Save Our Nurses.” This movement recognizes the sacrifices nurses make every day to care for their patients and also recommends the implementation of changes to protect those who provide care.

So in the MedAptus booth, we met with hundreds of nurses to talk about how our Assign platform aligns nurses to the right patients, much like a “match.com.” The concept was well received by both nurses and charge nurses. Items of particular interest included workload balancing using acuity, continuity of care across multiple hospitalizations, and, of course, saving time. A few nurses asked, “How do you define the acuity?” Our answer? “We have built a customizable acuity tool that is embedded in the product.” While some thought that was ideal others told us that they have an acuity tool in their EMR. “Not a problem,” we replied. At MedAptus one of our guiding development principles is flexibility, followed closely by interoperability. We know that hospitals want to leverage what they have already and provide workflows that enhance a caregiver’s efficiency, not hinder.

Now, back to the Save Our Nurses movement for a moment. What does it have to do with workload balancing? Well, a lot quite possibly. According to Save Our Nurses, “One of the primary reasons for workplace injuries among caregivers is repositioning patients in bed to make them more comfortable or for clinical assessments/procedures. This includes turning patients from side to side and pulling them up in bed, both of which occur numerous times during every shift. While progress has been made in the industry to reduce this strain, nurses continue to sustain injuries from performing the basic functions of their jobs.”

Imagine if patient distribution could consider the repositioning related requirements of each patient and ensure that “physically intensive” patients could be spread across nursing resources in a fair manner? Well, with MedAptus Assign, this is completely achievable as one of our embedded protocols.

Suffice it so say, we agree completely with Save Our Nurses and their belief that, “It shouldn’t hurt to be a nurse.” While this is focused on the physical pain that can drive some out of the profession at an early age, this can also apply to the emotional pain that can come with the demands of the profession. Feelings of burnout and unfairness related to assignments can have a huge negative impact on a workforce that Congress is currently focused on helping to expand. We think our Assign platform can help tremendously in this area, and we are happy to report that many nurses at the ANCC Conference agreed.