Ascension: Nursing Transformation Unit

Edmundson, Mo.-based Ascension's Nursing Center of Excellence was responsible for the development of the Nursing Transformation Unit at Nashville, Tenn.-based Ascension Saint Thomas West, an innovative program that seeks to tackle the nursing shortage and workplace burnout, and improve care quality.

The unit provides nurses with the tools necessary to achieve those goals, including training on recognizing patient issues, developing solutions and using existing resources to test new methods. Subgroups within the unit's Transformation Team are dedicated to addressing issues that contribute to employee satisfaction, such as miscommunications in transitions of care and other high-pressure situations; these solutions also benefit patient safety and care quality.

Following the implementation of the Nursing Transformation Unit, Saint Thomas West has experienced major improvements in both quality metrics — measuring falls, restraint usage, pressure ulcers, readmissions and more — and patient satisfaction scores. The facility's nurses, too, have reported greater workplace satisfaction, helping them to be more engaged and better prepared to provide high-quality care.

Additionally, with the success of Ascension's first Nursing Transformation Unit, Ascension St. Vincent Indianapolis adopted the same methodology and structure at its own facility in March. The initiative has resulted in significant decreases in turnover rates and increases in engagement by bedside associates.

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