Supporting nurses with a point-of-care guide to improve patient outcomes

Wolters Kluwer Health Australia Pty Ltd
Tuesday, 01 February, 2022

Technology issues, time constraints and clinical care variance are some of the major challenges that nurses face when delivering the level of care quality they know their patients require and deserve.

Pandemics and today’s fast-changing, complex healthcare environments also highlight the importance of implementing standardised procedures, up-to-date guidelines and technologies across a hospital to increase clinical efficiency, improve outcomes, and reduce cost and waste.

Having quick access to current evidence-based knowledge allows nurses to make well-informed decisions and provide safer and consistent care right at the bedside. However, a study by the Australian Nursing Federation found that nurses were frequently frustrated by limitations to information access, outdated software and/or lacked training to use it.

Overall, the level of use of information technology and information management systems nationally is generally low and confidence in use is even lower among those nurses who are actual users (Australian Nursing Federation, 2007).

“Technology is advancing at a very fast rate — and so is knowledge — therefore techniques are improved,” said Colin Lott, Emergency Care Registered Nurse at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital in Sydney.

Ensuring that knowledge and those techniques get into the hands of everyone who works with patients is another obstacle for many nurses who are unable to share knowledge they know is current, backed by research, and easy to access.

The inability to share new techniques or skills efficiently perpetuates care variability. Addressing widespread variation in the way that evidence-based information is applied to clinical practice in Australia’s health system must focus on a systems approach and not on an individual clinician approach (Kennedy, Leathley and Hughes, 2010).

“I’ve worked in various places in Australia, and every hospital has a different procedure. Each hospital has someone doing policies and procedures, when a lot of them can just be standardised nationally,” said Judith-Anne Kleinschmidt, RN, Toowoomba Hospital, Queensland.

This dual problem of information sharing and care consistency in Australia may be hampered by what some nurses indicate as an overall lack of technological sophistication within many hospitals.

“We’re still very reliant on the old printed copy of a particular procedure — if we’re talking right down to the bedside level,” said Lott. “And it’s not just the lack of online procedures and information that hinders access.”

Busy schedules and sheer lack of time are additional obstacles for nurses to manage all their patient care and documentation activities efficiently.

“There’s more and more pressure on nurses to do a lot of seeking information and improving their skills themselves on their own time rather than work time,” said Lott.

Staff nurses are not the only ones squeezed for time. Hospitals often do not have the resources or time to regularly develop new procedures and update existing procedures, which means nurses may not have access to the latest evidence to inform their practice and clinical care.

“Nurses on the floor find it very challenging to access (mandated policies and procedures) on a day-to-day basis,” said Rebekah Edwards, RN, Clinical Practice Improvement Lead, Gold Coast University Hospital, Southport, Queensland South Island Workforce Development Hub.

“They don’t have the time to canvass what’s out there as far as evidence is concerned, so we need a one-stop shop, something that can compile the evidence, give a good summary of the best and most relevant evidence-based practices out there.”

A single trusted resource to support informed care management decisions

Lippincott® Procedures Australia is a point-of-care guide that saves nurses time and provides safer, consistent and more effective care.

It provides real-time access to step-by-step guides for up to 450 evidence-based procedures and skills in more specialties than any other procedures and skills-based resource currently available.

The procedure guide reflects Australia’s nursing protocols, regulations, terminology, drug names, and has been mapped to the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards which provide a nationally consistent statement of the level of care consumers can expect from health service organisations.

Lippincott® Procedures Australia offers a single trusted resource to guide care management decisions with best practices and protocols, eliminating the care variability that can happen when clinicians work with multiple reference tools that may not offer standardised guidance.

Benefits for hospitals and nurses include:

  • Easy online access and seamless technology integration
  • Eliminate time wasted on unreliable internet searches or tracking down protocols
  • Save valuable time spent creating, writing, reviewing, and tracking all procedures
  • Promote more effective inter-collaborative professional practice
  • Empower clinicians with the knowledge and confidence to make informed clinical decisions
  • Improve patient outcomes, reduces errors, and promotes consistent, standardised care across your hospital
  • Maintain compliance with the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards
  • Evaluate staff competency and adherence to standards
  • Promote effective and consistent communication about patient safety and quality care
  • Increase the amount of time devoted to delivering direct patient care
  • Improve patient outcomes

Wolters Kluwer Health partnered with the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) to align Lippincott® Procedures with clinical workflows and practice patterns among Australia’s 377,000 nurses and midwives practising in more than 1,330 private and public hospitals.

For more information, click here.

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